Music Industry

News & Analysis as of

Tax Law Blog: Updates on the Estate of Prince

The interesting issues with Prince’s estate continue. Previously, I discussed that he died intestate, meaning he did not have any sort of will or other testamentary instrument....more

Happy Birthday To Me: An Iconic Song Enters The Public Domain After Copyright Settlement

As I turn 50 years old this week, I can’t help but think of the famous Happy Birthday song and the class action that resulted in its entering the public domain earlier this year. The class action plaintiffs in that case...more

Austin’s SXSW Festival Wins Trademark “Fight” with the Australian Labor Party

Austin, Texas is well-known for its food, music scene, and of course its University of Texas Longhorns. The exclamation point on Austin’s notoriety though is the annual South by Southwest (a.k.a. SXSW) festival. Since its...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

Brandmarking - Volume 5, Number 2 - October 2016

Supreme Court Review of “Disparagement” Trademark Case May – or May Not – Implicate First Amendment, Impact Washington Redskins Case - The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear one of two high-profile cases that...more

Supreme Court Set to Settle Dispute over Washington Redskins Trademark Registration

There has been another twist in the story of the long battle by Native American interest groups to obtain revocation of the U.S. registration of the infamous Washington Redskins trademark. This is another step in the 20-year...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert. in USPTO Appeal of Slants Decision: Whether The Ban On Offensive Trademarks Violates The First...

The Supreme Court granted the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s petition for certiorari in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1101 (Fed. Cir. 2016). In that case, the USPTO denied registration of an application to register the...more

U.S. v. Broadcast Music Inc. - USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 16, 2016

District court overrules DOJ’s interpretation of 75-year-old music industry consent decree, finding it neither bars issuance of fractional licenses for music nor requires BMI to issue full licenses. Broadcast Music Inc....more

“The Man Who Brought the Beatles to America” is Bringing Them Back…to a U.S. District Court

Sid Bernstein was a legendary promoter and producer of iconic rock-and-roll performers including the Rolling Stones, the Moody Blues and, of course, the Beatles. Bernstein earned his moniker as “The Man Who Brought the...more

Galen Spearheads Deal for Jack & Jack with Kobalt Label Services

Music Week reported on the deal announced today between Jack & Jack and Kobalt Label Services spearheaded by Greenberg Glusker Partner Eric Galen. Jack & Jack, primarily known as digital content producers, with more than 110...more

Loomis v. Cornish - USCA, Ninth Circuit, September 2, 2016

Ninth Circuit affirms ruling in favor of Jessie J in a copyright dispute, finding plaintiff Will Loomis failed to establish the recording artist or songwriters of the hit song “Domino” had requisite access to his song “Bright...more

Led Zeppelin Prevails in Copyright Infringement Case: Now on Appeal in Ninth Circuit

In May 2014, the Trust acting on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe (a/k/a Randy California) of the rock group Spirit filed a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin related to the first chords in the band’s most...more

Music and the Blockchain

The promise of blockchain technology for the music industry is its ability to solve the problem of “shared facts” and to provide transparency in real time or near-real time....more

Brand Names as Stage Names – Tribute or Infringement?

While all the world might be a stage, the famous U.K. fashion house Burberry Limited has now established that none of its players – except Burberry – has the right in the U.S. to use the famous Burberry trademark as a stage...more

Rams v. Def Jam Recordings Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, August 16, 2016

In action brought by photographer and subject alleging unauthorized use of photo on recording artist Jeremih’s album cover, district court denies motion to dismiss contributory and vicarious copyright infringement claims,...more

Bowen v. Paisley - USDC, M.D. Tennessee, August 25, 2016

District court grants summary judgment dismissing copyright infringement suit against country music stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, and others involved in producing the 2011 hit song “Remind Me,” holding that it was...more

Protect Your Intellectual Property or Else

With an increasingly competitive marketplace challenging traditional business models, protecting intellectual property in the automotive industry has never been more vital. Among a business's most valuable assets are the four...more

Dancing Baby May Be Headed To Supreme Court

On August 12, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of its client, Stephanie Lenz, to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126...more

DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”

Greenberg Glusker music law partner William I. Hochberg was quoted in an August 4, 2016, Daily Journal article, “DOJ declines to modify consent decrees, angers PROs.”...more

BMI Redux: BMI Seeks To Move To “Clarify” The DOJ Position On Partial Licenses

As we have previously blogged, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) rejected proposed modifications to the existing Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”) consent...more

DOJ Rejects Modifications of ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

On August 4, 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) rejected changes to the 1941 consent decrees with ASCAP and BMI. These decrees have been in place since 1941, when the DOJ settled antitrust claims with ASCAP and BMI...more

Second Circuit Revives Copyright Claims Against Sony and Ghostface Killah

In Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., 15-1778, the Second Circuit recently revived claims against Sony and Ghostface Killah, holding that although third parties may raise a work for hire defense, here there were factual...more

July 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

Four of the five independent contractor (IC) misclassification cases reported below from July 2016 illustrate how companies continue to fail to structure, document, and implement a business’s IC relationships in a manner that...more

Artists, Entertainers and Mediation: Where the paths meet

I’m a lawyer and have been a full-time mediator for more than 20 years. Before I went to law school, I spent 10 years working as a professional dancer, seven as a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I didn’t...more

The implications of Brexit on the entertainment and media industry

While the United Kingdom will not leave the European Union overnight, it is important to consider what the result of the Brexit referendum means to the entertainment and media industry. What are the challenges? How do we...more

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