Music Industry

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The Death of Prince Rogers Nelson – An Estate Tax Controversy Likely To Follow

Many of our readers have asked me about the likely controversy that will ensue following the death of Prince. In fact, two readers feel, since I have been reporting about some of the controversy surrounding the Estate of...more

Florida Jury Finds Former Pinochet Lieutenant Living in Deltona Liable for Murder and Torture of Chilean Folksinger, Víctor Jara

Forty three long and painful years have passed since Víctor Jara, the famous Chilean folk singer whom Rolling Stone Magazine called one of the top 15 protest artists of all time, was found dead covered with dozens of bullet...more

Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC - USDC, S.D. New York, June 9, 2016

District court awards defendants $400,000 in legal fees in copyright infringement suit over Shakira’s hit song “Loca,” in which plaintiff’s claims were shown to be based on fabricated evidence. In 2012, Mayimba Music...more

Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC - USCA, Second Circuit, June 16, 2016

In copyright infringement suit against user-generated video website Vimeo, Second Circuit holds that DMCA safe harbor protections apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and that Vimeo is entitled to DMCA protections even though...more

All That Glitters Is Not Copyright Infringement

It’s been widely reported in the news and on this blog—a jury in a Federal copyright infringement case has reached a verdict favoring legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, finding that it did not plagiarize the iconic guitar riff...more

Led Zeppelin Legends Smack Down “Stairway to Heaven” Copyright Suit

This morning in a Los Angeles federal court, a unanimous jury exonerated British rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant—two members of the storied Led Zeppelin rock band—from claims of copyright infringement over the iconic...more

Jury Hands Zeppelin a Heavenly Victory

In Robert Plant’s world, all that glitters is not gold, and all that sounds like another artist’s work is not stolen from that artist. Fortunately for Plant and his Led Zeppelin bandmates, a Los Angeles jury agreed. That jury...more

Second Circuit Extends DMCA Safe-Harbor Protection to Pre-1972 Sound Recordings, Clarifies Scope of Exceptions for Willful...

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC, No. 14-1048 (2d Cir. 2016). First, the Second Circuit held that the "safe harbor"...more

Second Circuit Reinforces the Scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Safe Harbor Provision

In Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo, LLC, the Second Circuit issued a decision clarifying the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) safe harbor provision, which protects certain Internet service providers from liability for...more

Sheeren-nuff: Another Copyright Infringement Suit

English pop musician Ed Sheeran has been sued for copyright infringement in the Central District of California over his recent hit song “Photograph,” which peaked at number ten on Billboard’s “The Hot 100” chart. The two...more

Sometimes Borrowing Isn’t Stealing: De Minimis Sampling of Music Sound Recordings Isn’t Copyright Infringement, Say Two Key Courts...

Setting music sampling up for a potential U.S. Supreme Court battle, the Ninth Circuit sided with Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone and her producer (Shep Pettibone) in emphatically rejecting the Sixth Circuit’s bright-line...more

Originality in Remastering: CBS Secures Victory in War Over Rights to Play Oldies

CBS recently secured a potential landmark victory that could benefit radio stations, streaming services, and satellite radio providers—many of whom have been mired in litigation for years with owners of sound recordings of...more

Music Sampling Back in “Vogue”

With its decision in VMG Salsoul v. Ciccone, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals created a circuit split that could greatly impact copyright infringement claims based on unlicensed music sampling. For the advertising...more

VMG Salsoul LLC v. Ciccone - USCA, Ninth Circuit, June 2, 2016

Ninth Circuit breaks from Sixth Circuit in music copyright infringement case over a 0.23-second horn segment in Madonna’s pop hit “Vogue,” holding that de minimis copying exception applies to copyrighted sound...more

ABS Entertainment Inc. v. CBS Corp.- USDC, C.D. California, May 30, 2016

CBS defeats claims that it infringed copyrights in pre-1972 sound recordings by performing recordings on radio broadcasts, successfully arguing that it performed only post-1972 remastered versions of recordings and that those...more

Short Samplings of Songs May Not Be Considered Copyright Infringement After All

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just decided that sampling a song without permission does not necessarily infringe the copyright. Many artists have built careers by sampling an old song to create a new work. Until now,...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 6.9.16

Breakingviews on the generally disregarded human side of all of the merger mania of late—from the uncertainty over job losses to the potentially unsettling reality of new management...more

Ninth Circuit “Strikes A Pose” For Madonna And Music Sampling In “Vogue” Copyright Dispute

In a copyright decision that rocks the music industry and splits from the Sixth Circuit, the Ninth Circuit recently held that Madonna’s mega-hit “Vogue” did not violate copyright rights by sampling a 0.23-second horns segment...more

Till Death Do Us Part? How to Deal With Celebrity Publicity Rights When That Celebrity Passes

The tragic death of renowned recording artist Prince left many reminiscing about his meticulously crafted public image. In life, the law allowed Prince to control the commercial exploitations of his image.  At death, however,...more

CBS Radio Remasters the Art of Not Paying Artists Royalties

Two years ago, a federal judge rocked the music industry in holding that pre-1972 recordings may be protected under state copyright laws and are protected by California copyright law. This holding, in a case brought against...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Current Status of Music Sampling Copyright Infringement And Sets Circuit Split For The Supreme Court

On June 2, 2016 the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in a music sampling Copyright infringement case that sets up a split between the Ninth Circuit and the Sixth Circuit which will likely send the issue to the Supreme Court. ...more

Sorry Beliebers, But Justin Bieber Has Been Sued For Copyright Infringement.

Justin Bieber is headed to the land of the Grand Ole Opry. Not for concertizing, but for plagiarizing. Allegedly. On May 26, 2016, “the Biebs” was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for...more

Trial & Heirs: 5 Estate Planning Stumbling Blocks

Last month, Prince died at the ripe young age of 57. He had no will, as reported by his only full sibling (a sister). She filed for probate of his estate in Minnesota, where he owned a home in Paisley Park. Under Minnesota...more

Feyoncé . . . he put a ring on it

Beyoncé recently filed suit against a company for trademark infringement based on their use of the term “Feyoncé” on apparel. They’ve even got this nice mug...more

Spotify, NMPA Accused of a Concerted Effort to Taint the Class Pool

In a putative class action alleging widespread copyright infringement commenced in December 2015 against Spotify, Plaintiff, the lead singer for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, recently moved pursuant to Federal...more

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