News & Analysis as of

Music Industry

Manatt Digital - April 2017

We at Manatt Digital are not only die hard music fans, we put our passions in our business and are invested and advocates of the ever evolving and seriously complicated business of music. This month’s newsletter is dedicated...more

Duke Ellington And Copyright: Five Things You Should Know

On April 29, sometimes called “Duke Ellington Day,” we celebrate the life and artistic accomplishments of the great musician and bandleader, Edward Kennedy (“Duke”) Ellington, who was born in 1899 and passed away in 1974. On...more

Deliverance: Legal Issues Still Surrounding Prince’s Music

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

This week provided yet another reminder to entertainment law practitioners that there is still plenty of work to do even after your clients pass away. On Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 the U.S. District Court in Minnesota...more

Court Finds Copyright DJ Action against Music Rights Holder Slightly Out of Tune

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Does a demand letter from a music rights holder that alleges “millions of instances of infringement” create a case in controversy with the recipient? You may be inclined to answer with an emphatic “of course!”...more

A “Thriller” in Tax Court: The Estate of Michael Jackson and IRS Dispute Valuation of Pop Star’s Image

by Bowditch & Dewey on

How much were the late King of Pop’s name and image worth when he died? His estate put the figure at $2,105 but the IRS believes the value is at least $434 million. That’s a huge discrepancy and with penalties and interest...more

The Monopoly Guys: ASCAP & BMI - Music Industry Landed on "Chance" When it Entered into Consent Decrees Long Ago

Landing on chance in the classic game of Monopoly brings a variety of potential outcomes – advance to go, get out of jail free, or go directly to jail. In 1941, the players in the music industry’s game of Monopoly landed on...more

Michael Jackson Estate Tax Case Moving Forward

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

Most estate tax practitioners will tell you estate tax it is all about valuation when assets are other than cash and marketable securities. The estate tax case of the Michael Jackson estate is an ideal demonstration. Tax...more

Paul McCartney chants 'Get Back' again – The Future of Copyright Termination

by Hogan Lovells on

The US Copyright Act of 1976 allows artists, writers, and musicians to “get back” grants of copyrights that had been previously licensed or assigned away. Specifically, artists can “terminate” their copyright arrangements...more

The Power of the Melody Pushes Fashion Forward

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

The many genres of music – particularly, rock, pop, hip-hop and country – have always pushed the needle forward in fashion. Musical icons from today and yesteryear have given a voice to fashion by creating a kinetic...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Copyright Preemption, Software-as-a-Service and Popularity on the Internet

by WilmerHale on

Copyright Decisions - Claim for Copying of Useful Article Design Preempted by Copyright Act: Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts, Inc., No. 15-20084 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017)...more

French Legal and Regulatory Update – December 2016

by Hogan Lovells on

The Paris office of Hogan Lovells is pleased to provide this English language edition of our monthly e-newsletter, which offers a legal and regulatory update covering France and Europe for December 2016. Please see full...more

Song Titles and Trademarks: The Eagle(s) Have Landed

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of “classic rock,” there are some songs that everybody knows. The song Hotel California by the Eagles is one of those songs. Not everyone likes the Eagles (looking at you, Dude), but most...more

For the Time Being, Tech Companies Remain Shielded from Liability for Users’ Uploaded Content

by Butler Snow LLP on

Thanks to recent decisions by the First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, tech companies will remain protected from liability for some of their users’ uploaded content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and...more

UK, US, HK and China – Access denied: an international perspective on ISP blocking injunctions

by Hogan Lovells on

While the UK Court of Appeal has opened the door for broadband ISP blocking to combat trademark or copyright-infringing activities, the picture in the United States, China and Hong Kong is more complex. Please see full...more

Phish Snared in Trademark Office’s Net Due to Phan Products

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Ask any fan of the American improvisatory rock band Phish to explain the significance of the following pattern and you will invariably receive the same answer:         It’s of course the pattern of drummer Jon...more

UPDATE: BOSTON’S Founder and a Former Bandmate Still Seek Peace of Mind

We have written previously about Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951 (D. Mass.); the case recently went to trial on the parties’ surviving claims, and they are now immersed in post-trial briefing....more

NY Common Law Does Not Provide Creators With Control Over Public Performances of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) issued a landmark state copyright law decision, holding in response to a certified question from the Second Circuit in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius...more

New York Court of Appeals Says No Common Law Public Performance Right For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, held that no common law public performance right exists for pre-1972 sound recordings. The issue of whether a common law public performance...more

Do Not Repeat the Mistakes of Your Diva

by FordHarrison on

Preparation pays off. While it may be well known that “practice practice practice” gets you to Carnegie Hall, it appears you don’t even need to do the sound check to play Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Mariah Carey’s...more

Usher’s Still in the Clear in Copyright Suit

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the dismissal on summary judgment of copyright infringement claims brought by Daniel Marino (not that Dan Marino) against Usher and nineteen other defendants in Marino v....more

Top Four Estate Disputes from 2016

by LeClairRyan on

With the end of 2016 upon us, now is a fitting time to look back at some of the top estate disputes from this past year. 2016 was a typical year in that, unsurprisingly, people continued to die and families continued to fight...more

No Right of Public Performance for Sound Recordings Under New York Common Law

by Genova Burns LLC on

Answering a question certified to it by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the New York Court of Appeals held in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., that New York’s common law does not protect the right to publicly...more

Weak Social Media Presence Sinks Trademark Claims, Says Sixth Circuit

by Reed Smith on

A DJ asserting trademark infringement and dilution claims against a similarly named rapper failed partly due to a lack of apparent popularity on social media, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled on December...more

New DMCA Designated Agent Requirements Effective December 2016

On November 1, 2016, the United States Copyright Office published an amendment to 37 CFR § 201.38 that changes the registration requirements for Designated Agents under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Effective...more

New Requirements for Copyright Safe Harbor

The federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provides safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for online service providers that are engaged in specified activities and that meet certain eligibility...more

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