Music Industry

News & Analysis as of

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

Copyright Office Establishes New Electronic DMCA Agent Registration

Service Providers Must Re-register Online to Maintain Safe Harbor Protection - A service provider seeking to take advantage of certain of the safe harbors under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is required...more

Not All Repeat Infringer Policies Are Sufficient for Safe Harbor Protection

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a grant of summary judgment that a defendant had a reasonably implemented repeat infringer policy and therefore qualified for safe harbor protection under the Digital...more

Second Circuit Provides Much-Needed Guidance to ISPs Seeking DMCA Safe Harbors for New Technologies

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit provides ISPs seeking to introduce new technologies much-needed guidance concerning the scope of statutory copyright liability safe harbors. In Capitol...more

It Is Not “Easy Like Sunday Morning” To Use Commodore As A Trademark

The band’s song “Easy” does not reflect Commodores’ founder Thomas McClary’s court battle to use the trademark “COMMODORES founder Thomas McClary” for his solo career. As I dug further into the meaning of the song, it is...more

The World in US Courts: Orrick's Quarterly Review of Decisions Applying US Law to Global Business and Cross-Border Activities

Alien Tort Statute (ATS)/Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA)/Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) - District Court Dismisses ATS Claim Where Alleged Conduct in US Was Not Directly Linked to Injuries Claimed in Other Countries...more

Johnson v. UMG Recordings, Inc. - USCA, Seventh Circuit, October 31, 2016

Seventh Circuit holds musician Syl Johnson cannot bring copyright infringement claims based on alleged sampling of his 1967 song “Different Strokes” after settling similar action in 2015 and failing to reopen original...more

DJ Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Get “Funked” With New Copyright Suit Over “Uptown Funk”

On Friday, October 28, 2016, musicians Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars were hit with a copyright infringement suit based on their wildly popular hit “Uptown Funk.” The plaintiffs, consisting of one living member and the estates...more

Absent Nexus, Radio Station Play and Intermediaries Are Insufficient to Prove Access **WEB ONLY**

Addressing the standard for proving “access” to a copyrighted work, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment due to a lack of admissible evidence showing sufficient...more

“I’m With the Band”: Boston Guitarist Can Call Himself “Former Original Member” Without Infringing Trademark

Last week, a federal jury in Boston found that Barry Goudreau, a guitarist who played in an early incarnation of the rock band Boston, did not infringe trademark rights in the band’s name by allowing himself to be identified...more

Major Record Labels file Copyright Suit Against YouTube-MP3.org

YouTube is a well-known video sharing website that allows users to view, upload, share, rate, and comment on videos. Generally, the user streaming the video from YouTube cannot download, copy, or save the video. Stream...more

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. Advancing digital technology has created new...more

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