Music Industry

News & Analysis as of

Copyright Co-Owner’s Ability to Grant an Exclusive Right to a Third Party - Corbello v. DeVito

Revisiting the issue of a copyright co-owner’s right to grant an exclusive right to a third party, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarified its prior ruling in Sybersound v. UAV, and explained that a...more

Bob Marley’s Heirs Lanham Act Win Upheld - Fifty-Six Hope Road Music v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc.

Addressing the issue of when the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitutes a false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...more

Jury Sees a Clear Line – Pharrell, Thicke Crossed It

Pharrell Williams, famous for singing about how “Happy” he is, might be changing his tune these days. On March 10, a federal jury found him and fellow pop star Robin Thicke liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s popular song “Got...more

Slep-Tone and Karaoke Redux: Under Dastar, Bar Must Face the Music For Trademark Infringement

The Northern District of Illinois recently held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003), did not protect a karaoke bar from claims of trademark infringement...more

TufAmerica v. Diamond - USDC, S.D. New York, March 24, 2015

TufAmerica v. Diamond - USDC, S.D. New York, March 24, 2015 - District court awards summary judgment to defendants, members of the Beastie Boys, holding that plaintiff did not have standing to file suit for...more

An Empirical Lesson on Bluffing in Trademark Disputes

While it’s a great song, Kenny Rogers’ classic The Gambler doesn’t provide much guidance on winning a game of poker....more

Crowded Skies: Opportunities and Challenges in an Era of Drones

In this paper: - Advertising & Promotion - Aviation - Regulatory - Copyright (EU) - Employment and Labor - Export Controls - Film and Television (UK) - Film & Television...more

Tempest Publishing, Inc. v. Hacienda Records and Recording Studio, Inc. - USDC, S.D. Tex., March 18, 2015

Texas district court holds that independent recording studio willfully infringed copyright in plaintiff’s musical composition, finding defendant’s four-year delay in seeking post-recording license did not conform with...more

Blurred Rights

You may, like me and hundreds of others, have had the “Blurred Lines” verses: “I know you want it, You’re a good girl, You’re far from plastic, Talk about getting blasted, I hate these blurred lines,” stuck in your head. And,...more

Recent Developments in Copyright: Blurred Reasoning and I Won't Back Down Until You Stay with Me

The jury's March 10th verdict in the "Blurred Lines" case has understandably generated a significant amount of interest and attention from the public, and has also led to differing opinions from legal experts as to whether...more

Streaming At The Edge Of The Law

One of this year’s themes at the South by Southwest (SxSW) festival is “Surviving the Shift: Rethinking Music and Data.” The music industry is transforming itself as the trend in buying music shifts from digital download to...more

Allocation of Copyright Damages for Co-Owners - In re Isbell Records, Inc.

Addressing for the first time the issue of whether a partial owner of a copyright can be awarded infringement damages for his co-owner’s share, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit determined that a partial...more

California Jury Finds “Blurred Lines” Infringed “Got to Give It Up”: Society’s Mixed Signals on Copying and Intellectual Property...

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, a California federal jury returned a verdict finding that Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams had copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up” when writing Thicke’s 2013 hit, “Blurred Lines.”...more

“Blurred Lines” but Clear Verdict: Jury Awards Gaye Estate $7.3 Million in Damages for Copyright Infringement

In a verdict on March 10, a Los Angeles federal jury decided “Blurred Lines,” written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, substantially borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got To Give It Up” without permission. As a...more

Jury Finds Singers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, Owe $7.4M for Copyright Infringement

On March 10, 2015, a California federal jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million after deciding that pop stars, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, copied Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got to Give It Up,” in writing their...more

The Lines Just Got Blurrier for Musicians

I have previously discussed the Marvin Gaye and Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams copyright dispute over the song “Blurred Lines”. Earlier this week, matters got considerably worse for the funk duo: a jury found that “Blurred...more

The Blurred Lines of an Infringement Action

Many of you may be familiar with the pop hit “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Clifford Harris, more popularly known as T.I., and Pharrell Williams (the “Composers”). If it does not sound familiar by title, perhaps you may...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - March 2015 (Global)

BROADCASTING - Italy: Back to the future - connected TVs need "connected regulations" - The Italian Communications Authority recently adopted resolutions concerning changes in the broadcasting landscape....more

New York Court Gives Final Approval to $58.5 Million Music Licensing Settlement

On February 19, 2015, the District Court for the Southern District of New York issued final approval of a $58.5 million settlement between performing rights society SESAC (Society of European Stage Actors and Composers) and...more

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 20, 2015

Following jury verdict on Lanham Act claim in favor of entity owned by Bob Marley’s children, Ninth Circuit affirms denial of defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that trial evidence supported jury’s...more

The Left Shark, Katy Perry and Copyright Chum

What do you get when you take one shark costume, add a confused backup dancer, throw in Katy Perry and the Super Bowl halftime show and top it off with a satirical artist with a 3D printer? First the backstory....more

Intellectual Property 2014 Year in Review

The year 2014 saw some important developments in the area of intellectual property law. A number of intellectual property-related issues even made national headlines. Who can forget the public debate over the rightful...more

Manatt Digital Media - February 2015

January 2015’s strategic movement in the digital media business already seems like a full year squeezed into one month. In this edition of our MDM newsletter, we walk you through some of those major developments that set the...more

Are You Ready to "Party Like It's 1989"? Be Sure to Get Taylor Swift's Permission First

Famous country-music-turned-pop-star Taylor Swift made headlines recently when she filed a slew of trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for various lyrics from her latest album, entitled...more

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Can Taylor Swift Shake Off Accusations of Trademark Greed?

Had enough of Taylor Swift yet? For those of you who hate to love her, you might consider Swiftamine, because she is not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, her media foot print continues to grow. And while one...more

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