Music Copyright

News & Analysis as of

[Event] Digital Media Update 2015 -May 7, Santa Monica, CA

Please join Sheppard Mullin and Bird & Bird attorneys for cocktails and a discussion about the latest legal updates in digital media. Topics covered will include: - Net neutrality impact on digital media...more

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

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

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

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

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

Copy or Coincidence? You Be the Judge

Sam Smith, the 22 year old British singing sensation, swept the Grammy Awards Sunday night, winning best new artist, record of the year, best vocal album, and song of the year. With four acceptance speeches Sam had ample...more

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Enforce Your Copyrights!)

The Beastie Boys can look back on 2014 as a year of good copyright outcomes. The preceding years had seen their music used without authorization in two promotional videos, by Goldieblox and Monster Energy, despite the...more

Monster Learns Beastly Lesson

Last summer, the Beastie Boys won a $1.7 million judgment against Monster Energy Drink for the unauthorized use of their music in a promotional video. The judgment included statutory damages and penalties, and I thought was a...more

Status Updates - January 2015 #4

Social drinkers. The founder of the Lagunitas Brewing Company decided to drop a lawsuit that he’d filed against Sierra Nevada for trademark infringement after beer drinkers expressed their disapproval of the suit on Twitter. ...more

The New Private Copying Exception: The UK Music Industry Wants to be Paid for It

Three UK music industry organisations, the Musician’s Union, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and UK Music, have recently launched a legal action seeking leave to apply for judicial review of the...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence (Global) - December 2014

BRAND REPUTATION - Global: How to protect brand reputation and sales from the risks associated with a product recall - The power of regulatory authorities to order product recalls is growing, meaning that it is more...more

UK: Copyright- Music industry seeks review of law allowing fans to copy music

The UK Government is facing a Judicial Review challenge over a failure to include compensation provisions in the recently introduced private copying exception to Copyright....more

Gaye Don't Got To Give It Up

Years before I was a lawyer, I saw Vanilla Ice on The Tonight Show. Jay Leno asked whether his song, Ice Ice Baby (listen to seconds 8-24) sounds like David Bowie’s Under Pressure (listen to seconds 9-20). I’ve not seen a...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014 : District court grants partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on copyright claims against Sirius XM Radio, holding that...more

Turtles Quick to Leverage SiriusXM Decision in New Suit Against Pandora

Any child familiar with Aesop’s Fables can tell you that turtles are slow. The founding members of the 1960s rock band named after these half-shelled plodders, however, were anything but slow in moving to take full advantage...more

SiriusXM and Pre-1972 Recordings Not So Happy Together

Debate over the most influential band from the 1960s will generally include names like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin, but a lesser-known act from one of music’s greatest eras, the Turtles, may have just...more

Stop the Music (or Be Vicariously Liable)

Broadcast Music, Inc., et al v. Meadowlake, Ltd. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found a restaurant owner personally liable where the restaurant played recorded and live music without authorization,...more

Suing to the Oldies

I’m listening to my Classic Rock station on Pandora, and Keith Richards’ timeless guitar licks begin to blast from my laptop speakers. I instinctively pick up my air guitar and start to wail. Mick comes in: “I. Can’t. Get....more

Aereo and Napster: Lessons in Licensing

As is increasingly reported, there is a battle raging in today’s marketplace between companies with new technology platforms and content creators from the entertainment community. On the one hand, are computer science...more

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