News & Analysis as of

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

July 2014: Copyright Litigation Update

Courts Take More Expansive View of Copyright Fair Use. Due to increasing globalization and constant advances in technology, there exists today an unprecedented level of access to copyrightable material, which in turn has led...more

Tariffpalooza 2014

Summer 2014. The living is easy; the Copyright Board is certifying tariffs at a furious pace. As we noted back in May 2014 (Towards Certainty on Webcasting – Re:Sound Tariff 8 Certified), the Board certified Re:Sound...more

Leveyfilm, Inc. v. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC

U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, July 8, 2014 - Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC and related entities obtained summary judgment in copyright infringement action brought by owner of photograph used as album...more

IP Newsflash - June 2014 #3

Federal Circuit Reinforces the Requirement to Disclose the Corresponding Algorithm for a Computer-Implemented Means-Plus-Function Term: On June 13, 2014, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Western District of...more

Novel Copyright Action Involving Webcasting and Geofencing to be Decided in Harrisonburg

Radio stations that stream over the Internet typically have to pay performance royalties to the copyright owners of the songs that are being broadcast over the Internet. Last month, a group of radio broadcasters in Virginia...more

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

CONSUMER AND DATA PROTECTION - Italy: New rules on cookies and Internet profiling! - The Italian Data Protection Authority has issued its decision on the “simplified information notice and cookie consent”"....more

When Judges Met Jazz: The First Decade Of Jazz Law

In honor of African American Music Appreciation Month, sometimes known as Black Music Month, we recall the first judicial decisions in which jazz music was the subject of a legal dispute. Although jazz originated in the late...more

Germany: Collecting society’s payout to publishers highly disputed

On 13 May 2014 the District Court of Berlin (16 O 75/13) rejected a claim brought by a songwriter and a composer against a collecting society’s payout to music publishers. The claim was directed at a declaratory judgment that...more

European Council adopts directive on the collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of online music

On February 20, 2014, the European Council adopted a directive on the collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of online music (the “Directive”). The two principal aims of the Directive are...more

Copyright Office to Study Music Licensing

The United States Copyright Office has announced the initiation of a study of the effectiveness of existing methods of music licensing. Three types of licenses were mentioned in the announcement: (1) compulsory licenses for...more

Purple Haze Lifted by Ninth Circuit Regarding Jimi Hendrix’s Post-Mortem Publicity Rights

In Experience Hendrix L.L.C. v. HendrixLicensing.com LTD, Nos. 11–35858, 11–35872 (9th Cir. Jan. 29, 2014), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of Washington State’s Personality Rights Act (WPRA),...more

Are You There, Copyright Office? It’s Me, First Circuit! Can Composers Deposit Infringing Musical Works In Place of The Original?

Copyright law usually has little patience for plaintiffs who don’t have a copy of their original work to deposit with the Copyright Office. For example, in Seiler v. Lucasfilm, a plaintiff who claimed to have created the...more

Experience Jimi Hendrix, Post-Mortem Publicity Rights - Experience Hendrix LLC et al. v. HendrixLicensing.com LTD et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reversing a district court’s ruling finding unconstitutional the provisions of the Washington Personality Rights Act pertaining to post-mortem publicity rights, qualified that...more

Collective Rights Management Directive Adopted by European Parliament

On 20 February 2014, the European Parliament adopted the collective management of copyright and related rights directive (Directive), which aims to make it easier for online providers to stream music in multiple EU countries....more

Pringle v. Adams - USCA Ninth Circuit, February 21, 2014

In October 2010, Bryan Pringle sued The Black Eyed Peas, music producers David Guetta and Fred Riesterer, and their respective music publishers and record companies for copyright infringement. Pringle claimed that The Black...more

Collecting Societies Overhaul

With harmonisation of collective rights management in the EU having been on the European Commission’s agenda since as far back as 1995, 4 November 2013 saw the conclusion of negotiations concerning the Directive on collective...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- February, 10 2013: Baldwin v. EMI...

District court holds that EMI owns copyright to “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” until 2029, finding that grantors’ termination attempts were invalid for failure to record termination with Copyright Office under 1976 Act. ...more

MBHB Snippets: Review of Developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 12, Issue 1 (Winter 2014): The Blurred Lines of...

Robin Thicke’s massively popular and controversial “Blurred Lines” song has captured much public attention, including the attention of the family of Marvin Gaye who accused Thicke of using elements of Marvin Gaye’s song, “Got...more

US: Will you be “Sorry for Party Rocking” if you are liable for copyright infringement?

William L. Roberts II, aka hip-hop rapper Rick Ross, singer of 2006 number 1 ?Hustlin’” filed a claim for copyright infringement in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against brothers Stefan...more

Raspberry Berate

About two weeks ago, the artist (known as, then formerly known as, and now again known as) Prince filed a copyright infringement suit against 22 “accused bootleggers” (most likely fans) that had been posting links to...more

Rhymin’ & Stealin’ & Filin’ Lawsuits

Last month, I wrote about the preemptive lawsuit filed by GoldieBlox, a toy retailer, against the Beastie Boys. GoldieBlox sought declaratory relief that their use of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls” in a GoldieBlox...more

Beastie Boys Sue; Law Prof's 'Head Spins' [Video]

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The Beastie Boys are no strangers to taking other people's music and creating something new. They're also no strangers to being sued for it. It was unusual, however, when someone took their music...more

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