News & Analysis as of

Music Industry

Is Apple’s Shazam acquisition the next Facebook-Instagram-Whatsapp?

by Bryan Cave on

On 6 February 2018, the EU Commission announced that it had accepted a referral request from a number of EU countries to assess Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, a UK based developer and distributor of music recognition...more

Enforce your repeat infringer policy

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Seinfeld famously noted that taking the reservation is not nearly as important as holding the reservation. In the same way, Internet service providers must do more to avoid liability than enact a repeat infringer policy –...more

WIPO – No fan site for tribute band

by Hogan Lovells on

In a recent decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a panel ordered the transfer of a domain name that exactly matched the name of a...more

Hands Off Jay-Z’s Hand Gesture Trademark

Words and pictures are so 2017. This year, it is all about the non-traditional trademarks (i.e., something other than brand names and images). In the past, we’ve covered a variety of these types of trademarks, from colors to...more

BMG V. Cox Is Major Copyright Victory For Music Industry

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

While reversing and remanding for a new trial in light of certain errors in the jury instructions, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has largely sided with the copyright holders in the dispute between BMG Rights Management...more

Appeals Court Rejects DOJ Expansive Interpretation of Music Consent Decree

by Jones Day on

The Background: Since 1941, performing rights organizations ("PROs"), which pool the copyrights held by a work's composer, songwriter, and publisher and collectively license those rights to music users, have been subject to...more

Beltway Buzz - February, 2018

“Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ‘cause it’s cooooold out there today.” Here is your Groundhog Day Beltway Buzz...more

When a Nightclub is Not a Business

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

Under Code §183(b), a taxpayer’s activity that is not engaged in for profit gives rise to deductions only to the extent of income. No excess deductions arise that can be used to offset other income, and no net operating...more

Copyright Basics

by Workman Nydegger on

Copyright protection is contemplated under the Constitution of the United States and governed by the U.S. Copyright Act. More specifically, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution includes...more

Sail On: Former Commodores Guitarist Fails to Establish Rights in Band's Trademark

Who owns a band’s trademark when that band is composed of multiple people? And more importantly, what rights does a band member have in that trademark when they leave the band? Earlier this week, the Eleventh Circuit...more

Music Publishing Company Sues Spotify for $1.6 Billion

Spotify has a growing copyright problem and as previously discussed on this blog, they are no stranger to copyright infringement lawsuits. Wixen Music Publishing Inc. recently filed a complaint seeking $1.6 billion in...more

Repeal of Net Neutrality? Everyone loses except the powerful

Web Access Through Corporate Control - The barrage of backlash booming around the repeal of the net-neutrality law by the Federal Communications Commission is facing an all-fronts assault. The communications companies that...more

China: Annual online piracy crackdown campaign 2017: Results announced

by Hogan Lovells on

The results of the 2017 edition of China’s annual online piracy crackdown campaign, called the “Sword Net Action” (????), were recently published. As we announced earlier, the 2017 crackdown campaign promised to take a heavy...more

Dr. Dre Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Andre Romelle Young, a.k.a Dr. Dre, was awarded partial summary judgement after a Kentucky federal judge found the hip-hop mogul and NWA member not liable for copyright infringement of plaintiff’s sound recording. ...more

Text, blood and rock 'n' roll

by DLA Piper on

A recent case involving the legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is noteworthy not only for the fame of its parties, but also for its important and expansive outcome regarding an important eDiscovery issue. In Ronnie Van Zant,...more

Second Circuit Affirms “Fractional Licensing” Decision

by Brooks Pierce on

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the ASCAP and BMI antitrust consent decrees do not prohibit “fractional licensing” of songs. Fractional licensing means that if there are non-ASCAP or non-BMI...more

Is it a Privilege to Speak With a PR Consultant? Maybe Not for Kesha!

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

So you were just retained on what could become a high-profile case. The stakes are high, and it’s unclear how this will play in the media. The issue may arise based on the parties to the case, the nature of the claims, or...more

Good News for Game Developers: Court Extends Protections for Using Others’ Trademarks in the Advertising of Artistic Works

by Fenwick & West LLP on

In a move that will likely benefit game developers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explicitly held that First Amendment protection extends to use of third-party trademarks in the commercial promotion of an...more

Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, and Disney Sued Over Frozen Song “Let It Go”

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, and Disney are amongst the defendants who were sued over the hit song, “Let It Go,” featured in the popular 2013 Disney film, Frozen....more

Florida Supreme Court Denies Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings Predating Coverage Under the Federal Copyright Act

by Reed Smith on

In a major victory for media and broadcast entities, the Supreme Court of Florida recently established that Florida law does not recognize exclusive copyright protections for sound recordings that were “fixed” before February...more

Not-So-Golden Oldies - Florida’s Top Court Denies Turtles' pre-1972 Copyright Claim

In a unanimous October 26, 2017, decision, the Supreme Court of Florida concluded that Florida common law does not recognize an exclusive right of public performance in pre-1972 sound recordings. Thus, members of the band,...more

Florida Now Follows New York to Find No Common Law Public Performance Right For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

A few months ago, we brought to your attention a case initiated by The Turtles, seeking royalties in New York for the unauthorized performance of their pre-1972 sound recordings. In that decision, the Court of Appeals of New...more

The Southern District of New York Finds “Work Made For Hire” Under Italian Copyright Law

Musical scores incorporated into films are usually produced with the specific film in mind. In the U.S., we call such works “works made for hire,” meaning that the artist does not retain authorship rights to the music....more

“Haters Gonna Hate, Hate . . . .”  Can Taylor Swift “Shake it Off”?

by Brooks Pierce on

On September 18, 2017, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler filed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Hall and Butler are the co-authors of the 2000...more

9th Circuit debates “Blurred Lines” verdict

Bill Hochberg was quoted in a Daily Journal article about the “Blurred Lines” case currently on appeal before the 9th Circuit. At the hearing held October 6th, the three judges appeared to be skeptical about overturning the...more

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