Archives: Music Industry

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Started From the Bottom, Now We’re Real: Drake’s Use of Jimmy Smith’s Commentary on ‘Real Music’ Considered Fair Use

On May 30, 2017, Judge William H. Pauley III, in the Southern District of New York, ruled that rapper-singer-songwriter Drake was permitted to use a sample of jazz artist Jimmy Smith based on the fair use doctrine, even though Drake and his record label did not license the publishing rights to the song. The court … Continue Reading

You Might Want to Turn Down for That: Lil Jon and DJ Snake Sued for Copyright Infringement

On May 4, 2017, Golden Crown Publishing, LLC, the publishing company behind Freddie GZ’s song Turn Down for What, sued Lil Jon and DJ Snake in the Southern District of New York, alleging that their hit song by the same name infringes on Golden Crown’s copyright. The plaintiff is seeking monetary damages and a permanent … Continue Reading

Sir Paul Will Not Let It Be: McCartney Makes Preemptive Strike Against Music Publishers to Reclaim His Copyrights

On Dec. 20, 2016, we wrote about a decision out of England’s High Court of Justice finding that members of music group Duran Duran breached their agreements with a music publisher by filing notices to terminate assignments of copyrights in 37 of their songs under section 203 of the Copyright Act.  That decision shocked much … Continue Reading

The Beastie Boys Fight for Their Rights and Win

On Wednesday Judge Alison J. Nathan of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York ordered record label TufAmerica, Inc. to pay the Beastie Boys (Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, and Adam Yauch), Universal-Polygram International Publishing, Inc. and Capital Records LLC, $845,597.23 in attorneys’ fees and costs. TufAmerica brought suit in 2012 against … Continue Reading

Singers Chris Brown and The Weeknd Resolve Copyright Disputes

Last year, songwriter Nayeri Gregor filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Chris Brown, Benny Benassi, and others, claiming Brown’s 2012 song Don’t Wake Me Up infringed her 2009 song of the same title. According to Gregor, in 2011 she played her song for Irish singer-songwriter Brian Kennedy. Gregor further claimed that Kennedy memorized the music … Continue Reading

Return to Sender: Elvis Presley Enterprises All Shook Up Over Rejected Discovery in German Royalty Dispute

The Southern District of New York recently denied an application brought by Elvis Presley Enterprises LLC  (“EPE”) for an order to take discovery pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782, a provision of the United States Code that allows for discovery in aid of foreign litigation. See In re Elvis Presley Enters. LLC, No. 15mc386 (DLC) … Continue Reading

Timberlake & Will.I.Am Sued by Disco Artist’s Estate

In a new case that is sure to draw comparisons to the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit, Justin Timberlake and Will.I.Am have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit from the estate of a disco artist. The suit alleges that key portions of their pop hit “Damn Girl” were taken from the relatively obscure 1969 jazz song … Continue Reading

Copyright, Content, and Platforms – This Week’s Odds and Ends

Copyright Office May Get $15 Million Budget Increase for 2017 The increase—about twenty-five percent over this year’s budget—could help towards the Copyright Office’s goal of making registration and other transactions simple, transparent, and technologically savvy, as laid out by the 5-year plan released by Maria Pallante, United States Register of Copyrights. It will also help … Continue Reading

SoundExchange to Audit Pandora and Others to Ensure Accurate Reporting of Music Plays

On January 22, 2016, the Copyright Royalty Board published SoundExchange’s notices of intent to audit broadcasters — including Beasley Broadcast Group Inc., Greater Media Inc., Saga Communications Inc., Townsquare MediaBroadcasting, and Univision Communications Inc. — and commercial webcasters — including Pandora Media Inc., Batanga, DMX, and Muzak Inc. — for payments each made to SoundExchange … Continue Reading

Artists and Auction Houses Declare Victory Over California Artists’ Resale Royalties Statute

Artists and auction houses both declared victory on January 11 when the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in a case concerning the constitutionality of the California Resale Royalties Act of 1976 (CRRA). But curiously, the artists and auction houses were on opposite sides of the case. The CRRA recognizes an artist’s “moral right” to the … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler’s Oren Warshavsky, a Law360’s Voices of the Bar for Intellectual Property, comments on “With High Court Mum On Java Copyrights, Is Innovation Safe?”

On July 1, 2015, Law360 queried the Supreme Court decision not to review Google Inc. v. Oracle America Inc. in their Voices on the Bar column.  Oren Warshavsky, head of BakerHostetler’s national Copyright, Content, and Platforms team and one of Law360’s Voices on the Bar commented:  “In a vacuum, the Federal Circuit’s holding could well … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing the Robin Thicke/Marvin Gaye ‘Blurred Lines’ IP Dispute with LXBN TV

Following up on my recent post discussing copyright dispute surrounding Robin Thicke’s hit single ‘Blurred Lines,’ I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN on the story. In the interview, I explain the background of the suit and how these types of issues are normally decided.… Continue Reading
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