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Derivative Works and Remastered Sound Recordings

A recently decided court case regarding remastered versions of pre-1972 sound recordings could have significant legal and practical implications for musicians, recording artists, sound engineers, and record labels. Judge Perry Anderson, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, recently granted Summary Judgment for CBS Radio Inc. in a case brought […]

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Supreme Court Revisits Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases

Earlier this week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments addressing the relevant standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in cases involving copyright law. The Court’s ruling, expected later this spring, will likely have a significant impact on copyright litigation cases. Section 505 of the Copyright Act provides that a district court “may”award a reasonable attorney’s fee […]

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Does Spotify Owe You Money? Streaming Service Sued for $150 Million in Unpaid Royalties

David Lowery, the frontman of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, has recently filed a class action lawsuit seeking at least $150 million dollars in damages against Spotify. Lowry alleges Spotify knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted compositions without obtaining mechanical licenses. According to the complaint, which was filed December 28th in the Central […]

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Intellectual Property Protection Options for Software

In a previous blog post, I discussed some of the recent updates issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding patent eligible subject matter and software patents. As anyone who deals with software patents is aware, there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether software is patent eligible subject matter. While the […]

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Intellectual Property Protection Options for Software

In my last blog post, I discussed some of the recent updates issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding patent eligible subject matter and software patents. As anyone who deals with software patents is aware, there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether software is patent eligible subject matter. While the […]

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Political Campaigns & Unauthorized Music

As the presidential caucuses approach so do the opportunities for political candidates to end up in the headlines for using unauthorized music in their campaigns. In nearly every campaign cycle you hear about a recording artist upset that a politician or campaign used the artist’s music without authorization. A list of notable disputes include Bruce […]

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Legal Issues in the Music Industry: Music in Film & TV

Legal Issues in the Music Industry: Music in Film & TV   This is the first blog of many that will focus on the diverse legal issues that affect musicians, artists, songwriters, and other music industry related entities. I routinely get asked the same questions over and over again which I will attempt to break down […]

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Blurred Lines in Copyright Law Following ‘Blurred Lines’ Jury Verdict

Under the Copyright Act of 1909, a work was protected when it was published with the notice of copyright protection. Although changed by the Copyright Act of 1976, releasing a sound recording of a composition under the 1909 act (i.e., musical notes and lyrics) did not constitute “publication”of a musical work. Thus, for musical works […]

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Supreme Court Determines Internet Service Violates Copyrights

The Supreme Court has issued its much anticipateddecision in American Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. The Court held that an internet service provided by Aereo—which allows subscribes to watch television programs over the internet contemporaneous with the programs as they are broadcasted over the air—violates of a copyright owner's exclusive right to perform a […]

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Copyright 3-year Statute of Limitations Trumps Laches Defense

PETRELLA v. METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER, INC. Frank Petrella wrote two screenplays and one book based on the life of boxing champion Jake LaMotta. One of the screenplays, registered in 1963, identifies Patrella as the sole author, written in collaboration with LaMotta. LaMotta and Patrella assigned their rights in the screenplay, including renewal rights, to Chartoff-Winkler Productions, Inc. […]

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