Jay Z prevails in ‘Big Pimpin’ – a case which was never as simple as it looked

COPYRIGHT / MORAL RIGHTS / CONTRACT Music publishing     Attorneys for Jay Z have told a U.S court in Los Angeles that the rapper had properly acquired the rights to an Egyptian musician’s melody to use for his hit 1999 song “Big Pimpin’,” as a trial in a longstanding copyright lawsuit Jay Z (Shawn Carter and hip hop producer Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley are among the defendants named in a 2007 complaint by the nephew of late Egyptian songwriter Baligh Hamdy, who argue that the rapper had used his uncle’s composition from the 1950s without permission. Jay Z’s lawyer Andrew Bart argued that the explicit lyrics of “Big Pimpin’” should not be discussed in relation to the lawsuit, as a depiction of the words as “vulgar” and “disgusting” could prejudice the jury against Jay Z, a move supported by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder who ruled that examining Jay Z’s lyrics would be irrelevant in this case, although Attorney Peter Ross, representing Hamdy’s nephew Osama Ahmed Fahmy, told the eight-member jury that the defendants had purposefully avoided asking permission to use Hamdy’s track because they allegedly knew it wouldn’t be granted given the risqué lyrics. Timbaland used Hamdy’s 1957 Egyptian tune…

Deadmau5 looks to trap ‘unauthorised’ remixes
Artists , Copyright , Moral Rights , Trade Mark / November 2015

COPYRIGHT / TRADE MARK / MORAL RIGHTS Artist, recorded music     Deadmau5 has launched a legal action in Ontario, Canada, against his former business associates over allegations that her company has released remixes of his early work without the required prior written permissions. The Hollywood Reporter says that  a decade ago DeadMau5 (Joel Zimmerman) had worked with Canadian label Play Records at the beginning of his career. Initially he created remixes for the company, and later signed publishing and management agreements with the firm and its co-founder Melleny Brown (also known as Melleny Melody or Melleefresh). After relocating to London in 2007, Zimmerman switched his management contract, and negotiated the ending of his contracts with Brown. That deal saw Zimmerman pay a sum of money to Play Records, and he also assigned ownership of some of his early songs and recordings to the company. However, that deal seemingly provided that any future remixes of those tracks could not be released without his “prior written consent”. Zimmerman now claims that Play has released new remixes of his early work without his OK, and has plans for more releases, breaching his contact rights, as well as infringing his trademarks and moral…

A bauble for Bon Bon – rapper does have a reputation but it isn’t greatly damaged rules Aussie court

COPYRIGHT / MORAL RIGHTS / CONTRACT Artistes, internet   This (again!) from the ever wonderful IP Kat: Question: what do you get if you cross an American rap artist with a digruntled Australian tour promoter and a song with the title ‘We No Speak Americano’? Answer: a moral rights dispute. If you have been on the dance-floor in recent times as many times as this Kat has, it would have been virtually impossible for you to miss hearing ‘We No Speak Americano’. This ditty, released in February 2010, was created by Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool and producer DCUP by sampling the 1956 Italian song ‘Tu vuò fà l’Americano’ (by Renato Carosone). This release soared to No 1 in the charts in many discerning nations and featured prominently in a number of Best Songs of 2010 lists. The combined song was further sampled in November 2010 by American rapper Armando Perez (stage name ‘Pitbull’) for the Spanish-language track  Bon Bon’ in his fifth studio album, Armando (the ‘Bon Bon Song’). Jamie Fernandez is a prominent DJ and live music promoter in Perth, Western Australia. Fernandez goes by the name DJ Suave and operates a website at http://www.suaveproductions.com.au (the ‘Suave Website’).Pitbull Perez was due to come to Australia to perform…

Moral rights case against Jay-Z allowed to proceed
Artists , Moral Rights / June 2011

MORAL RIGHTS Artistes A US judge has allowed a lawsuit against Jay-Z and a number of other entertainment companies including Universal and MTV to proceed, in relation to his 2000 track ‘Big Pimpin’, even though the case is, in the main, based on elements of Egyptian copyright law, including its interpretation of moral rights. The case concerns the use of a sample in the hip hop track. It appears that Jay-Z’ had licensed the piece of music in question by Baligh Hamdy, which comes from the 1960 Egyptian film ‘Fata Ahlami’, but – according to the now deceased author’s family – the licence was to make a mechanical copy of the piece of music, not to adapt it and further that the adaptation itself was a ‘mutilation’ of the original work, and therefore the moral rights of Hamdy’s descendents have been infringed. The case was brought by Osama Ahmed Fahmy, a nephew of Baligh Hamdy. Judge Christina Snyder did not concur with defence arguments that principles of Egyptian law had no place in a trial, and let the case proceed saying Hamdy’s family had a strong enough case under US law for their lawsuit to go to a full hearing. US copyright…

Internet Trespass: Measuring and Controlling Internet-Distributed Advertiser-Funded Content
Copyright , Internet , Moral Rights / April 2006

COPYRIGHT: TORT Internet ARTICLE: By Nicola McCormick, solicitor, Michael Simkins LLP The idea of branded content is nothing new but the opportunities for delivery over the internet are only beginning to be explored.  Music, video and podcast downloads in particular are poised for an explosion of advertiser exploitation.  The promoter of any funded content whether distributed virally or otherwise over the internet will inevitably wish to track who is consuming its content and may wish to limit how such content is used or passed on.  Enter the concepts of Adware, Spyware and Digital Rights Management, all of which are frequently confused and have been subject to varying degrees of bad press and criticism. Nicola McCormick explains where the law stands on this: Adware, Spyware and DRM Adware and Spyware are terms often used interchangeably which describe software installed on an individual’s computer and used to send back varying kinds of information to a commercial entity’s server either for the purpose of sending targeted pop up advertisements, to report browsing habits or for more nefarious purposes.  Digital Rights Management (“DRM”) software limits the scope of use of downloaded content.  What these measures and controls have in common is that they require…