CAN UNOFFICIAL MERCHANDISE BE PREVENTED?
Live Events , Trade Mark / December 2002

TRADE MARK Merchandising, The Live Concert Industry Reed -v- Arsenal FC (2002) The curious case against ‘unofficial’ merchandiser Mr Reed BY Arsenal Football Club (AFC) carries on. The initial hearing in the High Court, London, before Mr Justice Laddie resulted in an unexpected win for Mr Reed. The Court held that because Mr Reed made it quite clear that his goods were unofficial, AFC could not rely on the law of passing of or their registered trade marks for ‘Arsenal’ ‘Gunners’ (AFC’s nickname) and two logos to prevent Mr Reed selling his goods near the club’s ground. The European Court of Justice overturned this decision holding that the unauthorised use of ‘badges of allegiance’ were protected by trade mark law. Mr Reed’s use of the signs created an impression of a link between the goods he sold and AFC and AFC as the proprietor [of a registered mark] is entitled to prevent unauthorised use of their marks. See www.lawreports.co.uk ECJ: Case C-206/01 But in an unexpected twist the High Court ‘overturned’ the ECJ’s decision allowing Mr Reed to continue selling his ‘Gunner’s’ merchandise. The UK decision has sent tremors through the world of band merchandising with fears that a properly registered trademark will not protect…

NEW ACTIONS IN CYBERSPACE

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Following on from the Recording Industry Association of America’s successful action against Napster (RIAA -v- Napster, Judge Marilyn Patel, July 2000) where a preliminary injunction was granted Effectively shutting Napster down, further cases have now reached the courts. In April 2001 Aimster applied to the US District Court requesting that it declare that its service was legal. A number of organisations including the RIAA reacted by filing lawsuits against Aimster alleging contributory and vicarious copyright infringements. The District Court agreed that Aimster had clear knowledge of the infringements taking place using its service and that Aimster materially contributed to these infringements, could supervise them if Aimster wanted and Aimster financially benefitted from the (infringements) on its service. A preliminary injunction was granted. A decision of the activities of KaZaA in the USA is expected soon. BUT in a Dutch decision, the activities of KaZaA were held NOT to infringe copyright in an action between KaZaA BV and the Dutch collection societies BUMA/STEMRA. The Court held that as KaZaA BV could not prevent the exchange of copyright material between its users the service itself was not unlawful although the acts carried out by some users were certainly…

NEW COUNTRIES SIGN UP TO INTERNATIONAL TREATIES PROTECTING INTELLECUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Artists and Composers The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has announced that the total number of contracting states for the Berne Convention (which sets out and defines minimum standards of protection for economic and moral rights for authors of literary and artistic works) is now 149 nations and that the total number of contracting states to the Geneva Convention (protecting phonographic copyrights) has reached 69. Email: Publicinf@wipo.int for further information.

Article: SAMPLING & NEW INDIE DANCE LABELS
Articles / September 2002

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) “Sampling and New Independent Dance Labels: The Importance of Understanding Copyright Law” by Jenna Bruce Music Industry Law Correspondent Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, UK September, 2002 This article considers whether those founding and operating new independent record labels specialising in ‘dance music’ genres have sufficient knowledge of legal issues relating to copyright law, and in particular, the sampling of music. With the rapid technological advances of recent times, the accompanying issue of how much is actually known about relevant copyright law has tended to be somewhat overlooked. Consequently, many dance music record companies have had to subsequently overcome legal difficulties relating to sampling. Samples can generate considerable income for the original copyright owners, and for those who ignore clearance procedures, the issue of brevity often affords no legal protection against infringement proceedings. (N.B.: The context of this article relates solely to UK Copyright Law and is based on interviews with a number of UK music industry professionals.)   Copyright in the UK Great Britain was the first country in the world to establish a formal copyright law (Statute of Anne, 1709). Generally speaking, copyright law serves the fundamental purpose of…