Freddie Gorilla ga ga gone
Artists , Copyright / August 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Artistes   A gorilla sculpture, painted to resemble the Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, has been removed after a complaint Queen’s manager Jim Beach on behalf of the Freddie Mercury estate. The organisers of Go Go Gorillas, a public art trail in Norwich, were told that the painted suit “worn” by the gorilla breached copyright. It asked for the Freddie “Radio Go Go” Gorilla sculpture, which Norfolk artist Mik Richardson took three days to create, to be removed from public view. Mr Richardson said the decision to order its removal was “absolutely shocking”. Mr Richardson was paid £800 to design and paint the gorilla and he explained “I’m a mural artist and I have to be very careful about copyright” adding “I didn’t copy the suit exactly. I alter enough so that it’s fan art, rather than a copy of it. The “Radio Go Go” gorilla is one of 53 life-size gorillas decorated by Norfolk artists and displayed on the streets of Norwich over the summer. An additional 67 baby gorillas, painted at local schools, made up the 120-strong public art trail. The Freddie Mercury gorilla sculpture will be repainted with a “new and exciting design” and should be back…

Copyright Hub launches consultation pilot
Copyright / August 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas   The UK’s new Copyright Hub (“Your gateway to information about copyright in the UK”) has launched a consultation pilot. The idea of a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) was first proposed by Ian Hargreaves in his 2011 Review of IP and Growth. In 2012 Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch completed a feasibility study on the DCE and chose the cooler term ‘Copyright Hub’ to indicate a not-for-profit, industry-led (but see here) system based in the UK that “links interoperably and scalably to the growing national and international network of private and public sector digital copyright exchanges, rights registries and other copyright-related databases”: Put it otherwise, the Copyright Hub is two things: A hub … 1)    A web portal connected to a network of organisations from the audio-visual, publishing, music and images sectors of the creative industries (which includes DCEs that do automated licensing); and 2)     A forum for collaboration between the different creative sectors and their organisations.   Above all, the Copyright Hub is intended to do three things: a.    Help people find out about copyright and find their way through the complexities of copyright; b.    Be a place where rights holders can, if they so choose,…

Thom says its time to pay: Spotify in the spotlight as acts complain of low royalty rates
Artists , Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2013
EU
Netherlands
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, artistes, record labels   One of the most important posts I have ever read about how the music industry might function in the future has been published on the CMU Daily website – I say ‘one’ – its actually two posts looking at the Spotify business model – and why its good for tech start ups and their record label partners – and very bad indeed for artists who are currently receiving a (usually) tiny share of revenues from their labels for digital uses – and in the case of two of the three majors, Sony and Universal, the very same labels who co-own Spotify Now Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich have taken to the net to formally express displeasure in the all-you-can-eat streaming business model. To prove their point they announced that their respective solo albums, and the long-player from their collaborative venture Atoms For Peace, had all been removed from Europe’s highest profile streaming service. Announcing what he dubbed as a “small meaningless rebellion”, producer Godrich said via a string of tweets: “We’re off of Spotify. Can’t do that no more man. Someone gotta say something. It’s bad for new music. The reason…

Ed Money and the Doobie Brothers settle digital royalty claims
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / August 2013
USA

CONTRACT Record labels, artists   Both American rocker Eddie Money and the Doobie Brothers have reached out of court settlements with their record labels, Sony Music and Warners respectively, regarding the payment of royalties on digital revenues. The cases were two of the many that US heritage artists have brought against all of the majors following the landmark ruling in the case between FBT Productions and Universal Music over whether download money should be treated as record sales or licensing income – artists usually get a much bigger cut of the latter than the former. Doobie Brothers frontman Michael McDonald used lawyer Richard Busch (King & Ballow), who won a landmark digital royalties decision in 2010 when he represented rapper Eminem’s producers FBT against Universal (F.B.T. Productions v. Aftermath Records).  Busch has led the charge in the songwriters and recording artists  assault against labels over royalty money and Busch has reportedly negotiated confidential settlements for such clients as Peter Frampton, Kenny Rogers and Roy Thomas Baker, who produced albums for Queen, The Cars and others. Busch filed a $5 million royalties suit in April for “Weird Al” Yankovic, which is still pending. Having commented on Spotify and digital royalties in…

With Love From Me To You? Rival Beatles tributes shows head to court.
Artists , Contract , Copyright / August 2013
UK
USA

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Theatre, artistes   The producers of Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles have filed a copyright infringement suit against Broadway’s Let It Be – another Beatles’ tribute show that started life in London. The creators of Rain, which played on Broadway from October 2010 to July 2011 filed the suit last month against Let It Be producers Jeff Parry and Annerin Productions (amongst others) and are asking for a 50-50 split of the revenue from Let It Be, and asks that the Rain Corporation is listed as a joint author of Let It Be. The suit claims that Let It Be pulls much of its material from Rain, including musical arrangements, songs used in the show, artwork, staging, costume styling and more. Now readers might think – hang on – the songs – by the Beatles – costumes – by the Beatles – arrangements – by the Beatles! However, both shows include performances of The Beatles’ songs and dialogue between the actors playing the iconic band members. Rain’s score has 31 of The Beatles’ greatest hits, such as Yesterday and Hey Jude, and 28 of these appear in Let It Be. The Rain creators claim that “the artwork used as backround during the performance of many of…

Nikita and Natasha – a story of unrequited love
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   A songwriter called Guy Hobbs has failed in his plagiarism claim against Elton John and his co writer Bernie Taupin, after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judge’s decision to dismiss his claim that Elton John had borrowed the lyrics for his 1985 hit “Nikita“. Hobbs had claimed Sir Elton’s song was copied from his song “Natasha” which Hobbs said he had submitted to Sir Elton’s publishing company prior to Sir Elton writing his hit. Hobbs claimed his song was based on his short romance with a Russian woman he met while working as a cruise ship photographer. The court helpfully fleshed out Hobb’s claim (who said the long delay in bringing the action was because he had never seen Taupin’s lyrics until 2001) and compared both songs noting that the alleged similarities extended to (1) A theme of impossible love between a Western man and a Communist woman during the Cold War; (2) References to events that never happened; (3) Descriptions of the beloved’s light eyes; (4) References to written correspondence to the beloved; (5) Repetition of the beloved’s name, the word “never,” the phrase “to hold you,” the phrase “I need …

Ferguson settles with Modest!
Artists , Contract / August 2013
UK

CONTRACT Artistes   Former X-factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson has settled her contractual dispute with Modest! Management. The 2010 ‘X’ runner had previously called the Modest! team “vile” and tweeted “Be nice to have a nice new responsible caring management team! Who care for me and my children’s wellbeing. See you in court!” Modest! sued Ferguson after she unilaterally terminated her contract with the company. In September 2012 the firm filed legal papers seeking damages and a cut of Ferguson’s future earnings to the end of the five year term of the singer’s original agreement with the company. And while disputes of this kind are usually settled out of court, for a time neither side seemed especially keen to budge. The parties have now “settled their outstanding legal disputes”.  Whilst confidential, Modest! noted that “Rebecca is a great artist and we wish her all the best for the future”, while Ferguson said: “I would like to thank Modest! for the contribution they have made to my career over the past years. They have done a great job”. http://www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/rebecca-ferguson-settles-with-modest/

Katy settles with GHD
Artists , Contract / August 2013
USA

CONTRACT Artistes, endorsement   TMZ reports that Katy Perry has settled her dispute with hair products giant GHD and has received “a significant amount of money”. The legal dispute began when GHD asked a court to confirm that a two year alliance was over.  Perry countersued, saying that the company had continued to use her image for promotional purposes after the original deal had ended, suggesting that the continuation of the $2 million deal.  Perry’s legal team also alleged that GHD wanted to delay the end of the deal because its parent company Jamella Group was in the process of being acquired with a spokesperson for Perry saying ‘They’re backing out of the deal because of an ownership change, and just throwing shade to hide their bad faith.’   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2357481/Katy-Perry-styling-tool-giant-ghd-2M-lawsuit.html  

Shakira’s ex denied access to “shared” bank account
General / August 2013
Switzerland

CONTRACT Artistes   A court in Geneva has ruled that Antonio de la Rua, the ex-boyfriend and former business partner of Shakira, must be denied to one of the singer’s bank accounts. De la Rua had claimed that he should have access to the account because it contained revenues from his former business partnership with the star. De la Rua, the son of former Argentine president Fernando de la Rua, sued Shakira last November, claiming that the singer had reneged on business commitments made after the couple’s romantic relationship ended. He argues that while Shakira initially said their professional relationship would continue after they split as a couple in 2010, last year she dropped his business services, cutting him out of the profits of deals he claims he negotiated, including a major contract with Live Nation. The Swiss court had ruled that de la Rua did not have sufficient evidence to prove what agreements the couple reached regards Shakira’s business affairs in 2010 and de la Rua conceded that the agreement had not been written down. The bank account in the current action was in Shakira’s sole name. De la Rua’s $100 million law suit against his ex is being…

Wylie faces legal action after festival fiasco
Artists , Contract , Live Events / August 2013
UK

CONTRACT Live events sector, artistes   Wiley has called the audience at the CockRock Festival in Cockermouth, Cumbria “pagans” after he was booed off stage just 15 minutes into his set. The grime MC had been tweeting all day with negative comments about the Festival and was met with jeers from the audience, before he told the crowd “This is the truth, if one more can comes flying I’m coming off stage. You cannot throw cans at me because of a situation that I had with my agent … you can’t be angry at me.” The audience jeered and laughed at the rapper before he left the stage. Wiley (real name Richard Kylea Cowie) had shared his dismay while en route to the event saying “Just the name makes me not wanna go,” he wrote, before adding: “My agent knows that there are cool places to play and other places are just not worth the hassle.” As well as slamming the festival’s name, Wiley said he was unhappy with his agent for making him play a farm in Cumbria tweeting to agent Billy Wood: “Billy please stop sending me to farms to perform please mate. I am a yardie man.” Following his…

Gaga asks for gag
Artists / August 2013
USA

CONFIDENCE Artistes   Lady Gaga has asked the US courts to seal aspects of a legal squabble between two of her former collaborators, to prevent information contained in papers relating to the case being made public. The legal battle is between Rob Fusari, the producer involved in creating the star’s early recordings and  who claims he is responsible for conceiving the Gaga persona, and Wendy Starland, who says that it was she who first introduced Fusari to a young Gaga, then still performing under her real name Stefani Germanotta, and that she is therefore due a cut of the money for actually discovering the future star. Gaga herself is not party to the Fusari/Starland dispute, but the singer says that some information in papers relating to the dispute is “sensitive, private and personal” and would “inflict significant personal and professional harm upon” her if it was made public. Gaga says that she has a non-disclosure agreement with Fusari that provides grounds to have the courts seal elements of his legal battle with Starland. Whether the courts concur on that point remains to be seen. If not, you can be sure the press will scrutinise any published papers relating to Starland…

Pussy Riot pair lodge appeal at Russia’s Supreme Court
Criminal Law / August 2013
Russia

CRIMINAL LAW Artistes   Lawyers for the two members of Pussy Riot jailed for their involvement in a protest performance in a Russian cathedral are set to take the case to Russia’s Supreme Court. Originally three members of the Russian punk outfit were jailed last August for taking part in the performance of a protest song in a Moscow church. One of the jailed women, Yekaterina Samustsev, was given a suspended sentence on appeal and freed, but Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova remained incarcerated after the appeal hearing in Gulags. More recently both were denied parole. Lawyers hope to argue in the Russian Supreme Court that the ruling that members of Pussy Riot were guilty of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’ was in fact illegal, and the convictions should be reversed.   http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1569241/pussy-riot-members-to-appeal-conviction-to-russias-supreme-court

Article: Art vs Personality right: German rapper Bushido causing “stress for no reason”?
Artists , Censorship / August 2013
Germany

CENSORSHIP / PERSONALITY Artistes By Birgit Clark From Germany comes the news that Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit has filed legal action against a new song by German rapper Bushido: “Stress ohne Grund” (“Stress for no Reason”).  The news has prompted German media to excitedly discuss the legal conflict between one person’s personality right and another person’s right of free expression and/or freedom of art.  Today, the debate heated up further after the German authorities for the protection of youth have ruled that Bushido’s song (together with the album that contains it) is to be banned for minors. In his latest offering enfant terrible Bushido is rapping about “coming to a party and causing stress for no reason.”  However, the song also includes lyrics that are directly aimed at public figures and which can very easily, indeed only, be interpreted as a call for violence.  About Claudia Roth, the head of the German Green Part, Bushido raps: “I’ll shoot at Claudia Roth and she willl be full of holes like a golf course”.  About Mr Wowereit, who is openly gay, he includes rather crude, homophobic comments relating to his sexualty.  Mr Wowereit, who is known to be tolerant, clearly did not…

EPIC calls foul over Jay-Z download
Artists , Internet , Privacy / August 2013
USA

PRIVACY Artistes, internet, technology   The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC for short) has called on the US government’s Federal Trade Commission to investigate the app through which Jay-Z made his new album, ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, available to over one million Samsung mobile phone users ahead of its official release with EPIC saying “Samsung failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the ‘Magna Carta’ app, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimisation procedures”. Responding to this, Samsung said in a statement: “Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process”. Despite the give away, Jay-Z still managed to sell 527,000 copies of the new record in the US during its first week on sale – the second biggest one-week sales of the year in the American market – sending it straight…

Stone Temple Pilots take on former frontman Weliand over band’s name and future – and Weiland countersues
Artists , Contract / July 2013
USA

CONTRACT Artists   Stone Temple Pilots have commenced legal proceedings in their dispute with the band’s former frontman Scott Weiland: The lawsuit apparently attempts to stop the singer from using the band’s name or performing their songs, many of which he co-wrote. Weiland was formally fired from Stone Temple Pilots by his bandmates in February. The new lawsuit claims that the Weiland-fronted version of the band, which regrouped in 2008, imploded because he became impossible to work with, was frequently late for shows in 2012, often performed poorly due to drug consumption, and eventually would only communicate with his bandmates via his lawyers or manager. The band have now released a new track with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington on vocals. In a post on his website last week, Weiland said he hadn’t known that Bennington would be performing with his former band, adding: “To tell you the truth, it took me by surprise. And it hurt. But the band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that”. Insisting again that his bandmates didn’t have the power to ‘fire’ him back in February, Weiland’s statement continued: “First of all…

Vision sues Mary J Blige for return of deposit for cancelled show
Contract , Live Events / July 2013
USA

CONTRACT Live events sector   LA-based Vision Entertainment Worldwide is suing Mary J Blige in a bid to get back a deposit it says it paid the singer for a show in late 2012 that she cancelled at the last minute. Vision’s lawsuit says that Blige had been booked to perform in Dallas, Texas in December 2012, but pulled out with just days to spare, alleging that the cancellation was caused when a last minute opportunity came up for the singer to perform at one of the Rolling Stones’ big shows in New York on the day before the scheduled Dallas show. CMU Daily reports that Vision says it paid Blige a $145,000 deposit which is yet to be returned. The lawsuit seeks repayment of the advance and damages.

Former Gogo’s bassist sues ex bandmates
Artists , Contract / July 2013
USA

CONTRACT Artistes   The former Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine is suing her ex-bandmates, alleging that they are attempting to cheat her out of her share of the money generated by the band’s brand and trademark. The new wave group, initially active from 1978 to 1985, but who have toured regularly since 1999, announced they were parting ways with Valentine in March, and that she would therefore not appear on their 2013 tour. Valentine played with the Go-Go’s for more than 30 years, contributing to hits including “Head Over Heels” and “The Whole World Lost its Head.” The band announced in March it had parted ways with her due to “irreconcilable differences.” In her litigation, Valentine says that all of the group’s business affairs have traditionally been managed via two business entities – Ladyhead LLC and Smith-Pocket Industries, Inc – in which all five members have an equal stake. More recently, says the lawsuit,  the other four members of the Go-Gos –  Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey and Gina Schock – have set up a third entity, in which Valentine has no stake. Controlling 80% of Ladyhead LLC, the other four members have then licensed the rights to exploit the…

Former Jackson family lawyer sues Sony Music
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / July 2013
USA

CONTRACT Record labels, artists   Sony Music is facing a legal action from a former co-manager of the Jackson brothers and an attorney for the Jackson Family. Richard Arons claims that Epic Records, now part of the major label, has failed to pay him the royalties he is due on Jackson’s early recordings when he was co-manager of the Jackson family’s business affairs. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Arons says that he became attorney to the Jackson family way back in 1969, and three years later became co-manager for the Jackson brothers alongside their father Joe. It was during this time that The Jackson Five left Motown and signed with Epic Records. Arons says that as co-manager of the Jacksons, he took 7.5% of all the brothers’ income, half of the 15% management fee. The management partnership with Joe Jackson ultimately broke down, but in a 1981 settlement it was agreed that he would continue to receive a 7.5% cut (but only of the Jackson brothers’ sound recording revenue) on sound recording output of the Jackson brothers from the early 1970s up to Michael Jackson’s first two solo albums, ‘Off The Wall’ and ‘Thriller’. A brief dispute with Michael himself…

Sony face fair use defence over alleged samples
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   Sony Music has been told that it can take a copyright claim it made on an independent music label and “forget about it”. Sony sent the independent label Gummy Soul a copyright claim over the Bizarre Tribe album, a mashup of hip hoppers The Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest sample sources. The new recordings were made by Amerigo Gazaway whose label responded to Sony by “thanking Sony for its interest”. However, it says that it is unwarranted, and that the larger label has no real claim in the content saying “Thanks for reaching out. The fact that our small independent label warranted the resources of your legal team speaks to our work ethic and we appreciate the validation. In response to your copyright infringement claim over Gummy Soul’s Bizarre Tribe; A Quest To The Pharcyde by Amerigo Gazaway, understand the vast majority of the samples used to create Bizarre Tribe were not taken from the catalog of A Tribe Called Quest (“ATCQ”),” The letter goes on to say: “What your diligence failed to uncover is that Gummy Soul is not in the business of merging one artist’s instrumentals with vocals of another. Had one of…

Early Axl Rose tracks pulled from YouTube
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / July 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, artistes   A 1983 demo by Axl Rose’s’ pre-Guns N’ Roses band Rapidfire that turned up online last week has been pulled from the web, due to a copyright claim filed by Axl’s lawyer. The snippet of the demo of the band’s recording on “Ready to Rumble” was posted on YouTube but is no longer playable. Instead it has a note that says, “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Mark Music & Media Law, P.C.” “Whenever there’s unauthorized Axl Rose or Guns N’ Roses audio, video or merchandise, we take aggressive efforts to have it removed from the marketplace,” Doug Mark of Mark Music & Media Law told Yahoo! Music. Prior to the filing of the copyright claim and take down, the folks behind the release of the Rapidfiredemo were still hinting that that there could be an official release of the five demo tracks. “Over 72,000 hits! Keep ’em coming so we know there is enough interest to release!,” they posted on the Rapidfire 1983 Facebook page.   http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/axl-rose-pre-guns-n-roses-demo-pulled-204303367.html

Pandora – BMI spat goes legal
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, Internet   Pandora, the US based digital innovator which has spearheaded the development of online radio services stateside and led the ‘interactive radio’ side of the expanding streaming music market, has bought a good old fashioned FM radio station in South Dakota. The acquisition of KXMZ-FM in Rapid City gives Pandora a seat at the table of the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) and seemingly would enable it to reduce the royalties it pays to the American music publishers via the music collecting societies, in particular ASCAP, in an escalating row over the ‘favourable’ treatment given to the major US terrestrial broadcasters such as Clear Channel. And in the wake of this news, and as expected, the other main US music collection society, BMI, has launched legal action against Pandora, asking for a ruling on the rates the streaming music service should reasonably be expected to pay on a blanket license for songs represented by the American royalty collection agency. Pandora has been pushing for a while to reduce its royalty payments to both the record companies and the music publishers, in the former case by lobbying in Washington to reform the statutory licensing system through which…

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA to collaborate on new venture
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2013
Germany
Sweden
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   PRS for Music (UK), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany) have announced a major collaboration that the three music collection societies say will simplify both national and pan-European music rights licensing and processing. As part of the initiative, GEMA will become a shareholder and customer in International Copyright Enterprise AB (ICE), the company founded by PRS for Music and STIM in 2007.  ICE will extend its current copyright repertoire management services to include the processing of transactional licences to Digital Music Services, both for its shareholder societies and for other society customers. In due course ICE will also create a state of the art audio visual database for film and television music processing. PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA will in parallel establish a licensing hub that will combine the national repertoires of all three collecting societies as well as providing licensing services to other holders of multi-territorial European online rights, both publishers and societies. The combined repertoire available to license through the new hub will be amongst the largest of its kind in Europe, providing access to millions of works for download, subscription and streaming services. Slated for delivery in 2014, the proposed joint venture will use the copyright and…

Justin Bieber – talk about my parties and I’ll sue you for $5 million
Artists , Privacy / July 2013
USA

PRIVACY Artists   “Here’s the good news … Justin Bieber wants to invite you to one of his house parties.  The bad news … if you talk about it, he’s gonna sue your ass for $5 million.” TMZ has obtained a copy of a document EVERYONE must sign before entering Bieber’s $6.5 million home in Calabasas, CA.  The document, a Liability Waiver and Release, warns that anyone who reveals about any of the “goings on”  inside the mansion will face legal action, and this extends to the “physical health, or the philosophical, spiritual or other views or characteristics” of Bieber or other guests.  Since more recently the Bieber does most of his idiotic stunts in public (to the annoyance of many including his long suffering fans and neighbours), one wonders what on earth DOES go on. Apart from an ongoing spat with neighbours about Beibers alleged habit of racing his cars around their private community, Photographer Jeffrey Binion has also reported Team Bieber to the police last week after a run in with the pop teen’s security in Miami on the 5th of June. Police have reportedly launched an investigation Binion was trying to take photos of the singer when, he claims,…

Buskers hope for law revisions in Atlanta
Licensing , Live Events / July 2013
USA

LICENSING Live events sector   Atlanta’s strict laws to prevent begging are under review after the politician who crafted the law said it’s clear that law must be changed after.two street musicians were arrested for busking in Atlanta. They landed in jail for panhandling.  Eryk McDaniel was arrested on May 31 while playing his trombone outside of Turner Field  – police took McDaniel’s  trombone and cuffed him. McDaniel said his attorney told him he’s allowed to play on the city’s streets because there’s an exception in the law for musicians, but he’s not allowed to ask for money. McDaniel denies asking for donations, but  the police view is that an open case  was sufficient to justify the arrest. Violinist Johnny Arco, whose real name is Juan Pablo Chavez, was arrested May 9th and charged whilst he was playing in a MARTA station. An official from MARTA said Arco was arrested for breaking state law, which states a person cannot sell anything or panhandle at a transit station. Arco spent an extraordinary five days in jail. Atlanta City Council’s public safety committee chairman, Michael Julian Bond, is now crafting an amendment to the current law to specifically allow street musicians to…

England and Wales move to de-regulate some licensing – and others look to clamp down on lap dancing
Licensing , Live Events / July 2013
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   The Licensing Act 2003 (Description of Entertainment)(Amendment) Order came into force of the 27rth June, effectively removing (a) theatre and dance events of up to 500 people and (b) indoors sports events for up to 1,000 people held between 08.00 and 23.00 from licensing law and reducing the list of regulated entertainment ion England and Wales. Further, mixed martial arts will become licensable as boxing or wrestling entertainment as opposed to being an indoor sport.  The Order does not reference proposed changes to live music or recorded music and a further consultation is still expected in respect of proposals to partially deregulate community film exhibitions http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111538609 And the Morning Advertiser reports that a ground-breaking case that is believed to cost Westminster City Council £2m could limit the scope of fees which licensing authorities will be able to charge under the Licensing Act 2003. Since 2009 local authorities have been prevented from charging anything other than the real cost of licences. In the case, a group of sex shops owners brought the action – one had been charged £29,102 for its annual licence from Westminster. More at http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/Westminster-council-legal-judgment-could-limit-scope-of-licensing-fees In Malta, the Government is re-focussing on regulating…

Live Nation charged over fatal stage collapse
Canada

HEALTH AND SAFETY Live events sector   CMU Daily reported that the Ministry Of Labour in Ontario is pursuing charges against three companies and one individual in relation to the stage collapse that occurred ahead of a Radiohead show in Toronto last June which resulted in the tragic death of Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson. Mr Johnson was killed after a scaffolding structure collapsed onto the open-air stage before any audience members had been admitted. The show was promoted by Live Nation, and the company and its Ontario subsidiary both face four charges under the Canadian province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Optex Staging & Services Inc has also been charged over four alleged breaches of health and safety laws, while engineer Dominic Cugliari faces one charge. Live Nation has already denied the charges, telling Billboard: “We wholeheartedly disagree with the charges brought against us by the Ministry Of Labour. We absolutely maintain that Live Nation and our employees did everything possible to ensure the safety of anyone who was on or near the stage involved in the tragic incident that led to the unfortunate death of Mr Scott Johnson” adding “We will vigorously defend ourselves and we are confident…

Unpaid intern brings class action against Warners
USA

EMPLOYMENT Record labels   A former intern of Warner Music’s Atlantic subsidiary in the US is suing for unpaid wages as part of a class action which could extend to others in the same circumstances Justin Henry says he worked at the label for no wage between October 2007 and May 2008 in violation of New York labor laws. He also suggests that the practice of not paying interns had not always been company policy at Atlantic, and only began in June 2007. The lawsuit claims minimum wage for all hours worked, plus overtime, interest, unspecified damages and costs. Henry states that in his role tasks included answering telephones, photocopying and collecting lunch for permanent staff, which Henry and his lawyers argue this must constitute employment under New York law and doesn’t fit the regulations for classifying staff as unpaid interns. The lawsuit estimates that over 100 others could be due back pay under the class action and is calling for more former interns to come forward. http://www.americanlawyer.com/digestTAL.jsp?id=1202607028814&Intern_Litigation_Spreads_with_Warner_Music_Class_Action&slreturn=20130519070520

Toots brings case against alleged bottler
Criminal Law , Live Events / July 2013
USA

CRIMINAL LAW Live events sector   Toots And The Maytals have had to cancel all their planned festival appearances this summer after Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert was injured when he was hit by a “large vodka bottle” at America’s RiverRock Festival in mid-May. He was struck in the head and is still receiving treatment and tests. The band  have said they are preparing a $21 million legal case against the assailant, one William Connor Lewis, who will also face trial on a felony assault charge on 1 July. Toots attorney Michael R Shaprio said: “Toots and his management team share with me the view that we should only sue those who we know to have responsibility for this vicious attack. At this moment in time, the bottle thrower, Mr Lewis unquestionably falls in that category and thus the $21 million civil action against him”. http://www.nme.com/news/various-artists/70934

Gottfrid Svartholm jailed on hacking charges
Criminal Law , Internet / July 2013
Sweden

CRIMINAL LAW Internet   Gottfrid Svartholm , The Pirate Bay co-founder charged in Sweden earlier this year over various alleged hacking offences was last week sentenced to two years in jail. Svartholm fled to Cambodia when originally sentenced on copyright infringement charges alongside the  three other co-founders,  for their role in creating and running the controversial file-sharing website.  Last year he was extradited back to his home country after various hacking allegations were made against him. He was jailed, seemingly serving his Pirate Bay sentence while awaiting a court session to hear the hacking charges which centred on alleged attacks on the servers of the Nordea banking group and services firm Logica, during which the personal data of about some thousand Swedish citizens was taken and subsequently published online.  CMU Daily reported that Svartholm and his co-defendant Mathias Gustafsson claimed that while their computers had been used in the hack attacks, the hacking had been done by other parties. But experts testifying for the prosecution claimed data found on the PCs in question suggested the defendants had done the hacking, and neither men could, or were willing to, name who the alleged third party hackers might have been. Svartholm was…

Tenenbaum damages upheld on appeal
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / July 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The First Circuit Court Of Appeals has rejected the appeal by file sharer Joel Tenenbaum and has upheld the original damages awarded to the Recording Industry  Association of America (RIAA) against the post graduate students of $675,000, rejecting the argument that being ordered to pay $22,500 in damages for each of the 31 songs that were illegally uploaded was excessive. The US Supreme Court had refused to consider the case. The court said: “Tenenbaum carried on his activities for years in spite of numerous warnings, he made thousands of songs available illegally, and he denied responsibility during discovery. Much of this behaviour was exactly what Congress was trying to deter when it amended the Copyright Act”. http://dailyfreepress.com/2013/06/26/tenenbaum-appeal-rejected-at-u-s-court-of-appeals/

Curb v McGraw – and this time it’s federal
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / June 2013
USA

CONTRACT Artists, record labels   Having lost its contract claim against country artist Tim McGraw at both first instance and on appeal in Tennessee, US label Curb Records is going federal in its ongoing legal dispute. The near two decades long relationship between McGraw and Curb ended in legal action in May 2011, with both sides suing the other. At the centre of the litigation was whether McGraw’s album ‘Emotional Traffic’ fulfilled his contractual commitments to the label regards new recordings, whether he was due an advance on it, and whether he was now out of contract with the record company. It was complicated, but ultimately the State courts sided with McGraw. With McGraw’s ‘Two Lanes Of Freedom’ now out (with the court’s permission) Curb Records has launched litigation in the federal courts, accusing McGraw and his new label Big Machine of breach of contract and copyright infringement.  The new lawsuit seeks ownership of the master recordings, compensation and an injunction stopping McGraw from recording until the ongoing dispute is resolved.   http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tim-mcgraw-sued-by-label-449200

Alice in Chains face royalties claim from late lead singer’s Mother
Artists , Contract / June 2013
USA

CONTRACT Artistes   CMU Daily have reported that Alice In Chains are being sued by the mother of their late frontman, Layne Stayley. Nancy McCallum claims that the surviving members of the band are withholding money she is due on revenues earned outside of Stayley’s songwriting royalties. The report says that McCallum has filed a lawsuit saying that the band are now also trying to cut her out of future payments. She says that she was contacted by the band’s lawyer last September and informed that a revenue sharing agreement that had been in place since her son’s death was being dissolved. But lawyers for the band counter that she has already been paid more than was ever due – an accountant apparently working out that Stayley’s share of revenues stands at $341,000, while she has so far received $705,000. They also added that she has attempted to trademark the Alice In Chains name. Stayley’s estate, the band’s lawyers say, will continue to receive royalties from songs which he wrote.   http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=807484&affid=100055

SABAM launch pre-emptive strike against ISPs
Belgium

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, internet   SABAM, the Belgian collection society for authors, composers and music publishers, has launched a legal action against the country’s three biggest ISPs, arguing that they should be paying copyright levies for offering access to their members’ copyrights. No stranger to the courts, SABAM wants the court to rule that Internet access providers Belgacom, Telenet and Voo should pay 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees for the use of music, because they make substantial profits from offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials – legally and illegally – whilst hiding behind their status as intermediary “without taking responsibility for the information transmitted over their networks” In a press release, SABAM noted that since 2000, revenues generated from music featured in the physical media (primarily CD sales) have declined by 54 percent, adding that this “huge loss” has not been compensated by collections from online services like iTunes, YouTube and Spotify. SABAM have been asking for voluntary levies from ISPs since November 2011 and have now launched their claim in the  Brussels Court of First Instance.   http://www.pcworld.com/article/2036961/belgian-isps-sued-for-providing-internet-access-without-paying-copyright-levies.html

There was always something there to remind me — but was it protectable?
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, record labels, artistes   The Metro carried an interview with Sandie Shaw, a 1960s pop star who has reinvented herself many times over the years as, among other things, a psychotherapist and a litigant. As her Wikipedia entry states: “Shaw also embarked on a successful legal battle to establish ownership of her entire recording catalogue and began working with contemporary acts and producers, reworking much of her 1960s and 1980s material. In 2003, Shaw licensed her recording catalogue worldwide to EMI, continued to develop her Arts Clinic, and began executive coaching and mentoring”. The Metro article alludes to this, as the following exchange shows: “[Andrew Williams]: Did you have problems with legal aspects of your career?  Yeah but I’ve always fought them and I’ve always won. I’d never take on anything I didn’t think I could win. I’m focused and never give up and if I don’t get what I want immediately I’ll stick at it and win in 15 years. There’s no reason for musicians to get ripped off any more. Artists now have an advantage because the middlemen have been cut out with the advent of digitisation”. From this it sounds as though Ms Shaw, now 66, has a fairly…

Universal counter artist digital royalty demands with confidentiality claim
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Artists, record labels   The issue of commercial confidentiality has been raised  in the ongoing legal battle between Universal Music and a consortium of its legacy artists in America over what digital royalties the major should be paying its acts, as the plaintiff artists try to gather information together to help justify their litigation being a class action. The mega-major continues to fight moves to give the case class action status (in addition to its efforts to have the entire claim dismissed). The main action, led by Rob Zombie and the estate of Rick James.  Are seeking to make their case a class action, which would mean that any artist signed to Universal  with a standard record contract would be able to claim higher digital royalties if the Zombie/James lawsuit was successful. Universal  treat income from downloads as “sales” instead of “licenses” allowing for substantially lower payments to be made to artists. The plaintiffs want access to digital accounts from Universal, outlining what kind of revenue different artists are receiving, both in terms of percentages and quantum of payments.  Understanding that such terms and data will be confidential,  the Zombie/James legal team say that only the plaintiff’s…

Berlin and London will be home to the Global Repertoire Database
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2013
Germany
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing   The Global Repertoire Database (GRD) – the project that aims to catalogue the world’s music – has announced that it will set up its global headquarters in London and will base its operations centre in Berlin. The London office, housing corporate functions and business development capabilities is scheduled to open later in 2013, and will work alongside the current London-based project team in the first instance. The Berlin operations centre will provide registrations and data processing facilities, and may provide a template for further operations centres to support the global operation as it grows. When completed, the main aim will be to create a new and more effective global infrastructure for music rights management, leading to an improved path to music licensing for digital and other music services, and to efficiency benefits for the whole music ecosystem saving extensive costs currently lost to duplication in data processing. Alfons Karabuda, President of ECSA, the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, said, ‘We are happy to have a home for the Global Repertoire Database. These two great cities of Berlin and London with their proud heritage and strong support for authors’ rights and for copyright will serve our needs…

Samsung accused of Betaband video rip off
Artists , Copyright / June 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Artists, video production   Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason has accused Samsung of stealing the concept of a new advert for the company’s Smart TV range from the video for the band’s 2004 single, ‘Assessment’. Samsung’s ‘Charge’ advert for the F8000 model TV was directed by Romain Gravas, best known for his videos for MIA’s ‘Born Free’ and ‘Bad Girls’, as well as Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘No Church In The Wild’ and The Last Shadow Puppets’ ‘Age Of The Understatement’. He has also directed adverts for Adidas. I think he had more money …… The Beta Band’s video shows soldiers from different times and cultures, including Roman centurions and ancient Chinese warriors, relaying down a beach with an unidentified object, at one point with army helicopters hovering above. Samsung’s advert meanwhile shows a variety of people, including centurions and cheerleaders, as well as police cars, chasing down a beach, and also includes a shot in which army helicopters hover above. Mason told CMU Daily “This is OUTRAGEOUS plagiarism being passed off as original work. But what can you do? It’s happened to The Beta Band before and to many other artists. A huge company or huge artist…

Bieber and Usher face copying claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Justin Bieber and Usher are facing a claim that they “clearly copied” their song “Somebody to Love“. Devin Copeland, professionally known as De Rico, and his song-writing collaborator, Mareio Overton, say Copeland first recorded the song on his album “My Story II” in 2008 saying that a year earlier, a promoter had introduced them to scouts of (nonparty) Sangreel Media, who presented their copyrighted music to R&B singer Usher Raymond IV and to Jonetta Patton, Usher’s mother and on-off manager. The $10 million action has been brought in the Virginia Federal Court and alleges that “Sangreel never returned any of its copies of Copeland’s “My Story II,” and plaintiffs heard nothing further from Patton or any other representative of Usher,” but that Patton and Usher then conspired with four songwriters — Ray Romulus, Jonathan Yip and Jeremy Reeves, collectively known as the Stereotypes, and Heather Bright — to “directly copy” Copeland and Overton’s song “Somebody to Love” and pass it off as their own. Their complaint lists more than a dozen “points of congruence” between the two works, including the same underlying beat pattern and “nearly identical opening lyrics.” The list of defendants is impressive and…

Eminem’s publishers take on Facebook
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Eminem’s song publisher Eight Mile Style have accused Facebook and it’s ad agency Wieden+Kennedy tof copyright infringement, saying that a short Facebook advert copied music from Eminem’s 2000 song Under the Influence. The advertisement, broadcast during a launch event for the feature called ‘Airplane’, was distributed and streamed all over the world. Fans of the rapper noticed the similarities between the music in the Facebook “Home“ advert and ‘Under The Influence’, and the legal team for Eight Mile Style quickly sent Wieden+Kennedy a cease and desist letter. The plaintiffs allege that the music contained in the Airplane advertisement infringes the worldwide copyright in the Eminem/D12 composition as the music is substantially similar.” Eight Mile Style said that th believed W+K used the music to ingratiate themselves with Facebook boss Matk Zuckerberg, an apparent fan of Eminem (something suggested by a teenage webpage created by the Facebook boss that re-emerged online last month), saying “W+K incorporated said music into the Airplane advertisement in an effort to curry favour with Facebook by catering to Zuckerberg’s personal likes and interest, and/or to invoke the same irreverent theme as the Eminem/D12 composition.” The publisher claims that W+K changed the music…

Class action against YouTube fails
Copyright , Internet / June 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   A U.S. federal court has denied class-action status to copyright owners suing Google Inc. over the usage of material posted on YouTube. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a motion to approve a worldwide class of copyright owners in a long-running lawsuit over videos and music uploaded on the popular website. In denying class certification Judge Stanton said that that copyright claims have only superficial similarities ruling. “The suggestion that a class action of these dimensions can be managed with judicial resourcefulness is flattering, but unrealistic” The proposed class action lawsuit was filed in 2007 and included as named plaintiffs the English Premier League, the French Tennis Federation, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and individual music publishers. The NMPA settled with Google in 2011. In April this year Judge Stanton had dismissed the 2007  copyright infringement complaint by Viacom International and others against YouTube over the Google company’s alleged unauthorized hosting on YouTube of clips uploaded by users from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “”South Park” stating that YouTube was protected under the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium…

RIAA calls for DCMA ‘safe harbor’ and takedown review
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / June 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet   Back in November 2011 the 1709 blog mentioned that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wanted “DCMA clarity” from Congress  – and now the recording industry’s trade organization has urged Congress to overhaul the safe harbor provision of copyright law that shield websites from infringement actions provided they remove infringing material after being notified, saying the law is too burdensome for copyright holders. Congress is planning a comprehensive review of copyright law in the digital era, and RIAA Executive Vice President for Anti-Piracy Brad Buckles said in a post on the organization’s website that “the balance is off” in the current system and  “it’s time to rethink the notice and takedown provisions of the DMCA” , going   on to outline the various ways that the DMCA isn’t working. In The blog, titled “One Year, 20 Million Links To Illegal Songs Sent To Google: This Is How It’s Supposed To Work?” Buckles says “We are using a bucket to deal with an ocean of illegal downloading” in a post to mark the 20 millionth takedown notice the trade body has issued against Google, requesting that it remove from its search engine a link to unlicensed…

EC approve UMG and Sony divestments
EU
UK

COMPETITION Record labels, music publishers   The European Commission has granted approval for the sale of the Parlophone Label Group to Warner Music. When it acquired EMI last year, Universal Music was forced by competition regulators to sell the Parlophone Label Group – which includes the UK-based Parlophone frontline label and catalogue, some more British EMI archive, and EMI operations in various other European markets – and it was announced that Warner would buy it in February in a £478 million deal.  Beggars boss Martin Mills told Music Week: “This is good news for the market, and goes some way towards mitigating the concerns raised by Universal’s EMI acquisition, which we are already seeing become reality. As the clearance says, the strengthening of both Warners and the independents, as a consequence of Warner’s agreement with IMPALA and Merlin, should go some way to counter the power of Universal – and the existing duopoly of Universal and Sony – to unilaterally determine the shape of the marketplace. The consequent strengthening of the independent sector as a whole should be especially welcomed”. And BMG’s acquisition of the EMI publishing catalogues Sony/ATV was forced to sell has also been approved by European regulators….

Final Competition Commission report into Global/GMG published
Competition / June 2013
UK

COMPETITION Broadcasting   The Competition Commission (CC) has decided that Global Radio Holdings Limited (Global) must sell radio stations in seven areas of the UK following its completed acquisition of Real and Smooth Limited (formerly GMG Radio Holdings Limited). In its final report, the CC has concluded that the merger is likely to lead to higher prices for advertising in seven areas of the UK. The CC has found that in areas where Global and Real & Smooth stations currently overlap and compete, advertisers buying airtime on a campaign-by-campaign basis, directly or through smaller agencies (non-contracted advertising) could face higher costs for both airtime and sponsorship and promotion activity. Global had asserted that higher costs would not result from the merger. The stations Global will be required to sell are as follows: East Midlands:   Smooth OR Capital Cardiff and South Wales:   Real OR Capital North Wales:   Real OR Heart Greater Manchester and the North-West:   Capital OR Real XS with either Real or Smooth North-East:   Real OR Smooth OR Capital South and West Yorkshire:   Real OR Capital Central Scotland:   Real OR Capital The CC found that advertisers would not be adversely affected in London and the West Midlands. The CC has also…

Digital re-seller loses round one
Copyright , Internet / May 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   In a case brought by Capitol Records against digital re-seller ReDigi, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan has ruled that the  ‘first sale’ doctrine does not apply to digital goods, in a decision which might also come as a blow to comes to other online retailers such as Amazon and Apple who have been developing platforms to re-sell used digital goods such as books, music, videos and apps. Judge Sullivan said “The novel question presented in this action is whether a digital music file, lawfully made and purchased, may be resold by its owner through ReDigi under the first sale doctrine. The court determines that it cannot”.  The reason, the judge ruled, is because copying, or an illegal “reproduction” of a music file, must take place, despite ReDigi’s claims to the contrary. Judge Sullivan added “Because the reproduction right is necessarily implicated when a copyrighted work is embodied in a new material object, and because digital music files must be embodied in a new material object following their transfer over the internet, the court determines that the embodiment of a digital music file on a new hard disk is a reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act….

Muse ‘concept copy’ claim thrown out
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   A New York judge has thrown out a lawsuit that targeted Warner Music over the 2009 Muse album ‘The Resistance’ in a case brought by American songwriter Charles Bollfrass who claimed that the last three tracks on that album, a trilogy under the title of ‘Exogenesis’, were copied from a concept he had devised in 2005 for a rock opera of the same name. Bollfrass had said he had contacted Muse but the band called the claims “complete nonsense”, and denied having previous knowledge of Bollfrass or his 2005 project. The court ruled that the ‘plot’ was too abstract to constitute any sort of infringement of the songwriter’s rock opera screenplay, even if the band had been previously exposed to the claimant’s work. http://www.the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/more-of-same-plot-thickens_1.html

PRS 2012 collections up overall, but live music slips
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, live events, internet   UK collection society PRS for Music have announced a record £641.8m collected for songwriter, composer and music publisher members in 2012, equating to a 1.7% rise on 2011. A focus on efficiency resulted in a £3.6m reduction in overall costs, equivalent to 4.6%, meaning a total of £571.9m was paid to members (up 2.6% on 2011). Royalties from online and digital services topped £51m for the first time, up 32.2% on 2011. Royalties from online services now provide a larger income stream for music creators than radio, live or the pub sector, but perhaps unsurprisingly, royalties collected from live music fell by 14.2% to £19.3m as fewer live events occurred in 2012. Collections from CD sales were also down, but overall PRS’s ‘recorded media’ income was slightly up. International revenue, which has seen considerable growth in the last decade, was down 4% in 2012, a result, in part, of exchange rate losses. However, this income stream is still the biggest single revenue generator for PRS members, bringing in £180.1 million. http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1555902/prs-for-music-uk-collection-society-reports-17-rise-in 2011 figures here: http://www.prsformusic.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PressPacks/March%202012%20-%20Financial%20results%20briefing%20paper.pdf

IFPI report confirms modest growth in recorded music revenues
Brazil
EU
India
Mexico
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has published its annual Recording Industry In Numbers report for 2013. The global recorded music industry saw its revenues increase very slightly by 0.2% in 2012, the first increase since 1999. Growth in digital revenues, including those from the rapidly expanding subscription and streaming service domain, coupled with boosted income from a number of emerging markets, combined to help compensate for the continued decline in physical product sales. Digital now accounts for 35% of the wider record industry’s global trade revenues, and of this paid for downloads account for around 80% – although in Europe subscription and streaming are now bringing in a third of digital income. Digital generated $5.6 billion in 2012, up 8% on 2011. Physical products bring in 57% of the money worldwide and CD sales topped $9.4 billion with 833 million CDs sold, down from 910 million in 2011 and 2.4 billion sold in 2000.The remaining income is from other licensing-based revenue streams, chiefly performance (PPL) rights, which now account for 6% of income overall. Sync licensing saw modest growth in 2012. Brazil, India and Mexico have all seen market growth since 2008 (of…

West’s Gold Digger faces massive sampling claim
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, recorded music   Rapper Kanye West is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for sampling lyrics for hit ‘Gold Digger’. According to AllHipHop.com West is being sued by David Pryor’s children Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor for lyrics the rapper used on his 2005 hit, which they say was taken from the their father’s 1974 song ‘Bumpin’ Bus Stop’, which he performed with Thunder & Lightening. Steward and Pryor are reportedly seeking $150 million in damages per infringement, as they own the copyright for the song.  They also claim the rapper used their father’s voice to echo ‘get down’ during West’s  “get down girl, go ‘head, get down”  lyric.  The court documents name West along with Roc-A-Fella Records, Island Records / Def Jam Music Group, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision and Caroline Distribution. as defendants. and claims that the defendants “systematically and wilfully refused to clear samples of the plaintiffs’ original, copyrighted work in order to gain a commercial profit and to avoid paying and crediting the author.” You can hear Bumpin’ Bus Stop here http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/west-sued-gold-digger-sample-article-1.1311652 http://www.thenewage.co.za/90948-1020-53-Kanye_West_sued_for_copyright_infringement

will.i.am is in trouble for ‘Rebound’ lift
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, recorded music   Singer will.i.am has been accused of using Arty and Mat Zo’s song “Rebound” for his own track with Chris Brown titled “Let’s Go” and now the The Black Eyed Peas stalwart has seemingly admitted at least to a degree of influence saying “Arty is a dope producer so I wrote this song to “Rebound” this last year,” in an interview with KISS FM, admitting that he used the song in question as the foundation for “Let’s Go” saying “I got in touch with Arty and showed it to him, did a different version to it ’cause I asked him [to] make it newer ’cause I don’t just wanna take your song and rap over it,” he said. “But in a year’s time, time’s gone by [and] we preferred writing over and using the [original] Rebound. Reviews say that ‘Let’s Go’ features the new vocals by Chris Brown, but the instrumental side uses Arty and Zo’s original almost in its entirety. Will.i.am was somewhat vague in the interview saying “Something happened and the clearance” but Arty insisted that “there is no official licence agreement, signed contract or anything else between me, Mat Zo, [their label]…

23 months custody for US criminal copyright infringer
Copyright / May 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT All areas   A Florida man has been sentenced to 23 months in prison for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Javier Ferrer pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced this month in the District Court in Norfolk. Prosecutors say Ferrer was part of a conspiracy to become the premier group to release copies of new movies on the Internet that were showing in theatres. Court records say the group used receivers and recording devices to secretly capture audio sound tracks of movies playing in cinemas. The group then synchronized the audio files with video files suitable for distribution over the Internet. Four others pleaded guilty in the case and were given sentences ranging from 23 to 60 months.   http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/state/javier-ferrer-florida-man-sentenced-for-copyright-infringement