Jay-Z sampling battle to test precedents
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, sound recordings   In the appellate court ruling for the 6th Circuit in Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films  Judge Ralph Guy provided the much quoted principle “Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way.” When ruling that the use of a “a two-second sample from the guitar solo was copied” where “the pitch was lowered, and the copied piece was “looped” and extended to 16 beats” was not  de minimis and was infringing as it was used without permission, Judge Guy said “Even when a small part of a sound recording is sampled, the part taken is something of value.”  Pretty clear eh? That case was settled so no final appeal to the Supreme Court took place, but that may now change says TechDirt.  TufAmerica has sued Jay Z, Roc-A-Fella and Atlantic Records for the use of a “tiny sample” of the song “Hook & Sling” by Eddie Bo on Jay Z’s “Run This Town” with TechDirt saying “TufAmerica has been reprising the role of Bridgeport lately, suing lots of artists over samples, including the Beastie Boys (the day before Adam Yauch passed away). Meanwhile, Jay Z, in the past, has…

DIY Grooveshark cannot claim DMCA ‘safe habor’
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / October 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels   A federal judge in New York has ruled that Grooveshark, the controversial online music service, has infringed on thousands of their copyrights. Grooveshark came under fierce attack from the recording industry for hosting music files without permission. Grooveshark (Escape Media Group) streams music uploaded by its users and Grooveshark’s defence has long been that it is legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the federal law that protects websites that host third-party material if they comply with takedown notices from copyright holders. The company relies on advertising for its revenues .Granting summary judgment in a case filed in 2011 by the three major record companies, Judge Thomas P. Griesa of United States District Court in Manhattan ruled that Grooveshark was liable for copyright infringement because its own employees and officers — including Samuel Tarantino, the chief executive, and Joshua Greenberg, the chief technology officer — uploaded a total of 5,977 of the labels’ songs without permission. Those uploads are not subject to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with the judge saying “Each time Escape streamed one of plaintiffs’ songs recordings, it directly infringed upon plaintiffs’ exclusive performance rights”.  According to Reuters, evidence against the executives included…

1972 and all that – but does the Turtles win against SiriusXM actually settle anything?
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Broadcasting, recorded music   A California federal judge has delivered a “legal earthquake” by declaring Flo & Eddie of The Turtles “the victors in a lawsuit against SiriusXM over the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings” by finding that SiriusXM had violated the Turtles’ pre-1972 master copyrights by playing their music without licensing it or paying performance royalties. Flo & Eddie was created in 1971 and is owned and controlled by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, two of the founding members of the Turtles, who were most popular for their 1967 hit single “Happy Together.” The lawsuit was filed in August last year, seeking royalties from the satellite broadcaster. Billboard reports that the plaintiffs are seeking $100 million in damages, but says “the money is hardly the only consequence of a ruling on Monday that could eventually disrupt the operations of the satellite radio giant as well as other services like Pandora.” The band members launched the case in August 2013. But its not been plain sailing for pre-1972 copyright owners – nor is the whole issue exactly clear. In August this year, U.S. Federal Court Judge Mary Strobel indicated that she was leaning towards rejecting a motion by…

A Nightingale sues
Artists , Contract , Live Events / October 2014
UK

CONTRACT Artistes, live sector   London booking agency EC1 has reportedly issued legal proceedings against Lily Allen for allegedly breaching a 2012 agreement that would have seen the company and its director Alex Nightingale act as booking agents for the singer’s 2013 and 2014 touring activity. According to the Mail On Sunday, Nightingale claims that Allen broke her contractual commitments when she switched allegiances to rival booking agency CAA, it seems because she’d been told the bigger agency could secure her “higher gross fees” from promoters. EC1 had already begun work on Allen’s proposed tour when it was told she was moving to CAA. The company is now suing for £100,000. Mr Nightingale argues he is entitled to compensation for the ‘very large amount’ of work carried out, adding there was no break clause in their agreement. A spokesman for Allen has denied the allegations made against her, saying that the singer’s lawyers “will be defending the matter vigorously”.   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2746302/Tour-boss-sues-Lily-Allen-100-000-breaking-contract-American-company-run-comeback-tours.html

Ellington Estate takes on EMI Music
General / October 2014
UK

CONTRACT Music publishing   The estate of Duke Ellington is hoping to resurrect a royalties lawsuit against EMI Music Publishing, (now controlled by Sony/ATV)  after a lower courts sided with the music company in the legal dispute. The lawsuit, being led by Ellington’s grandson, first emerged in 2010, and centres on royalties – and the artificial reduction in artiste royalties as money is moved between a big music firm’s global subsidiaries and the division to which the creator is directly signed to. It is common practice for each subsidiary to take a commission, with the artist getting their percentage cut only of the monies that reach their home division – here with EMI treats its businesses in other countries as if they were third-party sub-publishers, with Ellington’s estate arguing in reality that they are, in fact, different offices of the same company. And more importantly, Team Ellington alleged that this directly breached the jazz great’s 1961 contract with Mills Music, which was subsequently acquired by the EMI publishing firm. The court which first heard the case concluded that while the 1961 contract did specifically ban the publisher from allowing its subsidiaries to take additional cuts of any royalties, that only…

Trindl takes on former bandmates in EDM mash up
Artists , Contract / October 2014
USA

CONTRACT Artists   Kris Trindl, a founding member of EDM stars Krewella is suing sisters Jahan Yousaf and Yasmine Yousaf for at least $5 million for kicking him out of the group and for allegedly violating an oath that dates back to the time when the three had “6-8-10” tattooed onto their bodies. The suit alleges that having quit alcohol after rehab, the Yousaf sisters (one of whom was a previous girlfriend) didn’t like the fact that Trindl wouldn’t party, mistook his condition for depression and began scheming to deny him membership in the group and subsequently removed his image from publicity shots and effectively ‘sacked’ Trindl by asking to get treatment for his “depression” for 60 days, meaning the Yousaf sisters could continue as a duo. The three met as students at Glenbrook North High School and it seems Kris’ career was already beginning to take off in the Chicago music scene, and on June 8th, 2010, the three are said to have marked “a vow to put aside any other career plans outside of music and commit to Krewella” with tattoos of the date. The three then moved into a loft together in Chicago and came up with an idea to mix heavy-metal…

ARTICLE LINK: 10 tips on the Live Music Act
Licensing , Live Events / October 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Never has the UK’s law relating to live and recorded music been so complex. Here is a brief guide to the main issues licensees often ask. http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/Poppelston-Allen-Understanding-recorded-and-live-music-law

Agent of change principle gathers momentum
Licensing , Live Events / October 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   The now much debated ‘agent of change’ principle, designed to protect live music venues, bars and clubs in the face of the increasing numbers of residential properties being built close to venues has prompted the Musicians’ Union to call for new law to protect venues from noise complaints New regulations should be introduced to protect live music venues from possible closure following noise complaints, the Musicians’ Union has said. A similar law was recently introduced in the state of Victoria in Australia.  At the Trades Union Congress conference the MU proposed a motion, which was passed, demanding the introduction of new regulations that would help put a stop to the “worrying trend of long-established music venues being forced to close after only one or two complaints from neighbours”. John Smith, MU general secretary, said: “Venues must, of course, stick to the terms of their licence and residents must be able to complain if they do not comply or are causing a genuine nuisance. But equally, flats which are built above, adjacent or nearby to an existing music venue should not take precedent over an established institution. “The onus should be on the agent of change,…

Lieberberg prevails in Rock am Ring name dispute
Live Events , Trade Mark / October 2014
Germany

TRADE MARK Live events sector   Markek Lieberberg’s MLK has prevailed in his battle with Capricorn Automotive, new owners of the Nürburgring, home of the Rock am Ring festival site since 1985,  overturning the decision of the Koblenz District Court (Landgericht Koblenz) which had said that neither MLK or Capricorn had the right to use the name ‘Rock Am Ring’ without the permission of the other. The appellate court agreed with MLK that MLK and MLK alone owned the name. Ahead of the court hearings, Lieberberg told Der Spiegel that “Rock am Ring is a vision that I had 30 years ago. It’s an idea that I realized – at the Nürburgring and without help from third parties. We invented a brand. We’ve achieved cult status for it. And the brand will remain. It’s not at all tied to the Nürburgring itself.”  Having seen two  new affidavits of the ex – managing director of the Nürburgring GmbH , Friedhelm Demandt , and the concert organizer Matthias Hoffmann  (supported by a statement from music promoter Marcel Avram)  the court (Oberlandesgericht Koblenz ) agreed. The Festival has now relocated to Monchengladbach. Capricorn has left a further appeal a possibility,  with a spokesperson…

Keep the Faith, kill the trade mark application: you can’t monopolise Northern Soul 
Live Events , Trade Mark / October 2014
UK

TRADE MARK Live events sector, fashion   From the IPKat   “Northern Soul” is not everyone’s favourite type of music. Indeed, many ardent music fans may not have experienced its delight at all. There is however a dedicated following for it, consisting of people who express their loyalty by purchasing memorabilia and buying handbags, or so it seems. Here’s a guest post from Katfriend Shalini Bengani to explain all about it: Retro Bag Shop’s application; opposition by Brian Poulton (Case 0/358/14) was decided last month by Hearing Officer Oliver Morris in the UK Intellectual Property Office. It sheds some fascinating light on Northern Soul music, about which more can be learnt through this BBC2 Culture show documentary link as well as the Northern Soul fans’ Facebook page. This case plays out between the Retro Bag Shop and Mr Brian Poulton (part owner of Indie Apparel Limited which trades on eBay as Atom Retro) regarding an application to register a figurative trade mark with the text NORTHERN SOUL KEEP THE FAITH (depicted here), filed on 27 December 2012 for Class 18 goods: imitations of leather, travelling bags, handbags, rucksacks, purses, wallets; flight and shoulder bags. Poulton’s opposition is based on absolute grounds of refusal under…

Iggy Azalea tries trade mark tactic to head of porn tape
Artists , Trade Mark / October 2014
USA

TRADE MARK Artistes   Singer Iggy Azalea’s lawyers have fired off a legal warning to Vivid Entertainment over use of the singer’s name in connection with sex tape which allegedly features Azalea and rapper Hefe Wine – who says the tape does feature the couple. The letter says Vivid are unable to use the name “Iggy” in marketing. According to TMZ, the legal letter warns Vivid that the name “Iggy” is protected by US. Iggy’s lawyers claim that the tape isn’t of her, but that if a tape does exist it was filmed without her knowledge or consent and that she may have been under eighteen but Wine says Iggy was both of legal age and aware of the tape. The pair met when Azalea was 17. Sources close to Iggy say that she feels “betrayed” by Hefe. Azalea has launched separate legal proceedings against the former boyfriend, who, it seems, also released an EP of her early recordings this summer.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pair worked on music together, as well as beginning a relationship. At some point during this time, her lawsuit alleges, “Williams downloaded the entire contents of Azalea’s personal computer”. Last month, early Azalea tracks…

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain loses trade mark battle
Artists , Trade Mark / October 2014
UK

TRADE MARK Artists   The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) has lost round one of a trademark infringement battle against a rival band over the UOGB name, having argued that its reputation could be tarnished by the German-based United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO). The UOGB had sought an injunction against the rival group ahead of the UKUO’s upcoming UK tour but Judge Richard Hacon in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court ruled in favour of the UKUO, saying it was not in competition and that, as the group had been performing in Germany for some years, the UOGB should have acted sooner. Issuing an injunction would have forced the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra to cancel an already booked tour, costing them tens of thousands of pounds. Both orchestras perform their take on contemporary pop songs. The UOGB, whose members dress like a traditional orchestra and sing and tell jokes on stage, have been performing for more than 25 years, released records and have appeared on television. Despite the refusal to grant the injunction, a full trial should follow late 2014 or early 2015. The UOGB (a partnership consisting of George Hinchliffe and Marian Lux) have a Community Trade Mark registered…

E-petition calls for a review of noise abatement laws in the UK
Licensing , Live Events / September 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events   After a spate of venues have been closed or threatened by closure by often just one complainant or by those who have moved into residence beside existing venues – often in new developments,  a new e-petition has been sent up to challenge noise laws in the UK – “Urgent Review of Noise Abatement legislation” calling upon the Secretary of State to: “conduct an urgent review of all applicable Noise Legislation so that the collective right of local communities to be able to enjoy well-run and managed music venues is properly balanced within the law against the individual rights of owners and occupiers of adjoining properties to limit environmental noise.” We request that this review specifically addresses the possibility of new owner/occupiers or developers misusing existing legislation to demand a lowering of environmental noise in a zone in which it has traditionally existed, resulting in the potential closure of highly valued community spaces including music venues, church halls and arts centres.” As this e-petition received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – DEFRA) then provided the following response: “Legislation relating to noise is very wide ranging. It…

Complaint made to Police after busker moved on under Vagrancy Act
Licensing , Live Events / September 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events   In the UK a classical musician is suing Greater Manchester Police for loss of earnings after a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) used laws that tackle ‘aggressive begging’ to stop him busking in Sale town centre. Professional flautist and singer Barry Jackson, 48, was singing Luciano Pavarotti arias and playing music in a shopping precinct when the female PCSO ordered him to move on saying he was a ‘beggar and a vagrant’ and was causing an obstruction. The intervention under the Vagrancy Act 1824. forced Mr Jackson to abandon his planned five-hour stint after just 45 minutes. He later consulted a solicitor and has now filed complaints to Greater Manchester Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The incident occurred last month after a complaint was made to the police. Mr Jackson told Mancunian Matters “Busking is a great British tradition but it seems someone in authority wants to restrict street culture and that is bad for all for all performers who perform in the street like me” adding ”I always try to be a responsible performer, never obstructing and definitely never asking for money. I simply play so people hear my work and it’s a…

Arrest in Fisherman’s Friend tragedy
Health & Safety , Live Events / September 2014
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A man has been arrested over the deaths of Fisherman’s Friends singer Trevor Grills and the group’s tour manager Paul McMullen. Both were killed last year after a metal door fell on them while the group waited to perform a show in Guildford. The 55 year old man, from Bridgenorth, Shropshire, is being questioned by Surrey Police on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. McMullen died on-site at Guildford’s 1,700 capacity G Live venue in February 2013, having been trapped and critically injured by the collapsed door in a loading bay at the site, which is owned by Guildford Borough Council.  Grills died two days later of head injuries. http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/fishermans-friends-deaths—man-7561653

AIM and A2IM tell members to be wary of SoundCloud user licence
Artists , Contract , Copyright , Internet / September 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Artistes, internet   UK and US indie label trade bodies AIM and A2IM have warned their members to be aware of a number of clauses in SoundCloud’s terms and conditions for content-uploaders, and what rights those clauses ask rightsholders to give up when uploading music to the service. The warning appeared on the A2IM blog  and states: “When putting tracks up on SoundCloud, you should strongly consider turning API access off. If you do not do this, you are granting not only SoundCloud a royalty free licence to use your recordings, but also anyone else who uses their API and/or links to your recordings (eg internet radio stations, remix services or other music apps)”. It adds: “As a SoundCloud user, you have already warranted to SoundCloud that you control all rights when using the service. This means that publishing, which you may not control, is also included in this royalty free license for onward usage. User uploads are also covered by this, so if third parties are uploading your recordings, they are also passing on a free license to other sites and services beyond SoundCloud, which effectively creates an ecosystem of royalty free usage for your music”. SoundCloud…

Middle finger MIA settles with NFL
Artists , Contract , Live Events / September 2014
USA

CONTRACT Artistes, live events   The ill-judged case brought by the NFL against MIA, after the singer raised a middle finger in her Super Bowl performance with Madonna – allegedly breaching her contractual commitment  to ensure her performance didn’t negatively impact on the “tremendous public respect and reputation” enjoyed by American football – has been settled. At one point the NFL was looking for $16.6 million in damages even though MIA’s actions only prompted a smattering of complaints and not action by the FCC. As MIA’s lawyer Howard King told the Hollywood Reporter at the time: “The NFL’s claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same”. MIA herself had previously said the lawsuit “was “a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say[ing] sorry so they can slap me on my wrist.” The case has now been settled and the terms…

Clinton default means copyright can be transferred
Artists , Copyright / September 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, songwriters   Addressing the issue of whether a lower court abused its discretion by appointing a receiver and authorizing the sale of master sound recordings to satisfy monetary judgments, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the lower court’s decision, finding that the Copyright Act did not protect the defendant from the involuntary transfer of his copyrighted works because the defendant was not the original author of the works (Hendricks & Lewis PLLC v. Clinton, Case No. 13-35010 (9th Cir., June 23, 2014) (Christen, J)).  The plaintiffs, Hendricks & Lewis, are a law firm who performed legal services for George Clinton.   Clinton failed to pay Hendricks for certain legal fees incurred and after securing an arbitration award, Hendricks petitioned for and received judgment from the lower court, which has now been confirmed on appeal. http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/334730/Copyright/Funkadelic+Master+Sound+Recordings+Can+Be+Involuntarily+Transferred+To+A+CourtAppointed+Receiver+To+Satisfy+Judgment

Shakira hit was an indirect but infringing copy of another
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / September 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, music publishing   This could be expensive: The BBC reports that one of Colombian pop star Shakira’s big hits has been found to be indirectly copied from another songwriter’s work. Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York has found that Shakira’s 2010 Spanish-language version of Loca had infringed on a song by Dominican singer Ramon Arias Vazquez. The Spanish language version. Shakira’s missive, a collaboration with Dominican rapper Eduard Edwin Bello Pou, better known as El Cata – was widely released as a single around the world and borrowed from  Loca Con Su Tiguer – but that song was itself was based on the Arias Vazquez track of the same name.  Loca went on to sell more than five million copies and topped Billboard Magazine’s Latin charts. Her English language version of Loca – which featured Dizzee Rascal – was “not offered into evidence” at the trial. In his ruling Judge Hellerstein said that while the hit single had been based on an earlier version of a song recorded by Bello [El Cata], this itself was a copy of Arias Vazquez’s song saying “Accordingly, I find that, since Bello had copied Arias, whoever wrote Shakira’s version of the song…

UK confirms it will classify pop promos
Censorship , Internet / September 2014
UK

CENSORSHIP Broadcasting, internet   A spate of recent sexually suggestive promotional videos from the likes of Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Mile Cyrus and Katy Perry has prompted the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to suggest an age-rating system for online videos which it suggests should be introduced as soon as possible. Following the issuing of new classification guidance from the BBFC, the organisation’s assistant director, David Austin, said it was responding to pressure from parents who were concerned about the sexual imagery freely available to children who had access to the web, having already begun reviewing videos by artists such as Metallica, Robbie Williams and Beyoncé which had been submitted on a voluntary basis. Austin said the BBFC was working with the BPI, the body representing the UK music industry, and Google in a pilot project to see how classification might work, though there were questions about how videos created abroad could be rated. It is thought the classifications will be quite strict as sexual and other behaviour cannot be put in context in the three or four minutes a promo videos allows: the latest guidance states: “The classification of a music video will take account of any elements which…

Russia enacts law against profanity in the arts
Artists , Censorship / September 2014
Russia

CENSORSHIP Artistes, broadcasting, theatre   Russia has enacted new laws targeting publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theatre prompting fears that the new provisions may be used to target free speech. The new law provides for fines of up $1,400, however for works which may include profanities and words deemed inappropriate. However some say the new law will promote culture: Moscow State University History Professor Anna Kuzmina reportedly said the law will help promote a better artistic culture, telling VOA “My personal opinion, and I support this law, is that profane language has almost become the norm and even has acquired a certain charm. Frequently, people do not take the trouble of finding the words, but speak emotionally expressing themselves with five or six, four-letter words”. The profanity law also bans the public showing of films with swear words and forces music and books to have warning labels. Many see the law as part of a conservative movement to shape Russia’s youth into a more nationalistic culture distinct from the liberal West. http://www.voanews.com/content/artists-shun-russia-profanity-law/2425474.html

s.u.n. trade mark row sets festival against festival in Hungary
Live Events , Trade Mark / September 2014
Hungary

TRADE MARK Live events sector   News has reached Music Law Updates of what seems to be a name spat between the s.u.n psy-trance festival in Hungary, and an entity which appears to have captured their name – after lawyers in Hungary and Cyprus secured a trade mark for the mark s.u.n festival last year. The Hungarian s.u.n festival points out that the registration was filed just a week after their first edition in August 2013 and is in the name of Stapia Limited of Arch. Makariou III, 95 Charitini Court, 1st floor, Office 102, Nicosia, Cyprus, 1071, and for classes 35, 38 and 41. However, they are suspicious that another Hungarian psy-trance festival may be behind the move. The registration (registered on the 13th December 2013) had an important consequence – lawyers acting for the trade mark owner forced the shutdown of the Hungarian s.u.n. festival’s Facebook page with the organisers saying “and the admins were also personally banned from their fb activity. It happened without any prior notice, although the ‘likes’ were over 100.000(!). There was only a short message saying that a copyright violation issue had been going on with us, and they provided a name and…

Commercial radio group questions public service value of BBC Radio
Competition / September 2014
UK

COMPETITION Broadcasting   The UK commercial radio trade group RadioCentre has again taken aim at the BBC’s biggest two music services, Radio 1 and Radio 2, questioning the ‘public service value’ of the two stations, saying the two national and licence fee funded stations compete head on with their own flagship services. The latest criticism from RadioCentre comes at the launch of a big review of the Corporation’s music radio operations by regulator the BBC Trust. The review will look at the output of Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 3, 6 Music and the Asian Network. The review, which will report early next year. considers how well each radio station meets the remit it has been given by the BBC Trust, as well as considering value for money, how much the services support live and new music, and how they are adapting for the digital age. The Guardian quotes new RadioCentre boss Siobhan Kenny as saying: “Ahead of [the BBC’s] charter renewal, we need to focus on the size, scope and remit of some of the BBC’s most popular services, and what roles they will have in a future digital environment. At RadioCentre, we are particularly interested in the positioning and…

Michael Jackson documentary goes legal over footage dispute
Copyright / August 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Television, broadcasting Another Michael Jackson project – another lawsuit. The production company making a new documentary about Michael Jackson is now facing a battle with the late king of pop’s Estate about who owns the footage that will form the core of the new film. The documentary, ‘Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot’, focuses on what was probably Jackson’s last magazine photo shoot  which took place in 2007 (two years before he died) at the Brooklyn Museum Of Art for Ebony magazine, to accompany the Jackson’s first interview in a decade. The new film includes interviews with friends of the singer, as well as photographers and stylists who worked with him, and was set to include previously unseen video footage of the photo shoot as well as pictures taking during it. The Michael Jackson Estate had been offered the footage but declined to purchase it. The director of the documentary Craig Williams then seemingly acquired the rights to the content. However the Estate assert that they must own the rights in the archive footage, based on the argument that Jackson paid for the shoot to happen, and that everyone involved was appointed on a ‘work for hire’ basis –…

Suspended sentence for Italian file-sharing operator – and his mum and dad
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2014
Italy

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet   As Italy steps up its actions against illegal file-sharing, an Italian man behind a now defunct file-sharing operation that used the domains Scaricolibero.com and Filmgratis.tv has been handed a 22 month suspended jail sentence for this role in running the copyright infringing business. His parents also received suspended sentences because of their role in receiving the operation’s advertising  revenue into their bank account – in effect a charge of money laundering: at the time the sites were said to be making around $300 a day from advertising. Authorities in Italy seized the two domains back in 2012 under a court order, following complaints from copyright owners, and also ordered internet service providers to block the service’s IP addresses and took control of bank accounts receiving ad revenues from the file-sharing operation   http://torrentfreak.com/parents-pirate-site-admin-sentenced-money-laundering-140628/

Korean teen stars face new legislation
Artists , Employment Law , Live Events / August 2014
South Korea

EMPLOYMENT LAW Live events sector, broadcasting, artistes   Teenage Korean ‘K-Pop’ stars are facing new legislation put in place to protect young people  from onerous work schedules. Two provisions of a new law will affect pop performers in particular: Firstly, performers under the age of 15 won’t be able to work more than 35 hours a week, and those between 15-18 won’t be able to work more than 40 hours. The devil is in the detail (as ever) – and the question remains what “work” is defined as, with Music Times asking: “Does doing publicity count?” and “Does being present at a concert venue prior to going onstage count?” The legislation does allow that “exceptions can be made for projects requiring long-distance travel.” Minors will also be barred from practicing their craft between the hours of 22.00 and 06,00 which may provide ;ogistical huredles for the live events sector and live T. That statute can be waived of parental permission is granted The second provision affecting young performers is the section preventing minors from wearing skimpy outfits or performing “suggestive” dance routines – but again critics say the provisions are ill defined. The strength or weaknesses of the law aside,…

The Department Of Justice’s digital licensing review underway – good news for publishers?
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   CMU Daily reports that The US Department Of Justice has distributed a so called Civil Investigative Demand, or CID, to the two main performing rights societies in the US music publishing domain, ASCAP and BMI, as well as the two dominant music publishers Universal and Sony/ATV/EMI. The initial review of the publishers’ actions began with the rate trial against Pandora, one of several internet radio services that are grinding up against the majors in order to settle streaming rates. Pandora’s representatives alleged that the labels had been working together to change bylaws within ASCAP and BMI that would allow for partial withdrawals—in other words selling the rights to play all of your catalogue aside from the biggest draws, so that publishers can charge higher rates for a Rihanna than a Raekwon, for example. Judge Denise Cote agreed with Pandora in her decision. The document request notices are part of the DoJ’s review of the consent decrees that regulate the collective licensing of song performance rights in the US and are set against a backdrop of both Universal and Sony/ATV seeking to directly licence digital services such as Pandora. A court previously ruled that, under the current…

Massive illegal CD pressing plant shut down in Germany
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2014
Germany

COPYRIGHT Recorded music sector   What is possibly the largest black market CD pressing plant in Europe has been raided in Germany, with investigators finding a large-scale CD, DVD and vinyl pressing operation in the main underground premises and “significant numbers” of pirated discs. Several properties were raided in both Aschaffenburg in Bavaria and Hessen after preliminary investigations led by anti-piracy organisation proMedia at the instigation of the German record industry trade group BVMI, with support from global trade body IFPI. A state prosecutor from the Economic Crime Department in the city of Würzburg is now investigating at least one individual in relation to the mass production of pirated CDs, DVDs and records. BVMI CEO Dr Florian Drücke said: “With a market share of about 70%, there is still a high demand for CDs in Germany – this is evident not only in the legitimate business, but unfortunately also on the illegal market”. He went on: “Thanks to the excellent preparatory work and above all the precise work of the prosecutor and police, this raid has enabled us to pull the plug on the largest-ever undercover pressing plant for music in Europe. The equipment found here demonstrates once again that this…

Italian court says that YouTube’s Content ID should be used to block allegedly infringing contents
Copyright , Internet / August 2014
EU
Italy
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   A couple of months ago the IPKat reported that the Tribunale di Torino (Turin District Court) had rejected an application for an interim injunction brought by Delta TV in the context of proceedings between this and Google and YouTube. Delta TV produces and markets TV programs, and holds the economic rights to a number of South American soap operas for a number of territories (including Italy), where it licences the relevant rights to third parties. Delta TV became aware that a number of episodes of such soap operas dubbed in Italian had been unlawfully uploaded on YouTube. It also became aware that, by inserting their titles on Google Search, the first results displayed links to such YouTube videos. Delta TV sued [the case is still pending] Google and YouTube for secondary copyright infringement, seeking damages for over EUR 13m. It also sought an interim injunction to have the videos removed from YouTube. YouTube and Google opposed the application, claiming that, as soon as they became aware of such allegedly infringing contents, they removed them from YouTube, in compliance with the obligations set for hosting providers by the Ecommerce Directive and the piece of legislation (Legislative Decree 70/2003) that implemented it into the Italian legal system. The Tribunale di Torino dismissed the…

UK stakeholders set out Creative Content UK
Copyright , Internet / August 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet   The major UK internet service providers including BT, Virgin Media, Sky and Talk Talk, the representatives of various content industries including the film, television, books, sport rights and music sectors, and the UK government have come together to announce Creative Content UK, which has at its heart the voluntary copyright alert system, in some ways a ‘light’ version of the three-strikes element of the 2010 Digital Economy. Under the new system, participating net providers will send alerts to customers whose internet connections – according to the record companies, movie studios or TV firms – are being used to access unlicensed sources of content, such as file-sharing networks. Customers will be warned that accessing content from said sources is unlawful and will be given information on how they could access the same or similar content via legit services. Alongside the copyright alert system, Creative Content UK will stage a high profile copyright education programme. Vince Cable, Business Secretary said: “The creative industries in the UK are one of our brilliant global success stories. We have unrivalled creativity – from record breaking musicians to box office films – that excite and inspire people all over the world. Yet too often that…

Venue changes leads to Rock am Ring brand battle
Live Events , Trade Mark / August 2014
Germany

TRADE MARK Live events sector   One of the main impacts of the fall out between German promoters MLK and the new owners of Nurburgring circuit, Capricorn, is that neither has the right to use the name ‘Rock Am Ring’ without the permission of the other. As this year’s Rock am Ring dawned, news broke that new owners Capricorn, who brought the venue from administrators, had broken off talks with MLK for future events. MLK boss Marek Lieberberg had said that Capricorn were asking for a higher profit participation that he felt justified.  Subsequently entered into a new agreement with DEAG to promote a festival show at the legendary racing circuit to be called Grune Holle (Green Hell) Rockfestival am Nürburgring.  After Leiberberg made a number of comments regarding Rock am Ring and the fact he had invented the name and it was not bound to the Nurburgring, the Administrators had filed legal action seeking injunctive relief against any use of the name saying they co-owned it. The District Court in Koblenz agreed that the name was under ‘common ownership’ and that neither party could proceed with an event named Rock am Ring without the agreement of the other. It…

Indies try to explain the digital deal
Artists , Contract , Music Publishing / August 2014
UK

CONTRACT Recorded music, artistes   The independent label’s global trade body, the Worldwide Independent Network has launched a new “ “Fair Digital Deals Declaration” to make clear their digital deals to artistes – with over 700 indie labels signed up including XL, beggars and Domino. It’s all a bit vague, and there’s nothing binding and it, it doest set minimum remuneration levels even as a percentage – and it doesn’t even remotely approach a standard of good practice – but it’s a lot more open than the position taken by the major labels   Key points in the Fair Digital Deals Declaration include: 1. We will ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form. 2. We will account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetisation of recordings but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances. 3. We will encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetisation of music. 4. We will support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorised uses of their music.   Announcing the…

Sony try NOT to explain the digital deal
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / August 2014
USA

CONTRACT Record labels, artistes   The legal battle between 19 Entertainment and Sony Music in the US could result in some judicial consideration of the ongoing digital royalty debates in the music industry – although Sony seemingly would rather avoid this, after  it emerged that the major had filed a motion to have the case dismissed last month. 19 Entertainment is suing Sony on behalf of various ‘American Idol‘ winners who scored Sony Music record deals via the show, says it found “systemically incorrect calculations” on two separate audits of royalty payments made by the major, adding that the record company then failed to allow 19’s auditors to access all the data they required to do a full audit. The 19 litigation also includes disputes over the way digital royalties are calculated – and the question of  whether labels should be paying lower record sale royalties or higher licensing revenue splits on download and streaming income. The Hollywood Reporter also notes that 19 Entertainment is also asking if the major labels are obliged to share with their acts damages received from successful file-sharing litigation. In its motion to dismiss Sony argue that it isn’t obliged to share with artists the multi-million…

Disputed Hendrix recordings to be released
Artists , Contract , Music Publishing / August 2014
USA

CONTRACT Recorded music, artists   Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings is set to release a number of early Jimi Hendrix tracks after the conclusion of a legal dispute that has lasted nearly five decades. The disputed recordings were made between 1965 and 1967, and many feature Hendrix playing on records made by Curtis Knight & The Squires. The recordings were made by a label called PPX International run by producer Ed Chalpin, who famously signed Hendrix and Knight to an infamous “one-pound-advance-one-percent-royalty deal.” The arrangement caused issues within a couple of years as Hendrix’s career started to take off, and PPX and its business partners started to put out versions of the recordings that heavily implied – through title or artwork – that the records were Hendrix, rather than his role as a session musician or ‘sideman’. In 2001 the Hendrix Estate won a legal battle in the London courts, enforcing a 1973 decree which limited PPX’s ownership of recordings featuring Hendrix to just 33 masters made in 1965, rather than the larger catalogue of tracks put down in the following couple of years. This decision was upheld in both K and US appellate courts and in 2007, Experience Hendrix secured…

Ultra Records sues YouTube star Michelle Phan
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / August 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music   Sony-affiliated EDM label Ultra Records, home to deadmau5 and Calvin Harris, is suing YouTube star Michelle Phan for using tracks in her videos without permission although the producer of one of those tracks, Kaskade, however, has distanced himself from the legal action. According to Reuters, Ultra’s recordings and publishing divisions are jointly suing Phan, whose make up tips videos have clocked up over 150 million views. In the lawsuit, Ultra says that Phan had been warned that she was infringing copyright “and yet continues to wilfully infringe in blatant disregard of plaintiff’s rights of ownership”. The lawsuit identifies multiple alleged instances of copyright infringement, and seeks an injunction to force Phan to stop, and the maximum statutory damages for each infringement of $150,000.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28418449

Ticketing fraudster faces additional six years in prison
Criminal Law , Live Events / August 2014
UK

CRIMINAL LAW Live events   Terence Shepherd who was convicted of money laundering, fraudulent trading and acting as a director whilst disqualified for his part in the £3.7 million Xclusive ticket scam in 2011, had been handed an additional six year term on top of his current 8 year prison term havening paid over just £103,334 of a £1 million confiscation order. District Judge Tan Ikram said Shepherd had “culpably neglected or wilfully refused’ to pay the full sum saying he was not in a position to grant any further adjournments.   Audience  July 2014 Issue 174

Night & Day faces noise abatement drive closure
Licensing , Live Events / August 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events   Popular Manchester music venue Night & Day has been called to what the Manchester Evening News calls a “crunch licensing hearing” as it continues to tackle complaints from neighbours over noise levels. According to the MEN, the venue stands accused of repeatedly breaching a noise abatement notice issue by Manchester City Council. The venue said “The council have made an unprecedented move to review our licence before we have had the opportunity to appeal the Noise Abatement Notice in front of an independent judge in court”. Recently, and after a spate of threatened closures including the Fleece in Bristol, and the Boilerroom in Guildford , Mark Davyd, the founder of the Music Venue Trust, has warned of a ‘tsunami’ of noise abatement orders against venues and called for ‘common sense’ approach to resolve issues – often caused by new developments alongside pre-existing and often much loved music venues – wit Davyd adding ‘if you hate music – why move next to a music venue?’. The MVT has called for the reform of existing legislation, which it says is unfair to music venues and is liaising with Save Live Music Australia which has fought a successful campaign against opportunistic…

Adele’s son wins damages over papped photo
Artists , Privacy / August 2014
UK

PRIVACY Artistes   The son of pop singer Adele has been awarded £10,000 in damages and legal costs after a privacy case brought by Adele and her partner Sumin Konecki against Corbis Images UK whose photographer had papped the 2 year old Angelo Adkins and his parents without their permission. In the Hugh Court the singer argued that the photographs infringed their child’s privacy. The legal action was launched after Corbis Images UK shopped a number of photographs featuring Angelo to the UK press. These, said Adele’s lawyer Jenny Afia of Schillings captured his “milestone moments, such as his first family outing and his first trip to playgroup, [and] were photographed and published worldwide expressly against his family’s wishes”. Afia added: “The parents’ view is that these images were of routine, everyday family occasions which the paparazzi has no right to intrude upon, profit from and file away in picture libraries for future reference and use”. The damages will be held in trust for Angelo, and legal costs, as well as agreeing not to use the photos again in future. The company also passed on the names of the freelance photographers who took the pictures, to whom Afia’s Schillings law…

Bose files suit against Beats for patent infringement
Patents / August 2014
USA

PATENTS Hardware   Headphone and speaker maker Bose has filed suit a law suit against Beats, accusing Dr Dere’s company of infringing five patents related to noise-cancelling headphones. The accused products include the Beats Studio and Studio Wireless headphones, and Bose has asked for financial damages and an injunction to ban the sale of infringing Beats products. Bose said in its complaint, lodged with the US District Court in Delaware and with the US International Trade Commission, that it has “suffered and will continue to suffer damages, in an amount yet to be determined, including due to loss of sales, profits, and potential sales that Bose would have made but for Beats’ infringing acts” adding that for almost 50 years, it has “made significant investment in the research, development, engineering, and design of proprietary technologies” used in its products. Its current line of noise-cancelling headphones, for instance, uses inventions protected by at least 22 US patents and 14 pending patent applications.   http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/bose-accuses-beats-of-infringing-noise-canceling-headphone-patents/?tag=nl.e496&s_cid=e496&ttag=e496&ftag=CAD1c318f6  

Round 2 in Jay Z and Mahan’s ‘co-ownership’ battle
Contract , Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2014
USA

CONTRACT, COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing   This update by Leeza Panayiotou   Readers may recall that back in late April this year, the rumour mill was rife about a rather large spat between Jay Z (aka Sean Carter) and his ex music producer Chauncey Mahan. Mr Carter and his heavyweight Roc Nation collaborator, Live Nation, asserted that Mahan was illegally (via theft and extortion) in possession of several master recordings of Jay Z’s work, said to be at the least worth $15 million. The LAPD was swiftly informed and the master recordings were subsequently seized, whilst Mahan was taken in for questioning. And whilst he was (reportedly) never arrested, things did not look so good for Mr Mahan – to an outsider. Since then however, the criminal investigation into Mahan has been seemingly closed, and the tables turned with Mahan launching a lawsuit against Jay Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation. On the face of it, it may have appeared as though an embarrassed producer was attempting to save face with a game of litigation tag – however, Mahan’s suit has the potential to pack a serious punch on the whole music industry, way beyond any argument with…

New research suggests better legal services and reform are needed to fight piracy
Copyright / July 2014
Sweden

COPYRIGHT All areas   A group at Lund University in Sweden have produced new research based on a survey  that had responses from around 4,000 individuals and which  suggest that the number of active file-sharers has dropped in the past two years. Those who share files daily or almost daily has decreased from 32.8 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2014. According to the head of the research group, this is why the numbers are dropping with the report saying “If you listen to what young people themselves are saying, it is new and better legal services that have caused the decrease in file-sharing, rather than respect for the law. There has been a trend where alternative legal solutions such as Spotify and Netflix are changing consumption patterns among young people.” Interestingly the report shows that same four-year period, the percentage of young people who said they believe that people should not share files because it is illegal dropped from 24 percent to 16.9 percent. So, even while young people are sharing files less often, their acceptance of the standards presented by the law appears to be dropping too “In other words, we need not only more good-quality services,…

One Direction lawyers cite privacy and copyright issues with leaked video
Artists , Copyright , Privacy / July 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT / PRIVACY Artistes   Reps for One Direction have reportedly threatened legal action against Mail Online over the website’s ‘pop punks’ Peruvian pot puff’ exclusive after 1D boys Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik were seen and heard in a video, seemingly recorded on the former’s phone, smoking and discussing smoking cannabis, and possibly using a racial slur in the process. The band have alleged that the video was “stolen” from Tomlinson’s phone. According to the Press Gazette, law firm Lee & Thompson has written to the Mail and other news organisations stating that distribution of the video amounts to both an invasion of privacy (because the conversation happened in a private vehicle) and copyright infringement (because Tomlinson owns the copyright). The legal letter reads: “This video is a private ‘home’ video (filmed in a private vehicle) which has been stolen and the copyright in which is owned by our client Louis Tomlinson. Any publication of the video is unauthorised and unlawful and legal steps are being taken against the parties involved”. 1D member Liam Payne made a number of tweets saying  “I love my boys and maybe things have gone a little sideways, I apologise for that. We are only…

ReDigi chief speaks to Congress
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / July 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels   The founder of the sometimes controversial MP3 resale platform ReDigi has given evidence to a congressional committee on intellectual property and the internet: the House of Representatives’ sub-committee on Courts, Intellectual Property And The Internet has been examining the USA’s ‘First Sale Doctrine’ and  ReDigi’s John Ossenmacher argued that the right t re-sell a legally purchased MP3 is just as valid as re-selling a CD – But that the content industries have been doing their best to water down the First Sale Doctrine for some time, most recently by exploiting terms and conditions nobody reads to claim that when a customer clicks a ‘buy’ button on a digital content platform, they aren’t actually ‘buying’ anything. Says Ossenmacher: “Consumers are given the option to ‘buy’ music, movies, and books on their screen and the ‘buy’ button looks identical for digital and physical items alike, but in the largely unintelligible legalese (that no one reads) the rights of ownership are watered down or worse, dissolved all-together for these digital purchases. Content holders are attempting to take away a fundamental consumer choice by styling what they call a long-term lease/license into their less-than forthright marketing strategies”. The content…

PRS for Music basically happy with independent code review
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   “PRS for Music welcomes Independent Code Review music licensing recommendations” is the very positive headline response, to the publication of the Independent Code Review by Walter Merricks, CBE That’s not to say, however, that the review has been accepted in its entirety: PRS for Music doesn’t like being called a “quasi public body”.  According to PRS for Music: Walter Merricks was appointed last year as part of a self-regulatory process put in place by the UK’s Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) to ensure Codes of Conduct were fit for purpose. Walter Merricks launched a consultation programme in November to collect evidence from the Ombudsman, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the BCC, collective rights management organisations (CMOs), PRS for Music members, copyright users and their representative bodies. The report finds that PRS for Music was compliant with its own Code of Conduct and with government standards for CMOs. The report also makes a number of recommendations that PRS for Music welcomes as part of its ambition to set best practice across all areas of its membership and domestic licensing activity: PRS for Music and PPL to include a commitment to cooperate in their codes of conduct; PRS, MCPS and PPL to…

Department of Justice to review ASCAP and BMI consent decrees
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   In the U.S. the Department of Justice is conducting a review of the consent decrees governing the nation’s largest performance rights organisations (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Broadcast Music Inc.) which many see as a critical development amid the ongoing debate over copyright reform. ASCAP last had its consent decree, which governs how the collection society collects and distributes royalties, updated in 2001, while BMI’s has not been updated since the 1994 – and boy oh boy, has technology moved on since then! Both songwriters and publishing companies have suggested that the consent decrees need serious revision, with some even arguing they should be abolished – and ASCAP have already publicised some suggested changes. But the push for updates grew louder earlier this year when a federal rate court gave an unfavorable ruling to ASCAP in its royalty rate dispute with Pandora. Review of the consent decrees will trigger a 60-day public comment period, which is sure to draw in stakeholders ranging from songwriters and publishing companies, to broadcasters and record labels. With a music licensing system is decades old it will be scrutinised against the technology revolution and the pay that smartphones…

Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen prevail in song authorship challenge
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City have won a copyright challenge against their hit duet Good Time. The 28-year-old Canadian singer and Owl City’s Adam Young, 27, were sued for copyright infringement in October 2012 by Allyson ‘Ally’ Burnett who claimed their song borrowed from her 2010 release Ah, It’s A Love Song. BMI placed $804,156 in escrow in January otherwise due to Jepsen ( until the case was resolved). An attorney for Burnett told TMZ that she decided to withdraw her lawsuit afer an ‘extensive investigation’ confirmed Good Time was an original work an attorneys for Owl City have already filed a proposal in federal court on Monday that would award Young $525,901.77 in disputed royalties for the song. The deal must be approved by the court, but its completion was considered a formality.   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2653508/Carly-Rae-Jepsen-Owl-City-score-legal-victory-copyright-infringement-lawsuit-filed-2012-hit-song-Good-Time.html

New defence filed in Paul’s Boutique claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Sound recording, music publishing   More Beastie Boys! In September 2013 a US  judge declined to dismiss TufAmerica’s complaint against the Beastie Boys and their label, finding that the Beasties’ use of the Trouble Funk songs, “Say What” and “Let’s Get Small,” on the 1989 “Paul’s Boutique” album was qualitatively and quantitatively significant. The case continues, but summary judgment motions delivered this week by the Beastie Boys, Universal-Polygram and Capitol Records present a rather compelling argument why the lawsuit is doomed. TufAmerica no longer control the copyrights to the two allegedly sampled tracks – so cannot bring a claim: In fact the copyrights are owned by Capitol Records owner Universal. According to the summary judgment motions, Trouble Funk members signed agreements in 1984 with Island Records, an affiliate of Universal. The deals were affirmed again in 1989. As a result of the agreements, Island became the exclusive owner to Trouble Funk sound recordings. What’s more, during depositions in this “Paul’s Boutique” sampling lawsuit, Trouble Funk members James Avery and Tony Fisher are said to have admitted that the agreements were valid and signed. Turning to the music publishing rights in the two songs, TufAmerica also says it now represents…

Eagles’ Don Henley defends legal action against Frank Ocean and Okkervil River
Australia
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, recorded music sector, artistes   In what might be a misguided move, The Eagles’ frontman Don Henley has taken aim at Frank Ocean and Okkervil River for reworking his band’s music, prompting Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff to respond in an article in Rolling Stone saying that copyright law is “strangling and depleting our culture”. Ocean used the instrumental version of The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ as the basis for the track ‘American Wedding’ on his 2011 free download album, ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ -a clear breach of US copyright law,  Writing on his Tumblr blog ahead of a performance at Coachella in 2012, Ocean said: “[Henley’s label Warner/Rhino] threatened to sue if I perform [‘American Wedding’] again. I think that’s fuckin awesome … They also asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible. Shit’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy? I didn’t make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything, I’m paying homage”. In a new interview with Australia’s Daily Telegraph, Henley admitted that he had initiated this action, saying: “Mr…

Indies bring in the EU over YouTube negotiations
Competition , Record Labels / July 2014
EU
USA

COMPETITION LAW Recorded music   The independent label community will today step up its campaign against Google owned YouTube by calling on the European Union to intervene, having already criticised the way the YouTube is negotiating with the record companies in a bid to launch its much mooted and rather delayed audio streaming service, a new Spotify and Amazon competitor that will sit alongside YouTube’s vast music video catalogue – with what appeared to be an initial threat from the dominant YouTube – to remove all of the Indie’s material from YouTube if they didn’t sign up to what were perceived to be unfavourable terms all of their content on the Google site could be blocked. The royalty rates paid by YouTube when music videos are streamed on its site were already becoming contentious in the music industry, as the audio streaming services which pay higher rates started to stress that the free-to-view video site was hindering their attempts to woo more mainstream consumers. The rates subsequently offered for YouTube audio were similarly criticised once they were on the table – although the three major labels have done deals with YouTube, albeit on unknown terms. The threat of removing material…

Madonna faces lawsuit over Hard Candy fitness business
Artists , Trade Mark / July 2014
USA

TRADE MARK Artistes   Madonna and her business partners in the Hard Candy fitness business have reportedly been sued by the Hard Candy cosmetics firm, the latter accusing the former of trademark infringement and unfair competition. Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary and gym entrepreneur Mark Mastrov launched their Hard Candy company in 2010, naming it after Madonna’s 2008 album of the same name. At the core of the operation are health clubs in Berlin, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, Santiago, St Petersburg, Sydney and Toronto. According to Radaronline.com, the Hard Candy cosmetics company, which formed in 1995, has filed a suit which says Defendants’ actions have caused and will cause Hard Candy, LLC irreparable harm for which money damages and other legal remedies are inadequate,” and the federal court papers state “Unless Defendants are restrained by this Court, Defendants will continue and/or expand the improper activities alleged in this Complaint and otherwise continue to cause great and irreparable harm and injury to Hard Candy, LLC.” The trademark infringement litigation has been filed in a Florida court seeking injunctive relief and damages.   http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/06/madonna-sued-stealing-hard-candy/