NEW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS APPLY TO PUBLIC DOMAIN WORKS IN CHINA
Copyright , Trade Mark / October 2003

COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARK Book publishing, merchandising Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit books have featured in a recent Chinese court decision where the state-owned Chinese Academy of Social Science Press was fined £30,000 by a district court in Beijing over its translations of Peter Rabbit and three of Potter’s other animal stories without permission. The case was brought by Frederick Warne & Co, which originally published t...

CONFLICT OVER RIGHTS TO A CANADIAN SAILING ICON
Trade Mark / October 2003

Trade Mark MERCHANDISING A charity set up in 1994 to refurbish the decaying replica of the famous schooner Bluenose, called Bluenose II, has launched a legal action to protect what it claims are valid and subsisting trade marks and copyrights to the ship and its image. The original Bluenose was a famous Nova Scotia-based sailing ship of the early 20th Century. It appears on Canadian dimes and on Nova Scotia vehicle licence plates. A...

MS DYNAMITE WINS PRIVACY PROTECTION FOR HER HOME
Artists , Privacy / October 2003

PRIVACY Artists It is a common problem for celebrities to find themselves beset by unwanted attention, harassment or worse because details have made their way into the public domain about where they live. An application in June 2001 by Heather Mills McCartney for an order preventing publication of details of a new property she had bought was rejected by the High Court. However, this was the result, at least in part, of the newspaper hav...

Article: REGULATED TO DEATH
Articles / October 2003

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) “Regulated to Death: Safety Regulation in the Live Event Industry” by Ben Challis  October, 2003 This article discusses the recent event safety problems faced by the live music industry, and the effectiveness (or otherwise) of health and safety legislation. The author argues that improvements in health and safety will only take place where governments and authorities ...

US TRADE MARK PROTECTION EXTENDED TO FOREIGN MARKS EVEN WHERE THESE MARKS ARE NOT REGISTERED IN THE USA
Artists , Internet , Record Labels , Trade Mark / September 2003

TRADE MARK Record Companies, Artists, Merchandisers, Internet International Bancorp LLC et all -v- Societe des Bains et du Cercle des Etrangers A Monaco (May 19, 2003) In a split decision a United States Court of Appeal (Fourth Circuit) held that a non-US Company’s use of a non-US trademark in advertising in the United States was enough to give that company trade mark protection under US law despite the fact that the mark was n...

LEGO BLOCK NOT PROTECTED AS A TRADE MARK IN CANADA
Artists , Internet , Patents , Record Labels , Trade Mark / September 2003

TRADE MARK, PATENTS Record Labels, Artists, Merchandisers, Internet Kirkbi AG & Lego Canada Inc. -v- Ritvik Holdings Inc. In this case the Federal Court of Appeal held that the design of a lego block was not protected by Trade Mark in Canada and that functional features of a toy design are properly the subject of patent law and not subject to trade-mark protection. The facts of the case where that the Canadian company Megabloks ma...

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WINS BACK DOMAIN NAMES
Internet , Trade Mark / September 2003

TRADE MARK Internet The governments of Canada and Alberta have won disputes over registration of several official-sounding .ca domain names. In each case, the arbitrators ruled that the government has rights to the name and that the domains were registered in bad faith. The federal government won the rights to the domains www.governmentofcanada.ca, www.governementducanada.ca, www.canadiancustoms.ca and www.statscanada.ca among others. T...

WIPO RESOLVES EURAIL DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE
Artists , Internet , Record Labels , Trade Mark / September 2003

TRADE MARK Record Companies, Artists, Mechandisers, Internet An administrative panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently decided a case under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) between Eurail (the European joint venture supplying tickets and passes for rail and ship travel in Europe) as Complainant and Epasses of San Francisco as Respondent. Eurail uses the names “Eurailticket&...

US SENATOR VOICES CONCERN OVER RIAA TACTICS
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2003

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet US Senator Norm Coleman, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee of Investigations, is concerned that the recording industry is taking an extreme approach in its attempt to quash online file trading and may hurt innocent people in the process and has asked the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), to provide detailed information about the more than 900 subpoenas it has issued so far. A...

THE COPYRIGHT CAGE

COPYRIGHT Record Companies, Internet, Music Publishers, Artists, Merchandisers, Radio, Television INTRODUCTION : This article, by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, suggests a new approach to copyright law in the digital age. The article was first published on www.legalaffairs.org in their July/August edition. Bars can’t have TVs bigger than 55 inches. Teddy bears can’t include tape decks. Girl Scouts who sing “Puff, the M...

PAYMENT TO CONVICTED FARMER SPARKS NEW PRESS ROW
Internet , Regulation / September 2003

PRESS REGULATION Television, Radio, Internet, Print The UK Government is to review the law after convicted murderer Tony Martin sold his story to the Daily Mirror for £125,000. Martin was convicted of murder after shooting a 16 year old burglar in the back and wounding his accomplice as they tried to burgle his remote and rundown farm, Bleak House. Martin’s original sentence was reduced from life to five years on the grounds of d...

R -v- Hunt Sentencing for lower level piracy
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2003

COPYRIGHT Record Labels A 42 year old plumber who turned his hand to selling counterfeit and bootleg CDs from a stall at a Record Fair was sentenced to a 120 hours community penalty and ordered to pay £250.00 costs after Trading Standards Officers seized pirated and bootlegged CDs worth approximately £9,000 in a raid organised by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and EMI Records. Hunt admitted 5 offences under the Copyright Des...

RINGTONES SET TO OUTSELL CD SINGLES IN THE UK
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2003

COPYRIGHT Record labels, Telecommunications, Internet  Sales of downloadable ringtones for mobile phones look likely to outstrip CD singles in the UK in 2004. The ringtone market, estimated to be worth more than £70 million in the UK, is increasing rapidly. Sale of ringtones in 2002 were £40 million. CD singles are heading the other way, with sales currently at about ÿ£150 million (2002) but with an estimated 37% drop in 2003 on la...

Article: DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER
Articles / September 2003

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) “Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Copyright Infringement in the Digital Age” by Ben Challis Music Industry Lawyer and Senior Lecturer in Law, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, UK September, 2003 – with subsequent addenda From the humble VHS machine to Internet file swapping, the issue of hardware and software – whi...

PROTECTION IN JORDAN EXTENDED TO INTERNET MATERIAL
Copyright , Internet / August 2003

COPYRIGHT Internet Jordan brought its copyright laws up to date by extending protection to the Internet, but proper enforcement remains the next hurdle, businessmen said on Wednesday. Jordan has implemented “100 per cent” of its commitments to various international bodies by extending copyright protections to material on the Internet, Minister of Industry and Trade Salah Bashir said. The change to copyright laws also toughen...

‘BLUE’ NAME DISPUTE RESULTS IN OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENT
Artists , Record Labels , Trade Mark / August 2003

TRADE MARK Artists, Record Labels Boy band BLUE have resolved their dispute with Scottish rock band BLUE over the use of the name with what can be best described as a ‘Mexican stand-off’ where both bands will continue using the same name. As part of the settlement, costs were awarded against the Scottish band but will not be applied for by the ‘New’ Blue or their label (EMI/Virgin) – provided the ‘Old...

FOOTBALL EMBLEMS ARE COPYRIGHT

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels Football Association Premier League Ltd and others -v- Panini UK Ltd The Court of Appeal has held that the badges and crests of individual English football clubs were the artistic works of the clubs and were entitled to copyright protection. The unlicensed inclusion of these badges, crests and emblems on the stickers of Panini’s Football 2003 Sticker Collection was not an ‘incidental inclus...

THE CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORTS COMMITTEE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS
Artists , Privacy / August 2003

PRIVACY LAW Artists The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee has published its long-awaited report on Privacy and Media Intrusion. In it the Committee made a series of recommendations. The one which has gathered the most publicity is that the Government “bring forward legislative proposals to clarify the protection that individuals can expect from unwarranted intrusion by anyone – not the press alone – ...

EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE DECISION PAVES THE WAY FOR HARMONISED EC TAXATION FOR TOURING ARTISTS
Artists , Taxation / August 2003

TAXATION Artists Arnoud Gerriste Case C-234/01 12 June 2003 The European Court of Justice has paved the way for the harmonisation of EU taxation of touring artists by radically overhauling the German system of taxation of foreign entertainments. The system had long been derided by artists and their advisors and the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) has campaigned for root and branch reform of the system. The Fifth Chamber’...

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE US COPYRIGHT LAW

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet, Artists The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched a “Let the Music Play” campaign urging the more than 60 million U.S. citizens who use file-sharing software to demand changes in copyright law to get artists paid and make file-sharing legal. The EFF Let the Music Play campaign counters the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) announcement ...

SOUTH KOREAN COURT EXPLORES ONLINE INFRINGEMENTS
Copyright , Internet / August 2003

COPYRIGHT Internet Bugs Music, Koreas biggest online music service provider, has taken the upper hand in the initial stage of what is expected to be a long legal battle with prosecutors who are trying to draw a clear line on the copyright dispute between Internet music providers and the music industry. The Seoul District Court yesterday turned down a prosecution request for an arrest warrant for Park Sung-hoon, who heads the music provi...

GLOBAL SALES OF ILLEGAL CDs TOP 1 BILLION UNITS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artists, Internet A report published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) shows that the illegal music market is now worth $4.6bn (£2.8bn) globally. It believes two out of every five CDs or cassettes sold are illegal. The IFPI said much of this money is going to support organised criminal gangs, dispelling the myth that it is a “victimless crime”. Jay...

AUSTRALIAN RECORD INDUSTRY SECURES ORDER TO ALLOW ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY COMPUTERS
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2003

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels Three of Australia’s largest Universities today lost the battle to block the music industry from gaining access to their computer infrastructure, with the Federal Court ordering them to allow the industry’s experts to gain access. Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin ordered the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania to allow the music industry access to the infrastructure to seek i...

MELBOURNE VENUE OWNERS OBJECT TO RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS NEAR EXISTING CLUBS
Licensing , Live Events / July 2003

LICENSING Live concert Industry The live music industry in Melbourne, Australia is pushing for a change in the law to put an obligation on builders and owners of new apartments built near live music venues to soundproof new buildings against the existing levels of noise. Venue owners say that as house and apartment prices in the inner city have soared, home owners’ expectations have changed and that new, more affluent residents do...

DEAL MEMOS AND CONTRACTS: PRETTY PICTURES v QUIXOTE FILMS (2003)

CONTRACT LAW Record Labels, Music Publishers, Television, Radio, Artists, Internet With the quick-fire thrust and parry of email becoming increasingly popular as a means of communication, the possibility of inadvertently creating a binding contract is an ever present danger. However, a recent case which came before the High Court has reinforced the basic legal principle that if the parties only intend to be bound by signature of a forma...

DEAL MEMO IS NOT A CONTRACT BUT INVOICE CAN BE. RAP IS A ‘FOREIGN’ LANGUAGE

CONTRACT LAW Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artists Confetti Records & Others -v- Warner Music UK Ltd This UK case involved the purported licence of a sample of the track Burnin by the claimants to the defendants. The first claimant (Confetti) had been negotiating with the defendants about use of the track and had issued a ‘subject to contract’ deal memorandum which both parties signed. The first claimant then issued...

LEEDS FESTIVAL GRANTED LICENCE
Licensing , Live Events / July 2003

LICENSING Live Event Industry The Carling Weekend Leeds Festival was successful in its applications for a public entertainment licence at both Temple Newsam and Bramham Park after strong objections from local residents at the Festival’s 2002 site, Temple Newsam. Last year’s Festival ended in riots and arson and local residents had described the Festival’s history as ‘4 years of hell’. But the Mean Fiddler O...

US COURT DIMISSES COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CASE

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels, Music Publishers A federal judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Britney Spears, her record label (Zomba/Jive) and BMG Music Publishing, saying two Philadelphia songwriters failed to prove the pop singer copied the melody of one of their songs. U.S. District Judge Berle M. Schiller ruled last week that Michael Cottrill and Lawrence Wnukowski couldn’t provide enough evidence ...

HARRODS v DOW JONES

DEFAMATION Artists, Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet In December 2002 the Australian decision of Gutnick v Dow Jones established the principle that where a newspaper or magazine was published on the internet, a claimant could bring an action in ANY jurisdiction where that magazine could be received, in this case in the state of Victoria in Australia even though the newspaper was published in the US. In this case (with the same ...

SPIKE LEE WINS SURPRISE VICTORY IN ACTION OVER VIACOM’S ‘SPIKE’ CHANNEL

IMAGE RIGHTS Artists, Record Labels Director Spike Lee issued proceedings against US media giant Viacom over plans to rename a cable channel Spike TV. Viacom had said that it wanted to make the name change in order to attract more male viewers. Lee’s application included a request for injunctive relief against Viacom’s use of the name Spike, saying he had never given his consent for it to be used. Lee – real name Shelt...

DJ’s CASE STRENGTHENS CASE FOR UK PRIVACY LAW
Artists , Privacy / July 2003

PRIVACY Artists UK DJ Sara Cox has been successful in an action against Sunday newspaper The People after the newspaper published nude shots of Cox and boyfriend John Carter on their honeymoon whilst relaxing on a private beach. Cox had originally complained to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission, the self-regulatory body which issues and adjudicates on the PCC’s code of conduct. The photographs which were in clear breach o...

VERIZON HAND OVER SUBSCRIBER DETAILS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet Having failed to persuade the appeals court of its case, US ISP Verizon has handed over the names of four of its customers to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – marking a significant victory for the RIAA and a shift in the way that the US courts deal with the conflict between copyright infringements on the internet and customer privacy on the internet. The dec...

ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS PROTECT ‘MAIL’ NEWSPAPER MARK

TRADE MARK Artists, Record Labels, Internet Associated Newspapers, owners of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard suceeded in a High Court action to prevent rival publishing group Express Newspapers from calling their planned new evening newspaper theEvening Mail or the London Evening Mail. Mr Justic Laddie held that the the proposed title could confuse the general public into believing that the new paper came from the ...

RIAA FACE SETBACK IN LATEST ACTION AGAINST P2P FACILITATORS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet In a blow to record labels, music publishers and film producers, a Federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday denied the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) motion for summary judgement in its copyright-infringement suit against peer-to-peer file-swapping services Morpheus and Grokster. The RIAA along with the National Music Publishers’ Association and the Motion...

US COURT HAMMERS MAJORS’ ACCOUNTING PRACTICES
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / June 2003

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists On April 22 2003, the U.S. District Court based in Los Angeles, dealt a blow to BMG and Sony, deciding that record clubs owned by the two majors had to face a court action scheduled for January 2004. The court found that the record clubs failed to pay for mechanical licenses on the premium records given away (roughly 6-8 cents per song, per copy sold). Songwriters’ lawyers estimate that the record ...

MICHAEL JACKSON LAUNCHES ACTION AGAINST MOTOWN
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / June 2003

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels Michael Jackson is suing his former label Motown Records and its parent company Universal Music Group. Jackson claims that Motown, the label he signed with in 1969, breached a contract dated January 1980 that required the label to pay him royalties for certain pre-1976 recordings made by Jackson as a solo artist and the Jackson 5. In exchange for those royalties, Michael Jackson had agreed to waive his r...

CALIFORNIA SENATE TO CONSIDER DRAFT LAW TO OBLIGE RECORD LABELS TO CALCULATE ROYALTIES

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists, Music Publishers A Bill designed to provide Californian recording artists with accurate accounting has won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Bill (SB1034) introduced by Senator Kevin Murray (D) would make it a “fiduciary duty” for labels to accurately calculate royalty earnings owed to artists. Music industry officials oppose the Bill, saying it would impede labels from devel...

UGANDAN MUSIC PIRACY PROMPTS NEW COPYRIGHT SANCTIONS
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / June 2003

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists Widescale CD and cassette piracy in Uganda have prompted the Uganda Performing Right Society (UPRS) to push for legislation to criminalise piracy. UPRS estimate that over ten million units are copied and sold in Uganda annually depriving copyright owners of substantial royalty payments. Source:http://allafrica.com/stories/200304240277.html ...

BELGIUM TO INTRODUCE TAX ON REWRITABLE CDs

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing The Belgian Ministry of Economy has announced that a 12 eurocent per hour tax will be levied on blank rewritable CDs to compensate composers, copyright holders and performers for copies made for personal use and to counterbalance the likely lower income paid to copyright owners from reduced music CD sales. Meanwhile, in a different approach to music piracy, Italy has announced tough new laws aga...

US JUDGE THROWS OUT CLAIM FOR DAMAGED HEARING

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Manhatten Supreme Court Judge Matrin Schoenfeld threw out a lawsuit from 56 year old lawyer Jeffrey Powell who claimed that John Fogerty’s music damaged his hearing. Judge Schoenfeld rejected the claim saying “if you don’t like loud music don’t go to rock concerts” and added that “Nobody is forced to attend rock ‘n’ roll concerts”. Powell saw...

BRITISH SINGER MISS KIER ALLEGES THAT HER CHARACTER RIGHTS ARE BEING USED WITHOUT CONSENT
Artists , Copyright , Trade Mark / June 2003

COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARK Artists, Merchandising The flamboyant British singer Lady Miss Kier believes a video game has stolen her image including her pink ponytailed hair, short skirt and knee-high boots and signature cry of “Ooh La La.” Miss Keir, who found fame with Deee-Lite, filed the suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court this week against the U.S. arm of video game publisher Sega, alleging the 2000 game “Space Channe...

RIAA -V- STUDENTS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Four US students have agreed to pay damages after the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) issued proceedings for providing illegal peer-2-peer downloading sites for profit. Daniel Peng, Joseph Nievelt, Jesse Jordan and Aaron Sherman also agreed not to illegally distribute copyrighted music, although they did not admit to any wrongdoing (see Law Updates May 2003 RIAA Launc...

VERIZON MOTION TO QUASH FAILS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet In an update on the case between the RIAA and Verizon (see Law Updates March 2003), Judge Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, has denied Verizon’s motion to quash a subpoena requiring it to identify a subscriber who was suspected of illegally sharing music online on the 24th April. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) had served the subp...

RAVE ACT PASSES THROUGH US CONGRESS
Licensing , Live Events / June 2003

LICENSING Live Concert Industry The US Rave Act has passed through the US Congress when Senator Joe Biden tied the provisions to the Child Abduction Prevention Act. This means that the promoter or organiser of events and/or the property owner can face imprisonment for up to twenty years if drugs are found being used at venues and nightclubs. The Drugs Policy Alliance warned that ‘Property owners can be punished for drug offences w...

BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD BRINGS ACTION IN INDIAN SUPREME COURT
Copyright / June 2003

COPYRIGHT Television, Radio The author Barbara Taylor Bradford has won an injuction in the Indian Supreme Court to prevent transmission of a 260-episode Bollywood serial ‘inspired’ by her best selling novel A Woman Of Substance. The novel tells of the heroine’s rise from an impoverished servant to become head of a business empire and the Bollywood serial Karishma – the Miracles Of Destiny charts a similar stor...

ARSENAL VICTORY IN COURT OF APPEAL
Trade Mark / May 2003

TRADE MARK Merchandising The Court of Appeal has published its decision in the case of Arsenal Football Club Plc -v- Reed substantially overturning the decision of Mr Justice Laddie in the High Court. The Court of Appeal applied the European Court of Justice’s decision that where a third party used in the course of a trade a sign that was identical to a validly registered trademark on goods which were identical to those for which ...

TRADER FREE TO SELL CELTIC AND RANGER’S FAKES
Trade Mark / May 2003

TRADE MARK Merchandising A Scottish Court has confirmed the approach of Mr Justice Laddie in Reed -v- Arsenal Football Club when it allowed a street trader to continue selling branded ‘Celtic’ and ‘Rangers’ associated football club goods. The defendant, Joseph Gallacher, could have faced up to 10 years in jail when he was charged with breaching the Trademarks Act 1994 by selling unlicensed merchandise. Sheriff La...

COURT PROVIDES NEW WEAPON IN THE AUDIT ARSENAL

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Merchandising CARLTON FILM DISTRIBUTORS -v- VCI & VDC As a result of a High Court decision last month companies pursuing royalty audit claims have acquired a new procedural weapon. It has now been established that in appropriate cases the court will order pressing plants to disclose their manufacturing records to an audit claimant prior to the commencement of any court proceedings. One of t...

RIAA LAUNCHES PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST STUDENT DOWNLOADING

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has issued lawsuits against four students in the United States to prevent the illegal downloading of music files. Two of the students are from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one from Princeton and one from Michigan Technological University. The Record Industry’s previous tactic (e.g. in the UK) had been to send university and employers formal...

SUPREME COURT OF CANADA TO REVIEW THE POSITION OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS (ISPs)
Copyright , Internet / May 2003

COPYRIGHT Internet The Supreme Court of Canada is to review the position of Internet Services Providers who facilitate the transmission of music on the internet. The case in question, known as the ‘Tariff 22 case’ began in 1995 when the Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers of Music in Canada (SOCAN) filed an application with the Copyright Board of Canada for the creation of a new royalty to cover music on the Interne...