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

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...

CATHERINE ZETA JONES AND MICHAEL DOUGLAS HAVE LIMITED SUCCESS AGAINST HELLO! UNDER THE LAW OF CONFIDENCE
Artists , Privacy / May 2003
UK

PRIVACY Artists In a 104 page High Court judgement, Mr Justice Lindsay ruled that Hello! magazine had breached commercial confidentiality by publishing photographs secretly taken of the Douglas/Zeta-Jones wedding, and that Hello! had breached the Press Complaint’s Commissions’ code of conduct – but that there had been no invasion of the couple’s privacy in law. The Judge held that the evidence that Hello! and OK ...

ASTORIA FIGHTS FOR LICENCE
Licensing , Live Events / May 2003
UK

LICENCING Live Concert Industry The London Evening Standard reported (08/04/03) that the Astoria in Charing Cross Road faces a fight for its public entertainment licence after Westminster Council renewed efforts to remove the venue’s public entertainment licence. The venue has had a number of high profile problems and in the eight months between September 2001 and May 2002 the emergency services were called to the venue 152 times....

DAMAGES AWARDED IN EASYINTERNETCAFE LITIGATION

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels Easyinternetcafes have agreed to pay costs and damages totalling £210,000 to the British record industry as a result of the High Court judgement awarded against the internet café chain in January 2003 as a result of the chain’s activities in illegally downloading music and burning CDs for customers (see Law Updates February 2003). See http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,7496,933184,00...

DTI CONSULTATION ON EC PRIVACY DIRECTIVE
Internet , Privacy / May 2003
UK

PRIVACY Internet, Telecommunications The draft DTI (UK government’s Department of Trade & Industry) Regulations to implement the European Commission’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive were published on the 27th March 2003. The Privacy Directive aim is to ensure that the rules which currently apply to phone and fax services will be extended to email and SMS and that privacy will be respected when individual...

SOLOISTS CAN PROVIDE VAT FREE SERVICES IN GERMANY
Artists , Live Events , Taxation / May 2003
Germany

TAXATION Live Concert Industry, Artists The ECJ (European Court of Justice) held on appeal that the meaning of ‘cultural bodies’ in the context of the supply of cultural services in the concert industry could extend to individual performers who would not need to charge VAT for their services. This case arose out of an appeal from the Federal Court of Justice in Germany (Bundesgerichtshof) by a German promoter against a crimi...

US MERCHANDISER TO BRING COUNTERCLAIM ACTION AGAINST BRITNEY
Copyright / April 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Merchandising SKECHERS USA Inc. the US footwear manufacturer has announced that the Company will file a counterclaim lawsuit against singer Britney Spears and her companies, Britney Brands Inc. and Britney Touring Inc. for fraud and breach of contract. The suit, in the Federal court in Los Angeles, also includes allegations of unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation, and seeks rescission of all agreements between Ske...

FORMER MANAGER SUES DRU HILL
Artists , Contract / April 2003
USA

CONTRACTS Management, Artists The R&B group Dru Hill have been served with a $30 million lawsuit from former manager, Kevin A. Peck, who claims the group owes him millions of dollars in management fees. The lawsuit, filed in Baltimore Circuit Court on March 20 2003, alleges unjust enrichment and is served against all of the original band members. Peck believes that his management contract entitled him to a percentage of the group...

STIFF PENALTIES HANDED DOWN TO UK MUSIC PIRATES
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / April 2003
UK

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists His Honour Judge Lowen, sitting in the Isleworth Crown Court on 12th March 2003, sentenced Yogesh Raizada to 3 years imprisonment and record fines of ,000 under a Confiscation Order. Raizada was charged and found guilty on eleven counts under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and a further two counts under the Video Recordings Act. The Court heard that Raizada had been subject to a number of raids carried out by ...

UK COMMUNICATIONS BILL FACES DETAILED SCRUTINY
Legislation / April 2003
UK

BROADCASTING Television, Radio The UK’s draft Communications Bill has now reached the House of Lords where peers are expected to table amendments to many of the provisions. The Bill is a massive piece of legislation reforming the regulation of telecommunications, broadcast television, radio and the newspapers. The Bill will also reform rules of ownership of the media as well as providing for a new regulatory infrastructure under t...

GLOBAL CLAMPDOWN ON PIRACY

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers The PRS/MCPS Alliance have announced a number of global successes in combating the sale of illegal music product. In ITALY collection society SIAE joined with the police in a series of high profile raids across the country targeting 454 premises and resulting in charges brought against 137 people with 78,000 CDs, 5,000 DVDs and 6,000 VHS cassettes confiscated along with 17 sets of mastering equi...

US INTERNET ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS VERIZON
Copyright , Internet / April 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet The US Internet Industry Association (USIIA) has announced that it will support the efforts of Verizon to overturn a recent ruling by the Washington DC District Court in the case of RIAA v Verizon. The ruling was based on a narrow and erroneous reading of a single provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” says David P. McClure, president of the USIIA. “In reality, this ruling will cause great har...

BPI TARGET UNIVERSITIES OVER ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / April 2003
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) has today (March 27th) sent out a letter to every University in the United Kingdom warning them that they face criminal sanctions if they collude in the illegal downloading of music files. This action follows similar actions by record company associations in Australia and the USA, the latter resulting in in the US Navy Acadamy warning nearly 100 students about dow...

WHEN ‘MOVING’ IS ‘DANCING’
Licensing , Live Events / April 2003
UK

LICENSING Live Concert Industry Undercover licensing officers for Westminster Council in London have investigated and now succesfully prosecuted the Pathfinder Pubs, owner of the Pitcher & Piano chain of bars, for allowing customers to dance at bars which did not hold a public entertainment licence. The bars argued that customers were simply ‘moving rhythmically’ to the music. Horseferry Road Magistrates Court fined the ...

Article: THE DOCTRINE OF RESTRAINT OF TRADE
Articles / March 2003

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) The Doctrine of Restraint of Trade in Relation to Music Industry Agreements Andrew Evans MA, Solicitor March 2003 In this article Andrew looks at the decisions of the UK courts which have, over the last thirty years, developed a body of law under the doctrine of restraint of trade which will, in certain circumstances, allow artists to ask courts to hold their excusive recording co...

WILL THE VICTORY FOR THE RIAA IN ITS CASE AGAINST VERIZON OPEN THE FLOODGATES FOR LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST CABLE COMPANIES AND ISPs?

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet The legal battle between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Verizon Communications over the pursuit of alleged internet music pirates could have a major impact on cable operators, telecom companies and internet service providers. If the RIAA wins the case, record labels and music publishers wielding broad federal subpoena power could force operators to divulge the...

ROD STEWART FACES “MAGGIE MAY” ACTION FROM MANDOLIN PLAYER

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers A folk musician says he is to take legal action against Rod Stewart over his contribution to the 1970s hit song “Maggie May”. Ray Jackson, a member of folk/rock band Lindisfarne, says he was paid just in 1971 for his contribution of a distinctive mandolin section in the recording. Mr Jackson believes he may have lost at least because he was not credited for the track’s distinct...

BERT WEEDON WINS LIBEL BATTLE WITH BBC
Artists , Defamation / March 2003
UK

DEFAMATION Artists Guitar legend Bert Weedon has won damages from the BBC over a false claim that he “learned to play the guitar whilst a convict.” His appearance in the libel case was a first time in court for the 82-year-old despite allegations to the contrary in the Daily Mail where a radio preview wrongly included Bert with musicians who had spent spells in prison. The Radio Choice review for Jailhouse Rock incorrectly...

CD PIRACY IN SOUTH AMERICA ESCALATES

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers CD pirates and street vendors in Ecuador are decimating the legitimate music industry as copied CDs featuring tropical salsa, hard rock and even Christmas carols are retailing for just $1 each – a price even the citizens of this poverty-stricken nation can afford (the minimum wage is just $138 a month). More worryingly for record labels and music publishers is the statistic that pirates so...

MISLEADING WEBSITE DIVERTED BUSINESS FROM ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE
Internet , Trade Mark / March 2003
UK

TRADEMARK Internet, Merchandising A website name used by Campus Insurance Services diverted customers intending to buy policies from Endsleigh Insurance to Campus’s own sales pages. Campus registered the names www.ensleigh.com and www.ensleigh.co.uk hoping web users would misspell the word ‘Endsleigh’. It is believed that a large number of students did this and Campus have been ordered to produce details of the number ...

NAPSTER: BMG FACES LAWSUIT

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers The parent company of ‘major’ record label BMG are the latest recipient of a lawsuit in the Napster saga. The German media giant Bertelsmann has received a $17 billion lawsuit from a group of songwriters, composers and music publishers alleging that by funding the file swapping service BMG had been involved in the widespread infringement of copyrighted music works and had deprived th...

AOL LAUNCHES SUBSCRIPTION INTERNET SERVICE
Copyright , Record Labels / March 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels AOL’s 27 million subscribers will be offered legitimate access to record company catalogues from $3.95 (0) per month. Subscribers will be given access to the 250,000 strong recording catalogue of download service MusicNet, one of the music industry’s answers to the hugely popular but unauthorised sites like Aimster, KazaA and Morpheus. The New York Times has welcomed the move as the strongest attempt ...

GRAND JURY BEGINS ITS INVESTIGATION INTO THE STATION NIGHTCLUB TRAGEDY
Health & Safety , Live Events / March 2003
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry The Grand Jury began its investigation on February 26th behind closed doors at a National Guard training center in East Greenwich to decide whether anyone should be held responsible for the fire and the deaths of 97 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Most of the first Grand Jury session was devoted to preliminary talks between prosecutors and lawyers for the rock band Great White whose guitar...

“INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS THEFT. IDEAS ARE FOR SHARING”
Copyright , Internet / March 2003
Japan
Netherlands
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet Columnist John Naughton used this headline in his February 09 column in the UK’s Sunday Observer newspaper advancing the argument that in the USA industry associations such as the RIAA (Recording Industries Association of America) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) have used politics and clever rhetoric to develop the concept of ‘intellectual property’ and to portray internet file...

OWNER OF SAMPLED SONG WINS COURT INJUNCTION

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Artists Indian composer Bappi Lahiri has won a court injunction halting the sale of Dr. Dre protéguth Hurts’ debut album and single based on claims that the hit song, “Addictive,” sampled more than four minutes of one of his compositions, without credit. A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that “Addictive” must be removed from shelves unless the composer Bappi La...

UK PUB PAYS HEFTY PRICE FOR BREACHING PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE
Licensing , Live Events / March 2003
UK

LICENSING Live Concert Industry Pub licensee Peter Elton was fined 00 with 00 costs by Bromley Magistrates Court for two admitted breaches of the Pub’s Public Entertainment Licence. Mr Elton admitted to allowing entertainment to continue for 45 minutes past the licenced curfew at the Alexander Pub in Penge on the Kent Borders in England. The licence conditions had been imposed to prevent disturbance to residential neighbours of th...

DOORS DRUMMER TAKES ACTION AGAINST NEW ‘DOORS’
Artists , Copyright , Trade Mark / March 2003
UK

TRADE MARK, COPYRIGHT Artists, Merchandising A reunion concert featuring two original members of the Doors has prompted a law suit from original drummer John Densmore in the Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract and unfair competition. Original keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger have teamed up with vocalist Ian Astbury (formerly of the Cult) and Stuart Copeland, drummer with the Police, to play a concert in...

INTERNET PATENT VIOLATIONS ALLEGED
Internet , Patents / March 2003
Mexico
USA

PATENTS Internet Acacia Media Technologies have asserted ownership of a number of patents which govern the process of transmitting compressed audio or video online, one of the most basic multimedia technologies on the Net. Acacia have just signed up its latest licensee, Mexican satellite telecommunication company Grupo Pegaso. Radio Free Virgin, the online music division of Richard Branson’s Virgin Corporation, said it agreed to l...

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES AND MICHAEL DOUGLAS BEGIN ACTION AGAINST HELLO!
Artists , Privacy / March 2003
UK

PRIVACY LAWS Artists The action brought by Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones reached the High Court in London. The couple and Northern & Shell, publishers of OK, have brought an action against Hello! claiming that their privacy was invaded when a photographer secretly took pictures of their New York wedding and provided these to Hello! who then published the shots. The couple had an exclusive agreement with OK to publish offi...

UK MUSICIANS’ UNION SPEARHEADS CHALLENGE TO PROPOSED LICENSING LEGISLATION
Licensing , Live Events / March 2003
UK

LICENSING Live Concert Industry Organisers of live music in small venues, currently exempt from needing a Public Entertainment Licence (PEL) and ‘pub’ venues where two or less performers are featured (known as the ‘two in a bar’ rule) are becoming increasingly alarmed at the hidden costs and bureaucracy emerging from the UK Government’s proposed Licensing Bill. Audience magazine noted that ‘far from d...

JAPANESE COURT ORDER ENSURES THAT CLIENTS OF ONLINE KARAOKE SUPPLIES MUST PAY ROYALTIES

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, Internet The Daily Yomiuri Online reports that the Osaka District Court have ordered an online karaoke machine leasing firm in Osaka to take necessary measures to prevent its customers, who have not paid copyright fees for music to the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), from using music delivered online. The Court’s ruling held that Hit One had been assisting its ...

2003 GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE GRANTED
Licensing , Live Events / March 2003
UK

LICENSING Live Concert Industry After a meeting lasting until 00.30 the Regulatory Board of Mendip District Council finally granted the licence for the 2003 Glastonbury Festival. This was the festival’s second application having initially been refused a licence because of the Council’s worries about safety and security of local residents and the policing of local villages outside of the Festival site itself. After the seven ...

US DOUBLE TRAGEDY RE-FOCUSES LIVE INDUSTRY ATTENTION ON EVENT SAFETY
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2003
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Following on from the death of 21 clubbers in Chicago on the 17th February, America was reeling after the deaths of at least 95 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island when the band Great White’s pyrotechnic display set fire to the venue where they were playing. The 17th February tragedy was caused by security staff letting off pepper spray in a nightclub to break up a fight; this caused memb...

COURT GRANTS MUSIC INDUSTRY SECOND MAJOR VICTORY IN AIMSTER CASE

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet In a major victory in the fight against the unauthorised uploading and downloading of music and other copyrighted works, a U.S. District Court Judge granted an all-encompassing preliminary injunction against the file swapping site Aimster (Madster). The Court’s decision follows its ruling on September 4th granting the record companies’ request for a preliminary injunction. ...

US SENATOR REINTRODUCES BILL ON COMPETITION IN RADIO
Competition , Live Events / February 2003
USA

COMPETITION Radio, Live Concert Industry Democrat Senator Russ Feingold has reintroduced his Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Act on January 28th 2003 which he says will help consumers, small and independent radio station owners, and independent concert promoters by prohibiting anti-competitive practices in the radio and concert industries. The Bill’s introduction comes as the Senate Commerce Committee holds a hearing...

EU UNVEILS NEW ANTI-PIRACY LAWS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing The European Union Justice & Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio Vitorino unveiled a tough new draft anti-piracy code on Thursday January 30th designed to standardise the approach to piracy throughout the European Community. The new legislation would direct all member states to treat large scale piracy and counterfeiting as a criminal offence as well as a civil offence meaning that offenders w...

JAPANESE COURT RULING FOLLOWS USA APPROACH AS PEER TO PEER FILE SWOPPING SERVICE IS SHUT DOWN

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet The Tokyo District Court, in an interim ruling on Wednesday January 29th 2003, decided that the online music file-sharing service provided by MMO Japan Ltd has violated copyright law, thus supporting the Japanese music industry’s stance. The decision follows the Court’s April 2002 injunction, which prohibited Tokyo-based MMO’s Internet file-swapping service in an acti...

UK INTERNET CAFÉ DOWNLOADS INFRINGE MUSIC COPYRIGHT

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd. & Others -v- Easyinternetcafe Ltd. (2003) Mr Justice Smith held that Easy-internetcafes were guilty of copyright infringement by allowing customers to download music and burn CDs at their chain of internet cafes. Investigators for the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) found that hundreds of tracks had been downloaded in the cafes. Users paid ...

USE OF SIMILAR MARKS
Trade Mark / February 2003
EU
Germany

TRADE MARKS Merchandising Davidoff et Cie SA -v- Gofkid Ltd (2003) European Court of Justice C292/00 (2003) This case concerned an action by Davidoff who distributed luxury cosmetics, clothing, tobacco, leather and other goods under the trade mark Davidoff which is registered in Germany and other countries. The defendants owned the markDurfee – registered in Germany later than the Davidoff mark. The marks had the same script...

RAID ON SCOTTISH COUNTERFEITERS REVEALS A MAJOR OPERATION

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT Record Labels, Music Publishing A man and a woman are being questioned after a raid on their Airdrie home in North Lanarkshire uncovered what is believed to be the biggest CD counterfeiting operation ever found in Scotland. Thousands of illegally copied CDs, DVDs and videos were discovered in the raid along with nineteen CD writers, 11 DVD writers and 15 video recorders. This MCPS-led raid (along with Strathclyde ...

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL’S 2003 PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE IS REFUSED
Licensing , Live Events / February 2003
UK

LICENSING Live Concert Industry The UK’s biggest festival, Glastonbury, is having to re-apply for a Public Entertainment Licence after its initial application was rejected by Mendip District Council (MDC) despite no objections from MDC’s own officers or statutory consultees. The new application will be heard on the 17th February 2003. The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 provides that responsibility for ...

INTERNET RADIO SERVICE RESTRICTED
Copyright , Internet / February 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Radio, Internet Yahoo have agreed to a settlement with Sony Music Entertainment as part of a lawsuit filed by the US recording industry against the web portal’s online music subsidiary, Launch Media. The lawsuit, filed in May 2001 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), alleged that Launch violated copyright laws by giving its web radio listeners too much control over their song choices – allowing ...

US SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS COPYRIGHT EXTENSION

COPYRIGHT  TV, Film, Artists and Composers, Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Eldred -v- Ashcroft (2003) In this case, the US Supreme Court finally confirmed the provisions of the US Copyright Extension Act 1998. This Act, known as the ‘Sonny Bono’ Act after the late recording artist and congressman, extends US copyright protection to life of author plus 70 years (up from 50 years) and 95 years (up from 75 years...

CAN A TELEVISION FORMAT BE OWNED?
Copyright / January 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT TV, Film CBS -v- ABC (2003) US District Court NY, Judge Loretta Preska The protection of the format to television formats has become a complicated area for programme makers and lawyers. The leading UK case of Green -v Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand (1984) held that there was no copyright in an idea and that on the facts of that case the format rights to the programme Opportunity Knocks were not protected unde...

A SMELL CANNOT BE A TRADE MARK
Trade Mark / January 2003
EU

TRADE MARK Merchandising Slecmann -v- Deutches Patent und Markenamt  European Court of Justice C273/00 (2002)  EC law provides that a trade mark may consist of any sign capable of being graphically represented particularly words including personal names designs letters numerals shapes of goods or their packaging provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one undertaking from those of other unde...

NEW SOURCES OF INCOME FOR SONGWRITERS
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / January 2003
EU
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, Artists and Composers A recent study by the Informa Media Group shows that downloading mobile phone rings is a fast growing and lucrative business. Informa found that in 2002 songwriter’s collection societies collected in excess of £44 million for composers and publishers and that the global income from mobile tone rings was in excess of US$1 billion. See www.cnet.com for further information....

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

TRADE MARK Merchandising, The Live Concert Industry Reed -v- Arsenal FC (2002) The curious case against ‘unofficial’ merchandiser Mr Reed BY Arsenal Football Club (AFC) carries on. The initial hearing in the High Court, London, before Mr Justice Laddie resulted in an unexpected win for Mr Reed. The Court held that because Mr Reed made it quite clear that his goods were unofficial, AFC could not rely on the law of passing ...

NEW ACTIONS IN CYBERSPACE

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Following on from the Recording Industry Association of America’s successful action against Napster (RIAA -v- Napster, Judge Marilyn Patel, July 2000) where a preliminary injunction was granted Effectively shutting Napster down, further cases have now reached the courts. In April 2001 Aimster applied to the US District Court requesting that it declare that its service was legal...

NEW COUNTRIES SIGN UP TO INTERNATIONAL TREATIES PROTECTING INTELLECUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Artists and Composers The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has announced that the total number of contracting states for the Berne Convention (which sets out and defines minimum standards of protection for economic and moral rights for authors of literary and artistic works) is now 149 nations and that the total number of contracting states to the Geneva Convention (protectin...

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

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) “Sampling and New Independent Dance Labels: The Importance of Understanding Copyright Law” by Jenna Bruce Music Industry Law Correspondent Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, UK September, 2002 This article considers whether those founding and operating new independent record labels specialising in ‘dance music’ genres have sufficient knowledge of legal issues r...