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...