The Pirate Bay and The Pirate Party face actions in Eire and the UK
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2013

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet   Efforts by the Irish record industry to force internet service providers in the country to block access to The Pirate Bay have reached the Commercial Court in Dublin. The Irish Recorded Music Association has launched proceedings against net firms UPC, Imagine, Vodafone, Digiweb and Hutchison 3G seeking a web-block injunction forcing the named ISPs to stop their customers from accessing the controversial file-sharing websites. In the UK, the BPI has threatened to pursue legal action against five members of the national executive of the Pirate Party and its head of IT over the proxy link it operates providing easy access to The Pirate Bay. The BPI wrote to Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye last month asking that he stop operating the TPB proxy.  After an initial refusal, the record label trade body is preparing to issue proceedings. The move promoted the Pirate Party to disable the proxy. The Pirate Party have also pulled their legal battle fundraiser campaign.

Article Link: Making Cents
Artists , Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2013

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels, artistes   Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi breaks down the meagre royalties currently being paid out to bands by streaming services and explains what the music business’ headlong quest for capital means for artists today: “Since we own our own recordings, by my calculation it would take songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one–one— LP sale. (On Spotify, one LP is equivalent to 47,680 plays.) “, This is a fascinating expose and highlights Spotify’s dash for growth which benefits the shareholders in Spotify, but questions if musicians will ever benefit under business models divorced from music itself.

Clearance problems result in Jessie Ware title change
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / January 2013

COPYRIGHT Artistes, Music publishing   Jessie Ware’s debut album ‘Devotion’ will get a physical release in the US later this month but without the original version of the single ‘110%’ won’t be on it – the track will be renamed ‘If You’re Never Gonna Move‘ after Ware was unable to clear a sample on the track from ‘100%’ by late rapper Big Pun. The opening line of the song, which is taken from Big Pun’s track, “Carvin my initials on your forehead“, is replaced by a new line, “Coming on a mission like a warhead“. Ware told Billboard “We had to be imaginative and change the words. It’s annoying but it always happens”, she said. The rest of the album remains untouched though. CMU Daily  14 December 2012

Alicia Keys faces plagiarism claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / January 2013

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Alicia Keys facing a legal action from songwriter Earl Shuman over her new single ‘Girl On Fire’. Shuman claims that the lyrics of the song bear similarities to those of his 1962 composition ‘Lonely Girl’, written with Leon Carr and best known on Eddie Holman’s 1970 classic version under the name ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’. The similarity was apparently first brought to his attention via an article on Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 website, in which the entertainment journalist stated: “In the middle of the song, Keys sings a two second long couplet from Holman’s ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’. The song was written by Leon Carr and Earl Shuman, Shuman subsequently got in touch with Friedman, firstly to point out that he’s not dead, and secondly so say that he’s not amused with Keys borrowing his words and that legal action would follow. Previously both Anita Baker and Beastie Boys have used unaccredited samples from Holman’s recording of ‘Lonely Girl’, both subsequently reaching settlements with Shuman and the estate of Leon Carr. CMU Daily 19th December 2012

Kraftwerk’s 12-Year lawsuit over a two second sample comes to a bizarre end (nearly)
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / January 2013

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, artistes   Techdirt reports on the rather confusing state of German copyright law related to music sampling, beginning the tale back in 1977 when Kraftwerk released a track called “Metall auf Metall“ that contained a “rather distinctive bit of percussion that ran the length of the track”. Twenty years later, a German rapper called Sabrina Setlur recorded a single called “Nur Mir,” which featured a two-second loop of Kraftwerk’s percussion. In 2000, Kraftwerk took the track’s producers Pelham and Haas to Hamburg’s lower civil court for using an uncleared sample and the court agreed, finding  that re-purposing even the smallest sample of a song counted as copyright infringement. The court also issued an injunction against Pelham and Haas forbidding further distribution of Nur Mir. It’s always worth remembering that in most sampling cases there will sampling of the ‘song’  – the melody, rhythm and lyrics’ and sampling of the actual sound recording itself. For the next eight years Techdirt say “the case bounced between courts before landing in Germany’s highest civil court”,  The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), which in 2008 ruled against Kraftwerk, stating that “sampling musical notes does not, in principle, violate copyright” but conversely stating “that sampling a melody does…

Lamb of God frontman faces trial over fan death
Criminal Law , Live Events / January 2013

CRIMINAL Live events sector   Czech prosecutors have formally filed indictment papers with the Prague Municipal Court in the manslaughter case against Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe. The court now has three months to set a date for his trial or return the case to prosecutors for further investigation. Blythe was arrested and charged with manslaughter when he and his band arrived in Prague to play a gig in the city at the end of June on charges relating to the death of a fan, named as Daniel N,  following a performance in the Czech capital two years ago. The fan is said to have climbed onto the stage a number of times during the show, and on the third occasion was allegedly pushed back off by Blythe, falling onto his head and sustaining injuries that led to his death. After being initially denied bail and spending a month in prison, Blythe is now back in the US having been on bail of eight million Czech Koruna (approximately £260,000). At the time of his release he said “While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution”….

Don’t disturb tha Ludacris peace
Artists , Trade Mark / January 2013

TRADE MARK Artistes   Ludacris has launched a lawsuit against a Texas couple using the phrase “Disturb tha peace” in relation to audio equipment and recordings. He claims that they are infringing the trademark of his Disturbing Tha Peace record label, which he founded in 2000. TMZ reports that in papers filed last month the rapper is asking for a judge to rule that Demetri and Donna Evans-Brown should be forced to stop using the phrase, as well as pay him damages and his legal costs.

Florida Court deems loud music law unconstitutional
Licensing , Live Events / January 2013

LICENSING Live events sector   The Supreme Court of Florida struck down a state law that banned people from playing music too loud. This story all began with Florida lawyer, Richard Catalano, back in 2007. He was listening to a Justin Timberlake song when he was pulled over. The officer gave him a $73 ticket. “All of a sudden lights came on behind me and the officer pulled me over and I had no idea, I honestly had no idea why he was pulling me over,” Catalano said. He challenged the law and argued the case all the way up to the Supreme Court nine months ago. The Court have now sided with Catalano. “I was pretty confident all along that we would win once we got it to the Appellate levels,” he said. The rule was drivers could not blast their music at a volume that was “plainly audible” to someone 25 feet away. The Court unanimously ruled that the law infringed on Floridians freedom of expression.

Aerosmith’s Tyler say ex-managers lawyer lawsuit is a ‘travesty’
Artists , Copyright / January 2013

CONTRACT Artistes   Steven Tyler has called a lawsuit being pursued by his former management against his current lawyer “an outrage and a travesty”. A court filing by the Aerosmith frontman and former ‘American Idol’ judge regards the litigation has been seen by TMZ and it seems US music industry veteran Allen Kovac began legal action against lawyer Dina LaPolt back in October. Kovac claims that he hired LaPolt to work on negotiations with ‘Idol’ producers when Tyler’s contract with the show was up for renewal in late 2011 but, he alleges, the attorney derailed the negotiations by telling ‘Idol’ producers that the star’s reps were overplaying their hand in a bid to up their client’s fee and further allege that LaPolt then persuaded Tyler to sack his managers, cutting Kovac’s management company out of the commission it was due on the severance fee paid by the ‘Idol’ production company when Tyler left the show. TMZ reports that Tyler says the personal management company he fired has no business complaining about it, because  Kovac was “disrespectful, rude, and insulting to his fiance and his family” and they parted company when it became clear (To Tyler) that he couldn’t stop the…