I was interviewed and quoted in a recent BuzzFeed article on copyright litigation related to musical compositions. The article discusses the basics of infringement claims and defenses, as well as examples both new and old of high-profile cases. Overall, an excellent layperson’s introduction to the issues involved when one songwriter believes he or she was ripped off by another.
ASCAP Court Rules for Pandora: Music Publishers Cannot Partially Withdraw Songs From ASCAP Catalog for Only Certain Users
In a major victory for Pandora (and all other digital music services), the ASCAP Rate Court has ruled this evening that ASCAP’s recent changes to its governing rules, which purported to allow music publisher members to selectively withdraw their catalogs from the ASCAP repertory for certain digital music services while keeping the songs in the repertory for other licensees (such as broadcasters, bars and restaurants), violated the ASCAP consent decree and therefore any purported withdrawals were ineffective.
This whole mess started a couple of years ago. After a series of losses in the ASCAP and BMI Rate Courts (in cases where ASCAP and BMI sought outrageously high royalty rates and were rebuffed by the Courts), various ASCAP members wanted to find a way out from the scrutiny provided by the Rate Courts. [Read more…]
This is fun. One of my quotes on the ways in which record companies abuse recording artists was picked up and highlighted in Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish.
I will be speaking on copyright royalty rate litigation at NARM’s Entertainment & Technology Law Conference this week, discussing the intricacies of litigating before the Copyright Royalty Board and the ASCAP and BMI rate courts. For those interested in rate-setting litigation, it should be an excellent panel, with Jonathan Potter moderating. Ken Steinthal and I will be speaking from the music service / licensee perspective, and Lucy Holmes Plovnick speaking from the copyright owner perspective.
There will also be other interesting panels, covering copyright, trademark/domain name and right of publicity issues of topical interest. The conference will be held this Thursday, February 28, 2013, from 1:00 to 5:30 pm. Here is a link for more information: http://digitalmusic.org/events/new-york-entertainment-technology-law-conference-2/