I was quoted in a Buzzfeed article published yesterday. The article deals with the problems that sometime occur when a record label loses interest in an artist and refuses to release his or her new recordings.
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/
Sirius XM has filed an antitrust suit against SoundExchange and the American Association of Independent Music, alleging that these entities have been colluding with the major and certain independent record labels to prevent Sirius XM from direct licensing the sound recording copyrights it needs to provide its various services. [Read more…]
I will be speaking at an upcoming CLE program on one of my favorite topics: recording artists’ recapture of their copyrights from the record labels. As 2013 (the first year that sound recording copyright transfers will have ever been subject to termination) approaches, this issue is getting on the radar of more and more folks. I have been dealing with it for over a decade, having briefed the sound recording work for hire issue in the original MP3.com litigation. The program will take place on Tuesday, January 24 in New York City.
My panel will be part of a much larger intellectual property law CLE program sponsored by the New York State Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section. I highly encourage anyone interested in any facet of intellectual property law to attend. I am not aware of any other program where you can get 8 credit hours of CLE (including 1 hour of ethics credit) for only $125. Here is a link to the registration materials for those interested, and here is a copy of the full-day program:
MP3tunes Summary Judgment Decision: Defendants Only Liable For Specific Songs In Takedown Notice That Were Not Taken Down
The Southern District of New York has issued its ruling in the Capitol Records v. MP3tunes case, granting partial summary judgment for each side. The bottom line is that MP3tunes and its founder, Michael Robertson (also the founder of MP3.com), are only liable for the infringement of sound recordings that were specifically identified in DMCA takedown notices but not removed from users’ accounts.
One amazing nugget hidden in the first footnote of the decision (page 12), is the court’s holding that the DMCA safe harbor applies to pre-1972 sound recordings, even though such recordings are not protected by federal copyright. This holding, if noticed and followed by Justice Kapnick, should destroy the claims brought by UMG Recordings against Grooveshark in New York State court. UMG brought these claims in state court, limited to common law copyright infringement for pre-’72 recordings, as an attempted end-run around the DMCA.
There are lots of other points of interest in the decision, which I will get to soon. In the meantime, I wanted to post the decision as quickly as possible for your reading enjoyment: