Spotify Proposes $43 Million Settlement Class Action Lawsuit for Unlawful Distribution of Copyrighted Music

Picture1By: Adam Roberts

Popular music streaming service Spotify has agreed to pay $43.45 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a collection of songwriters and music copyright holders.  The class plaintiffs allege that Spotify unlawfully distributed their music to consumers without paying what are known as ‘mechanical royalties.’  Mechanical royalties are the payments made to a songwriter which gives one the legal right to reproduce a piece of music.  Under Section 115 of the Copyright Act, services like Spotify must pay mechanical royalties for all songs streamed on their web service.  Although the class action has reached a proposed resolution, there may still be legal issues in seeking court approval of the settlement.  Continue reading

My Other Bag Isn’t Infringing

lvBy Alex Bullock

If you ever find yourself at the grocery store with only your designer handbag to put your apples in, know that the option to carry a canvas tote bag with designer style won’t be going away anytime soon.

That’s because My Other Bag (“MOB”) sells utilitarian canvas tote bags featuring images of designer-brand handbags on their sides—which play on the belief that “my bag is a [fill in luxury brand here].” In June 2014, Louis Vuitton (“LV”), one of the world’s most valuable and well-known luxury fashion brands, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York Continue reading

YouTube’s Content ID Policy Change Now Saves Lost Monetization for Fair Use Videos

youtube-cashBy Dan Goodman

As the late Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” Whether you believe that statement or not, it is certainly, and thankfully, becoming less true the world of monetizing videos on YouTube through fair use.

The issue of fair use in regard to Content ID claims and Digital Millennial Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notices continues to be a hot topic in the world of YouTube. Most recently demonstrated in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., the Ninth Circuit held that copyright holders must consider fair use and have a subjective belief that the material in use was in violation of copyright law before sending a takedown notice.

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DMCA Takedown Notices: Never Enough, Always Too Much

picture1By Ari Robbins

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notices are headed to the Supreme Court where they could themselves be facing a takedown. These notices are issued outside of a court process and are supposed to warn online hosts that content on their websites might constitute copyright infringement. Per the Ninth Circuit decision that is headed to the Court, Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., the sender of a takedown notice must have a subjective belief that material related to a notice is not fair use. Imposing such a standard has far reaching implications for all senders  and recipients of DMCA takedown notices.

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Courtroom Theatrics Find New Meaning as Hamilton Sues for Copyright Infringement

hamiltonBy CaroLea Casas

Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton is a hit – it’s on Broadway, a national tour, and most likely on your neighbor’s favorite playlist after the soundtrack’s historic debut on music charts.

Even people who have never seen the production know every word to all forty-six songs.  First Lady Michelle Obama herself was quoted by the New York Times as saying “[Hamilton is the] best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.” With a cast composed predominately of people of color, Hamilton brings a fresh voice, perspective, and representation to an age-old art form. The show is no longer just a production – it is a brand that fans love; and one that its copyright holders are zealously guarding. Continue reading