Intellectual property law

  1. Six Suggestions for Not Screwing Up Copyright Reform (Guest Post)

    July 09, 2014 10:09 AM EDT Craig Havighurst is a music journalist and media producer in Nashville with a public policy M.A. from Duke's Sanford School. He's followed intellectual property issues since covering the music business for The Tennessean in the 2000s. ...

  2. Kaskade's Free Music: Beer, or Speech? A Look at Sampling, Creative Commons and Copyright (Op-Ed)

    July 01, 2014 10:07 AM EDT Steve Martocci is the co-founder of Splice, a platform that connects musicians and their tools with the cloud. Splice is also advancing the concept of "open source" music and public collaboration.  After a series of DMCA takedown noti ...

  3. Smokey Robinson Points to U.S. Constitution in Fight With Ex-Wife Over Song Rights

    June 20, 2014 3:27 PM EDT The singer-songwriter argues that a federal copyright law preempts Claudette Robinson's claim of being entitled to a share of his big hits. When U.S. lawmakers long ago decided to give authors the opportunity to terminate copyright grants to ...

  4. Beastie Boys' Defense Says 'Paul's Boutique'-Suing Label Doesn't Actually Own Copyrights

    June 11, 2014 8:28 PM EDT The Beastie Boys might be finished producing new music, but the hip-hop group isn't done with copyright law. Amazingly, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz and the late Adam Yauch appear poised to score their third big legal win this year. Just la ...

  5. U.S. Dept. of Justice to Review ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

    June 04, 2014 2:16 AM EDT The antitrust division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice has opened a review to exam whether its decades-old ASCAP and BMI consent decrees should be amended or, as some publishers hope, sunsetted and eliminated. The consent decrees impose regulations ...

  6. SoundExchange Launches Campaign for Royalties on Pre-1972 Recordings

    May 29, 2014 6:00 AM EDT Listen to the Stooges' "Search and Destroy" from the 1973 album "Raw Power" on Pandora and the band will receive a small royalty. But listen to "Down on the Street," from the "Funhouse" album released t ...

  7. Songwriter Equity Act Picks Up Momentum in Senate, Aims to Modernize Copyright Law

    May 12, 2014 8:39 PM EDT The Songwriter Equity Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February, is picking up momentum with three Senators introducing their version for the Senate. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (both R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch ...

  8. Smokey Robinson's Ex-Wife Demands Share of Reclaimed Hit Songs

    May 05, 2014 9:08 PM EDT Did the singer-songwriter commit fraud nearly three decades ago when he got a divorce and failed to mention that he might one day have the power to reclaim rights to his songs? In his legendary career, R&B singer Smokey Robinson was known for ...

  9. Prince Gets Masters Back, Which Labels Say 'Scares Us Silly'

    April 25, 2014 3:02 PM EDT 93 3.277 k 157 0 This article was first published in the May 3rd issue of Billboard . The April 18 announcement that Prince had re-signed with his first label, Warner Bros. Records, where he had resided from 1978 to 1996 and produced some of his best-sell ...

  10. 84% of Content Consumed in Spain is Pirated

    April 10, 2014 6:55 PM EDT % of content consumed in Spain is illegal, according to new report that adds more fuel to fiery debate in piracy-plagued country. Eighty-four percent of all online content consumed in Spain is pirated, according to a study of 2013 Internet trend ...

  11. Copyright Office Opens Up for Comments Ahead of Overhaul

    March 18, 2014 10:36 AM EDT As part of the U.S. Congress' current review of U.S. copyright law, the U.S. copyright office has sent out a notice and a request for public comment in an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music in the dig ...

  12. UK Music Trade Body AMP Calls On Labels To Split Streaming Royalties 50/50

    March 13, 2014 7:00 AM EDT Last week, London-based trade body Artists, Managers, Performers (AMP) - a loose alliance between U.K. organizations the Musicians’ Union (MU), the Music Managers’ Forum (MMF) and the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), which collectively represents ...

  13. Australian Gov't Considering ‘Graduated Response’, Commits to Overhaul of Copyright Act

    February 18, 2014 1:18 AM EST Australia is edging toward a “graduated response” system after the attorney-general declared his country’s government would consider such measures to help curb online piracy.  George Brandis, who serves in the dual role of attorney-general and min ...

  14. Proposal for Compulsory Remix License Has Foes in Steven Tyler and Attorney Dina LaPolt

    February 10, 2014 1:24 PM EST Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler and music attorney Dina LaPolt have sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office opposing the creation of a compulsory license that would allow anyone to legally create remixes and derivative works, w ...

  15. After Judge's Ruling, Publishing Companies' Digital Rights Withdrawal Anything But Clear-Cut

    January 14, 2014 3:18 PM EST While the BMI website says that four of the five largest music publishing catalogs have withdrawn from BMI, sources tell Billboard that most of those publishers have reached a stand-still agreement with digital music services and BMI while they ...

  16. 13 Ways to Make Money with Your Songs (Guest Post)

    December 13, 2013 2:17 PM EST Jamie Purpora is TuneCore's President of Music Publishing Administration.  If you write songs, and your songs are sold, downloaded, streamed or used in many other ways, they’re generating songwriter royalties for you.  Awesome, right? Nowad ...

  17. Who In Their Right Mind Sues Marvin Gaye or the Beastie Boys? (Guest Post)

    December 05, 2013 5:13 PM EST Howell O’Rear is a founding partner of the Nashville, Tennessee law firm McInteer & O’Rear PLC. His practice focuses on litigating business, contract, and intellectual property disputes, including copyright infringement actions.  In two rece ...

  18. China to Undertake Sweeping Cultural Reforms as Country Looks to Foster Industry

    November 18, 2013 11:50 AM EST Plans for a new court to protect intellectual property rights and reform of state companies in the cultural arena to allow greater private input were among the Hollywood-friendly reforms announced in a landmark 60-point roadmap by China's r ...

  19. Rep. Mel Watt Introduces Performance Right Legislation

    September 30, 2013 2:25 PM EDT Rep. Mel Watt has introduced legislation that would create a performance right for sound recordings at broadcast radio and create a new revenue stream for record labels and artists. The Free Market Royalty Act, introduced Monday morning, would ...

  20. Marvin Gaye's Family Rejected Robin Thicke's Six-Figure Offer (Exclusive)

    August 23, 2013 8:27 AM EDT Billboard has learned that Robin Thicke’s team offered a six-figure sum to members of Marvin Gaye family in order to preempt a copyright infringement showdown, but the family turned it down. According to sources knowledgeable with the lawsu ...

  21. The Turtles Lead Whopping $100 Million Class Action Against SiriusXM

    August 02, 2013 12:57 PM EDT Enjoy an old rock tune on satellite radio lately? A new proposed class action raises the theory that SiriusXM has infringed millions of these older recordings from thousands of song artists. Damages are alleged to be at least $100 million, but f ...

  22. Rep. Mel Watt To Introduce Broadcast Radio Performance Rights Bill To Compensate Labels, Artists For Airplay

    July 26, 2013 2:39 PM EDT Rep. Mel Watt plans to introduce legislation that will establish a performance right that would compensate record labels and artists for airplay on broadcast radio. Watt made the announcement on Thursday during the latest hearing on copyright is ...

  23. Legal Fight over T Rex Songs Portends Music Industry Battles

    July 18, 2013 2:10 PM EDT As the fathers of rock music have bowed to the inevitability of mortality, their sons, daughters and other statutory heirs could soon be sending jarring vibes across the music industry. Last week, Rolan Feld, the son of T Rex frontman Marc Bolan ...

  24. IFPI’s Frances Moore Emphasizes Growth, Challenges at Filaie/IFPI Latin American Meeting

    June 28, 2013 5:43 PM EDT Latin America’s status as the fastest growing region in terms of digital growth in 2012 and the second fastest growing region in terms of performance rights income were central points of the speech delivered by IFPI’s Frances Moore at the Filaie ...

  25. RIAA, NMPA Laud White House's New Intellectual Property Enforcement Plan

    June 20, 2013 3:39 PM EDT White House Encourages Greater Intellectual Property Enforcement   A report released Thursday by the office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) provides an update on the White House's efforts to address online p ...

  26. Lawsuit Against Warner/Chappell Music Claims 'Happy Birthday' Belongs to Public Domain

    June 13, 2013 4:22 PM EDT In the late 19th century, a schoolteacher named Patty Smith Hill and her sister Mildred Hill composed the first version of a tune that would become internationally famous. In fact, "Happy Birthday" has been cited by the Guinness Book o ...

  27. Boston's Tom Scholz Looks to Reclaim Rights to Hits, Sparking a Lawsuit from Former Manager and Publisher

    March 21, 2013 5:43 PM EDT Over the years, insiders in the music industry have expressed more than a feeling that this would be the year where there would be court battles that might forever shape the business. That's because changes to copyright law that went into e ...

  28. Court Rules For Ray Charles Children In Copyright Lawsuit (Updated)

    January 29, 2013 10:39 AM EST The latest salvo in the copyright lawsuit between the Ray Charles Foundation and seven of the late singer's children finds the court ruling in favor of the children. The ruling allows them to reclaim copyrights on about 60 of Charles' cl ...

  29. Six Music-Related Issues Facing This Administration and Congress

    January 20, 2013 3:05 PM EST From performance royalties to deciding how musicians travel with their instruments on airplanes, numerous issues central to the music industry are alive Washington D.C. as the city prepares for the president inauguration on Martin Luther King, Jr. ...

  30. Reversion Rights: Will 2013 Be A Game-Changer?

    December 27, 2012 2:30 PM EST While albums released in 1978 (as shown here) are the first batch eligible for possible reversion of ownership to pass from labels back to the artists, so far the only acts to file notice of termination for master right recordings with the U.S. co ...

  31. Three Songwriter Organizations Oppose Internet Radio Fairness Act

    December 03, 2012 2:14 PM EST In the last three weeks, three coalitions of songwriter organizations have written letters to congress opposing the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA) while asserting that songwriters royalty rates paid by services like Pandora are too low and nee ...

  32. Vevo: We've Paid Artists $200 Million Since 2009

    November 28, 2012 9:10 PM EST Vevo announced Tuesday at the Business Inside: Ignition Conference in New York City that the company has paid back $200 million in revenue back to the music industry since being founded in 2009, a figure it touted as higher than any other music-vi ...

  33. The Key Women Behind ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC

    November 28, 2012 12:03 PM EST The performing rights organizations -- ASCAP, BMI and SESAC -- play a crucial role in the financial health of the music industry, paying performance royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers. At each of the PROs, numerous female executive ...

  34. Internet Radio Fairness Act Would Spur Innovation: Guest Post by AccuRadio's Kurt Hanson

    November 27, 2012 4:43 PM EST As the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet prepares for tomorrow's hearing on music licensing, the debate within the music community has rapidly gained momentum. Following a related post by Down ...

  35. House Judiciary Subcommittee Announces Internet Royalties Hearing For Nov. 28

    November 21, 2012 6:05 PM EST The debate over Internet radio royalties is headed to Washington D.C. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will hold a hearing on Wednesday, November 28 on the topic of music licensing. No witness ...

  36. Republican Committee Proposes, Then Quickly Retracts, Proposal for Copyright Reform

    November 19, 2012 4:01 PM EST On Friday, the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative Republicans, posted a brief that suggests a radical reset on copyright law -- one that appears to embrace the concepts of income redistribution and a progressive tax rate on all c ...

  37. Carly Rae Jepsen, Owl City's Adam Young Sued for Copyright Infringement Over 'Good Time'

    October 30, 2012 6:48 PM EDT Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City's Adam Young as well as several publishing companies and performing rights groups are being sued in a new copyright infringement lawsuit filed in California federal court. The claims come from Allyson Nichole Bur ...

  38. Business Matters: Can Copyright Alerts Work in U.S.? Hadopi Report Brings Promising Signs

    October 29, 2012 6:35 PM EDT The long-awaited Copyright Alert System, or CAS, is coming to the U.S. in the coming weeks through five major broadband providers and their partnership with the RIAA, MPAA and the Center for Copyright Information. The impact the alerts will have i ...

  39. Songwriters Are Left Out of Pandora's Royalty Plan: Guest Post by Downtown Music's Justin Kalifowitz

    October 29, 2012 1:00 PM EDT Pandora's efforts to lower its royalty rates have inspired conversation and controversy in recent weeks. This editorial by Justin Kalifowitz -- president of Downtown Music Publishing and co-founder / CEO of Songtrust , a royalty collection pl ...

  40. Copyright Alert System Coming Within Weeks

    October 19, 2012 12:17 PM EDT American Internet users can expect to start seeing notifications from their Internet service providers if they trade files on peer-to-peer networks. A blog post by Jill Lesser, executive director of the Center for Copyright Information, revealed t ...

  41. Ray Charles Songs Lawsuit Could Make Major Impact On Copyright Battles

    October 16, 2012 6:50 PM EDT In a battle over rights to Ray Charles' famous songs, the charitable foundation that was bequeathed the singer's money and assets is suddenly in a tough spot, in danger of losing the substantial revenues that "I Got a Woman," & ...

  42. Business Matters: Young Consumers Legally Purchase More Digital Music Than Anyone, Study Shows

    October 16, 2012 6:40 PM EDT A preview of an upcoming study by the American Assembly at Columbia University aims to highlight a generational divide in attitudes toward sharing music -- but ends up showing much more. You can view the study's findings through one of three ...

  43. Publishing Briefs: CISAC Summit, Kobalt, Paul McCartney, Wonderlous, Jingle Punks, More

    October 16, 2012 5:16 PM EDT CISAC Summit Set for June 2013 CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, will hold its fourth biennial World Creators Summit on June 4-5, 2013, in Washington, DC, at the Ronald Reagan Center. Formerly known as t ...

  44. Michael S. Simon Named President/CEO Of Harry Fox Agency

    October 15, 2012 6:52 PM EDT Michael S. Simon has been promoted to president and CEO for the Harry Fox Agency, succeeding Gary Churgin, who is leaving the company. Simon, previously the organization's senior VP of business affairs/ general counsel/chief strategic officer ...

  45. Publishing Briefs: Kobalt to Invest $100 Million in Advances, Copyrights

    October 09, 2012 7:47 PM EDT Kobalt to Invest $100 Million in Advances, Copyrights The Kobalt Music Group, via funds raised by Kobalt Capital Ltd, plans to invest $100 million over the next 12 months in paying advances and buying copyrights. Through its subsidiary Kobalt Capi ...

  46. Apple's Internet-Radio Service Faces Many Snags, Not Just Sony/ATV

    October 01, 2012 4:57 PM EDT While digital and satellite radio services may have another level of negotiations to navigate for Apple's forthcoming radio service, a report last week by the New York Post claiming that Sony/ATV Music Publishing is the snag holding up the la ...

  47. BMI Releases Results, Revenue Down 3.5% Due to Radio Rate Settlement

    September 20, 2012 6:02 PM EDT In the year ended June 30, 2012, Broadcast Music, Inc. reported $898.8 million in revenue, a nearly 3.5% decline from the $931 million collected in the prior year. The organization attributed the decline to " settling a rate litigation" ...

  48. Copyrights And Consumers On Trial: Takeaways From The Entertainment And Technology Law Conference

    September 14, 2012 11:07 AM EDT Locating lawyers in New York City's midtown district isn't a big challenge. Finding a group of legal eagles focused on the latest developments for music and related fields, however, takes a little more doing. For those who knew where to ...

  49. One Direction Solves Legal Issue Over Band Name

    September 06, 2012 8:24 AM EDT One Direction, the mega-selling UK act that was put together by Simon Cowell on The X Factor, has settled a legal war over its band name. Cowell's record label, Syco Entertainment as well as Sony Music and members of the band were sued in Apr ...

  50. Business Matters: A Brief History of Spotify Royalties

    August 30, 2012 12:21 PM EDT Spotify's per-stream royalty payments to one independent artist are showing the heft people might have thought impossible just a few years ago. David Harrell of the band t he Layaways regularly posts numbers from his band's CD Baby royal ...

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