Friday, October 2, 2009

'Copyright Criminals' screenings... check for local listings...

COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and money. Produced by University of Iowa professor Kembew McLeod and Benjamin Franzen, this documentary traces the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry. Sampling, or riffing, is as old as music itself, but as technologies developed in the 1980s and ’90s that made it easier to sample existing sound recordings – and when record label company lawyers got involved – everything changed. Years before people started downloading music off the internet, hip-hop sampling sparked a debate about copyright, creativity and technological change, and the debate still rages today. more

Future of Music Coalition Summit 2009

It’s been nearly a decade since the digital music genie burst out of its bottle, changing the game for virtually everyone in the music ecosystem. So what comes next? Future of Music Policy Summit 2009 will examine this question through practical, musician-focused workshops, keynotes from leading artists, managers and policymakers and inspired panel discussions with the sharpest minds in the music/technology space ...more

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Does Sound Exchange Do?

Read more to find out!

Petition To Bolster Artist Rights To Be Delivered To Obama

A letter to President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden asking the administration to pursue policies supportive of the rights of artists has garnered nearly 7,000 electronic signatures, according to the Copyright Alliance.

"Artists and creators make important contributions not only to our society and culture, but also to our economy," the Copyright Alliance director of outreach Lucinda Dugger, said in a statement. "Increasingly, creators are finding their work misappropriated, reproduced and distributed without their knowledge, consent or benefit by those who believe intellectual property should be free for the taking. It is important that creators speak up about their works and how the principle of copyright empowers and provides incentive for creators to earn a living with their talents and ideas." more

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why ASCAP Licenses Local Bars & Restaurants –10 Things You Need to Know

Imagine this scenario.

A local bar or restaurant uses music to enhance the atmosphere and draw in customers. No one wants to sit in silence. And live music pulls in a nice crowd that spends money at the bar.

The owners never question the need for a liquor license. But it's a different story when it comes to the license required to play music under copyright.

The owners dispute the need to pay. They say music is not generating revenue for them. They try to push off responsibility to the band. They claim they can't afford a license that might amount to a few hundred dollars a year. They say they'll just stop playing music altogether. more...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eminem's Music Publisher Takes Apple To Court

Eminem's music publisher wants a bigger slice from Apple.

Eight Mile Style LLC and a co-plaintiff, Martin Affiliated LLC, are suing Apple Inc., claiming they never authorized the use of 93 songs in a downloadable format on Apple's popular iTunes service.

The non-jury trial is expected to start Thursday in the rapper's hometown of Detroit, unless a settlement is reached Wednesday with the help of U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia Morgan.

Eight Mile is also suing Aftermath Records, which controls the recordings in question, saying it didn't have the right to make deals on digital downloads. more

The Fray Sues Manager Over Copyrights To Songs

The Fray songwriting duo of Joseph King and Isaac Slade are suing their manager over the copyrights to their songs.

King and Slade wrote the 2005 hits "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "How to Save a Life," and the current hit "You Found Me." They say manager Gregg Latterman obtained partial ownership of their songs when the band members signed a publishing agreement in July 2005  more

Thursday, August 20, 2009

EMI Publishing, L.A. Reid Form New Talent JV

By Andre Paine, London

EMI Music Publishing has reached an agreement with Antonio "L.A." Reid to form the L.A. Reid Music Publishing Company, a joint venture to sign new songwriters.

The L.A. Reid Music Publishing Company will provide EMI Music Publishing with the exclusive services of Reid as a music publishing talent spotter. He will be responsible for discovering and signing new and established songwriters to publishing deals.

The global agreement was negotiated by EMI Music Publishing president of West Coast Creative, Big Jon Platt.

Solo artists and groups signed by Reid include Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher, OutKast, Avril Lavigne, Pink, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy and Rihanna more...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Music Labels Reach Online Royalty Deal

Internet radio, once on its deathbed, is likely to survive after all.

On Tuesday, after a two-year battle, record labels and online radio stations agreed on new royalty rates that cover music streaming.

Many of the music sites had argued that the old rates were so high that they were being forced out of business. That could have come back to haunt the record labels, since for many people the sites are becoming a useful way to discover music.

“This is definitely the agreement that we’ve been waiting for,” said Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, one of the most popular Internet radio sites with 30 million registered users. more...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Microsoft, Real, & Yahoo All Sued for Music Store Copyright Infringement

On Tuesday, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Real were named in a lawsuit filed by some music publishing companies claiming that each of their online music stores - Zune, Yahoo Music, and Rhapsody - infringe upon their copyrights. If you’re shaking your head and wondering how that is possible, with all the royalties they pay out, you’re not alone more....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ASCAP Wants To Be Paid When Your Phone Rings

Legal Analysis by Fred von Lohmann
ASCAP (the same folks who went after Girl Scouts for singing around a campfire) appears to believe that every time your musical ringtone rings in public, you're violating copyright law by "publicly performing" it without a license. At least that's the import of a brief [2.5mb PDF] it filed in ASCAP's court battle with mobile phone giant AT&T.

This will doubtless come as a shock to the millions of Americans who have legitimately purchased musical ringtones, contributing millions to the music industry's bottom line. Are we each liable for statutory damages (say, $80,000) if we forget to silence our phones in a restaurant? more...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Woman illegally downloads 24 songs, fined to tune of $1.9 million

(CNN) -- A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each -- a total of $1.9 million -- for 24 songs. Jammie Thomas-Rasset's case was the first such copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, her attorney said. Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client was shocked at fine, noting that the price tag on the songs she downloaded was 99 cents. more...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Understanding Royalty Free Music: The Basics of the Music Industry, Copyright & Licensing

To cover this topic properly, and to make this series as comprehensive as possible, I need to make sure that you have a good understanding of the structure of the music industry. This means we need to briefly cover a couple of points first.

The Music Industry, a whistle stop tour! “The Music Industry” is made up of numerous niche music-related industries that combine to form it as a whole. For example, royalty free music is part of the independent music industry. more...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lemonheads' Dando sues General Motors over alleged song copy

Lemonheads founder Evan Dando is suing General Motors, saying the auto giant copied one of his songs for an ad.

Dando sued GM and advertising and licensing firms in federal court Thursday, claiming the automaker violated his copyright on The Lemonheads song "It's a Shame About Ray." The complaint alleges the song was re-recorded and included in a 2008 TV campaign for Chevrolets and Buicks. Dando seeks damages and a portion of profits from the campaign...more

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cher, Sonny Bono heirs sue Universal Music for $5 million

Cher has sued Universal Music Group, claiming that the label’s creative accounting has shortchanged her and the heirs of her late ex-husband Sonny Bono to the tune of $5 million.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims an audit of UMG’s accounting to the singer-actress from 2000 to 2003 showed that UMG execs “engaged in wrongful tactics” designed to hide revenue from two hit compilation albums. more...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Billy Joel drummer files NY lawsuit over royalties

A former drummer for Billy Joel claims the Grammy Award-winning singer of hits including "Uptown Girl" and "Movin' Out" has stiffed him out of royalties for years.

Liberty DeVitto has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan's state Supreme Court demanding Joel pay him overdue royalties. The 58-year-old says he was Joel's drummer from 1975 to 2005 and helped the piano man craft some of his biggest albums. more...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Copyright Office Fees Set to Change on August 1

The Copyright Office has submitted to Congress a proposed new fee schedule that will go into effect on August 1 unless Congress rejects the schedule. The fee for registration of a basic claim to copyright filed electronically will remain $35. Filing on a Form CO, which is filled out online, printed with 2D barcodes that contain the information from the application, and mailed to the Office, will increase to $50. Filing on traditional paper forms without barcodes will be $65 to reflect the higher cost to the Office of processing these forms. more...

UMPG, Eminem Sign Worldwide Deal

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed Eminem to an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement beginning with the artist's sixth studio album, "Relapse," due May 19. Previoulsy, UMPG had an administration relationship with a portion of the Eminem song catalog. more...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rapper Lil Wayne sues song's producer

Rapper Lil Wayne is suing the producer of a song he performed that allegedly sampled another singer's work without permission.

A lawsuit filed last year against Lil Wayne accuses him of copyright infringement, saying he failed to secure permission to sample folk singer Karma-Ann Swanepoel's song "Once" on his track "I Feel Like Dying."

A lawsuit filed last week by the rapper's lawyers says Rebel Rock Productions Inc., of Coconut Creek, Fla., produced "I Feel Like Dying" and was responsible for obtaining any necessary licensing agreements. more

Wilco ex-member sues Jeff Tweedy for royalties

A former member of Wilco is suing the band's lead singer, claiming he's owed royalties for songs during his seven years and five albums with the group.

Jay Bennett also claims in the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed Monday against singer Jeff Tweedy that he deserves money from the band's 2002 documentary, "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart." The film documents the making of Wilco's album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." more

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crystal Clear Music President to sit on panel at the 2009 Winter Music Conference

Cheryl M. Potts, President of Crystal Clear Music, Inc. is a confirmed panelist at the 2009 Winter Music Conference in Miami, Florida Tuesday, March 24, 2009. The panel titled Producing Music for Film & TV / Sound tracking will address creative approaches artists use to score for film, commercials, TV and still maintain aesthetic integrity. If you are an artist or label looking for alternative revenue streams or want to combine your music with images, this panel is for you. "I have heard so much about the Winter Music Conference over the years, I am excited to be part of the event this year." said Ms. Potts. The Winter Music Conference, in its 24th consecutive year, is one of the most publicized annual music gatherings in the world. Music, as one of the world's most accessible art forms, gives WMC the unique ability to cross economic, geographic and social boundaries. Over 1.3 million viewers from 183 countries (out of 192 in the world) logged on to the WMC website in 2008 and 62,000 participants from 70 countries came to Miami Beach to participate in WMC week.

For list of panels and events click here for more details

About Winter Music Conference
Winter Music Conference, in its 24th year, is regarded as the singular networking event in the dance music industry, attracting professionals from over 70 different countries. With its high concentration of top international artists, DJs and industry professionals, WMC permeates the international press and is thereby one of the most publicized events in the business. Every aspect of the industry is represented including the top technological innovators, artists, DJs, producers, radio and video programmers, retailers, distributors, audio manufacturers and many more. There are countless reasons why people from all over the world return year after year for this event, the most outstanding one being that there is nothing else in the world like it. For information regarding the Winter Music Conference please visit their at

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Respect Copyrights

Interesting website created for people who received notice from their Internet service provider or—if you’re a student—the college or university you attend, has notified you that your Internet account has been used to illegally copy and/or distribute copyrighted movies or television shows. click here to view

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eminem sues Universal over digital royalties

The US rapper's lawsuit could set a precedent for artists distributing their music through digital downloads

Eminem's publishing company, FBT Productions, is suing Universal Music Group for $1.6m (£800,000) in alleged unpaid royalties. But what's at stake is not just an unpaid bill – it's the definition of digital royalties.

When a song or ringtone is bought online, at the iTunes Music Store or anywhere else, the artist receives a royalty. The amount of this royalty is governed by a contract between labels and artists. For many artists, however, that digital royalty is not explicitly stated – millions of contracts, after all, predate iTunes and did not anticipate the boom in digital music sales. click here for more details

Monday, January 26, 2009

Marvel sued for $750M in movie profits

NEW YORK -- Shareholders of an ill-fated Stan Lee venture are seeking more than $750 million in profits from films and other works based on Marvel comic characters such as "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "Iron Man."

....The lawsuit claims profits from Lee's comic creations belong to the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2006. The suit claims Lee, Marvel and others have violated Stan Lee Media's copyright interests and that the firm is due profits from all properties, including blockbuster films that were made after 1998 and based on Lee's creations.... click here for full story...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Copyrights & Campaigns: Ty, Inc. releases 'Marvelous Malia' and 'Sweet Sasha' dolls; will the First Daughters become First Plaintiffs?

Copyrights & Campaigns: Ty, Inc. releases 'Marvelous Malia' and 'Sweet Sasha' dolls; will the First Daughters become First Plaintiffs?

HBO Letting Inauguration Concert Clips Remain on YouTube

The network had asked the video site to remove the clips earlier in the week, citing copyright violation...however the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a lobbying organization whose members include Microsoft and Google, released a statement Wednesday criticizing the decision to remove the videos.

“This is a public event held on public grounds, open to all citizens without restriction. Those sharing their memories on YouTube or other formats should be covered under Fair Use laws. It’s yet another example of the outrageous, excessive attitude of certain big content companies,” said CCIA President & CEO Ed Black in a statement. “If we continue to give ground to overreaching requests from the greediest part of the content industry ‘this land’ will belong to them – not you and me.” Read the full story here...

YouTube Users Lash Out at Warner Music Group & Google with Protest Videos

Two things are clear in the YouTube/Warner Music scuffle. First, neither side is 100% right. And second, users are very, very angry that their videos are being pulled down or muted when they contain background music owned by Warner Music.

Those users aren’t being quiet about it, either. And scores of them are uploading protest videos to say exactly what they think. All are angry at Warner Music. And most express disappointment at Google, too, for reportedly walking away from the deal that allowed Warner’s music to be used legally on the site. I’ve embedded the “best of” below. More are being uploaded in real time, and this has the feel of a situation that is just now starting to boil over. Click here to see some of the best videos

Copyrights & Campaigns: Jackson Browne v. John McCain et al.: fully briefed

Copyrights & Campaigns: Jackson Browne v. John McCain et al.: fully briefed

Court upholds Lil Jon song copyright ruling

ATLANTA (AP) — The federal appeals court in Atlanta says a rap musician and producer has no valid claim of copyright violation involving his song The Weedman.

Redwin Wilchombe sued Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, along with TVT Records and BME Records. He said they wrongly used the song on an album Kings of Crunk, which court documents say sold 2 million copies between October 2002 and January 2005. For full story click here

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stopping music piracy ...

When 15 college students recently visited the Tribune editorial board, we asked them if they had committed a certain crime. They all eagerly pleaded guilty. They illegally download music on the Internet. A lot. This is so common that, one student said, "I kind of forgot that it was illegal."

Illegal—and common. The Recording Industry Association of America says 7.8 million U.S. households a month steal music online. That means singers, songwriters, musicians, producers and others don't get compensated for their work. The Institute for Policy Innovation, a pro-business think tank, says illegal music sharing costs the U.S. economy $12.5 billion a year....more

All He Needs Is Royalties

You may not recognize the name Patrick Halling, but if you’re a Beatles fan you’ve surely heard his work: he played violin on the recording of “All You Need Is Love,” and he is among the musicians asking European Union lawmakers to extend the period during which they can receive royalties for their recorded work....more

Industry watches new downloading law closely

Tennessee Voices

Gov. Phil Bredesen recently signed into law a bill requiring Tennessee universities to implement anti-piracy technologies and more stringent network oversight to prevent illegal downloading by students. The law applies to the governing boards of all public and private universities in Tennessee.

Universities will be required to report the "reasonable efforts … taken to attempt to defer infringement of copyrighted works over the school's computer and network resources" by April 1, 2009. After that, if a school receives more than 50 legally valid notices of infringement occurring on the institution's networks within a given year, the school will be required to submit a report detailing the specific efforts taken to curb such infringement, including the implementation of technology....more

Public Domain Day 2009 - January 1, 2009

It is January 1st, which means that this morning at midnight a batch more “life-plus” copyrights expired in those countries — most of them — where copyright expires at the end of the Nth year following the death of the author. Check out some copyrights who are now in public domain....