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...