Contrary to popular belief, music is never really free; just ask a musician. The satellite radio company Sirius XM was sued over copyright and trademark laws by a 1960s band called The Turtles. With the passing of federal copyright protection for recorded music in 1972, the royalties for music made before that date have been a hot button issue. The band claims that its’ music was broadcast on satellite radio without any compensation or consent of the creators. A series of lawsuits were filed against both Sirius XM and Pandora Media in New York, Florida, and California, with the band seeking about $100mm worth of damages. Read more
Calling all Duck Dynasty fans! Everyone who watches the popular TV show is well aware of the famous one-liners made by Si Robertson. A most recent line that A&E decided to capitalize on, has them facing intellectual property lawsuits from a clothing company with a similar product. The most recent “Si saying” that made its way onto several apparel items is, “My favorite color is camo”. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The plaintiff is a company called Hajn, which has been selling a line of apparel that’s branded “My Favorite Color’s Camo.” The company has a registered trademark and reports gaining national visibility with its mark”.
Just like the common cold, pretty much everyone has had Bieber fever, but apparently people are immune to the epidemic. Two songwriters, Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Virginia against the pop star. Justin Beiber and Usher are facing a $10 million lawsuit for supposedly stealing song “Somebody to Love.” Back in 2009, Copeland and Overton claim that “Somebody To Love” was presented to Usher and Jonetta Patton, Usher’s mother, who also plays the role of his manager from time to time, by music scouts. They state that copy was never returned and that they never heard back from Jonetta or anyone associated with the company. Read more
Spider-Man has always been much more familiar with spandex suits than lawsuits. The Broadway play ‘Turn Off the Dark’ is slinging across headlines after the old co-writer and musical director Julie Taymor is suing over copyright infringement. She is seeking compensation up to $1 million after being terminated after the show suffered from freak injuries and other mishaps. It was believed that a decision could be reached, however sources claim the final stumbling block was creative control over Marvel’s web-head himself. U2’s Bono and The Edge, who are the show’s composers, are also set to appear for the court date in New York, officially set for May 28. Read more
There seems to be a buzz in the air around New York City recently and cable/satellite providers aren’t happy about it. The internet-powered television service, Aereo, allows users to enjoy basic programs for an incredibly small cost and has thrived despite a growing number of lawsuits. Companies such as Cablevision contend that this alternative to their offerings violates certain copyrights and contracts. Aereo argues that since their units include small antennas, the analog signal they pick up is free over the airwaves and not breaking any laws. Aereo, which is backed by media executive Barry Diller, plans to grow their service area over the next few months including major cities such as Washington D.C., Boston, and Chicago. Read more