Top Gun Maverick Sued for Copyright Infringement

Ehud Yonay, whose 1983 story was the basis of the original 1986 film “Top Gun,” published “Top Guns” in April 1983 in an issue of California magazine and registered it in the U.S. Copyright Office later that year. Soon after it was published Paramount secured exclusive motion picture rights to the story, according to the complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court.  The Yonays claim that after sending Paramount a statutory notice of termination Continue reading Top Gun Maverick Sued for Copyright Infringement

RIAA v. NFT Distributor HitPiece

On or about February 4, 2022, Billboard reported the RIAA sent a demand letter to HitPiece, a new beta website, because it was selling thousands of songs and album artwork NFTs using information from Spotify’s API without permission from the artists or their record labels. The RIAA charged HitPiece with engaging in “the systematic and flagrant infringement of the intellectual property rights of the Record Companies and their recording artists on a massive scale…” Jared Continue reading RIAA v. NFT Distributor HitPiece

Posting Cover Tunes on YouTube and Other Social Media

In light of the fact that many people are podcasting their own live performances of controlled compositions on YouTube and other social media, there seems to be a disconnect between the law and conduct. The thought of suing a fan who performs your or your client’s material is not as palatable to artists and companies today as it has been in the past, especially if there are other options… YouTube has new platforms and monetization policies Continue reading Posting Cover Tunes on YouTube and Other Social Media

Are parental guarantees of their child’s performance enforceable?

Throughout my career, I have routinely included a parental guarantee of the child’s performance in all contracts I drafted for clients engaging a minor. IMHO, the parent gets a separate benefit and detriment from that of the child in agreeing to same in that the parent’s burden of providing for the child is abrogated if the child becomes an earner. At common law, the custodial parent of a minor child is entitled by law to Continue reading Are parental guarantees of their child’s performance enforceable?

DMCA Fraudulent Takedown Notice

DMCA takedown notices for copyrighted material on the internet are made under penalty of perjury. The filer of the notice must own or control the copyright to the work or risk being charged. Damages accrue only if the work is taken down. See generally, 17 U.S. Code § 512(f). Limitations on liability relating to material online. Also, see Automattic Inc. v. Steiner, the first case to actually award damages for a fraudulent takedown notice. Rate this Continue reading DMCA Fraudulent Takedown Notice

UMG Wins Round 2 Against Grooveshark

UMG Wins Round 2 Against Grooveshark by Elliot Zimmerman, BCS, PA On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, the New York State Supreme Court of Appeals reversed a lower state court decision favoring Escape Media Group Inc., the operators of the music streaming site Grooveshark. See UMG RECORDINGS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, (“UMG”) v. ESCAPE MEDIA GROUP, INC., (“Grooveshark”) Defendant-Respondent, RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, AMICUS CURIAE, Appellate Div. of the Supreme Court of NY, 1st Department, 100152/10, Continue reading UMG Wins Round 2 Against Grooveshark

Mass Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Defense

Are you a potential defendant in a mass copyright infringement action? Record and film companies continue the practice of filing mass copyright infringement lawsuits lumping thousands of defendants together, namimg each defendant “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” or “Does 1-2500.” Courts issue subpoenas to these defendants’ cable or internet provider to give up their identity. In turn, the cable or other internet provider sends each potentital defendant a letter stating that their IP address has Continue reading Mass Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Defense

Copyright Myths About Collages

Collage is considered fair use, and therefore not subject to copyright law. The doctrine of fair use protects educational and scholarly purposes such as news reporting, literary criticism, and libraries. Artistic uses are not explicitly protected by fair use, and commercial uses are explicitly not protected. My collage can freely use copyrighted material, as long as I use no more than 5% / 10% / a small amount of the original work. The doctrine of Continue reading Copyright Myths About Collages