Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episode 70 - Tamera Bennett - Gordon Firemark


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Dallas, Texas trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett and California film lawyer Gordon Firemark come together for another entertaining and informative episode of the Entertainment Law Update Podcast. 

Tamera and Gordon bring you the latest in entertainment lawsuit news with updates on webcasting rates, the Blurred Lines decision, Monkey Selfies and much more.

2015 Top Cases from Entertainment Law Update Podcast


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California film/TV lawyer Gordon Firemark and Dallas music/trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett, wrap up and count down the top entertainment law cases of 2015 on Episode 69 of the Entertainment Law Update Podcast.

The countdown includes:

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Copyright Grant Termination ruling
Happy Birthday Copyright - Case Settled
Lenz v. Universal - Dancing Baby - Must Make Fair Use Determination
Blurred Lines Case - on Appeal
Innocence of Muslims Ruling (and possible  en banc review)
Pre ‘72 Copyrights – Turtles - Class Action claimants settle without the Turtles
Copyright Office Music Licensing Study – the history and the future
Point Break Live ruling - stage performance (not the new movie)
Monkey Selfies

Is The DMCA Working? Call for Comments From U.S. Copyright Office

Is The DMCA Working? createprotect.com attorney-tamera-bennett

Announced December 30, 2015, the United States Copyright Office is undertaking a public study to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the safe harbor provisions contained in section 512 of title 17, United States Code - the DMCA Safe Harbor Provision.

While Congress understood that it would be essential to address online infringement as the internet continued to grow, it may have been difficult to anticipate the online world as we now know it, where each day users upload hundreds of millions of photos, videos and other items, and service providers receive over a million notices of alleged infringement.
— Copyright Office

Section 512 was added to the U.S. Copyright Act in 1998 to help foster growth of the Internet and provide protection to internet service providers for copyright infringement liability when certain procedures were followed.

Currently, Google receives close to 20,000 DMCA takedown requests per week. In light of a Sept. 2015 holding in Lenz v Universal, Google and other service providers must now consider a fair use analysis before taking down content once a DMCA takedown notice is received.

What do you think, is the DMCA working? Should the burden be on the content owner to send the takedown notice? Should the burden be on the Internet Service Provider to analyze fair use? Should the burden be on the content user to get a license or determine fair use?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and file comments with the Copyright Office.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episode 67


Film lawyer Gordon Firemark and Texas trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett were back "on the horn" for Episode 67. From Bikram Yoga to the Batmobile - they've got you covered on the latest legal issues in entertainment law.

Click the arrow below to listen to Episode 67.

Music In Political Campaigns - What Licenses Do I Need?


As the 2015/16 presidential election campaign trail heats up, we will hear more and more music and perhaps see more and more demand letters from artists/songwriters to the presidential candidates.

In the podcast below, Dallas copyright and music attorney Tamera Bennett explores questions related to public performance licenses, synchronization licenses, master use licenses and right of publicity -- all related to music used in presidential campaigns.

Theme Songs |

Presidential candidates love to pick theme songs. That's all fine and dandy when the artists and songwriters behind the selected tune support the candidate - - Bill Clinton and Fleetwod Mac ("Don't Stop").

So far this season, Donald Trump's campaign has heard from REM and The Rolling Stones.  Neil Young wasn't thrilled about Trump using "Rockin' in the Free World." And,  Aerosmith front man, Steven Tyler asked Trump to stop dreaming and stop using "Dream On."

Legal Issues Stay The Same |

There's nothing new to the legal issues. Do you remember the band Heart being so upset that candidate Sarah Palin used "Barracuda" in the 2008 presidential campaign? How about Newt Gingrich using "Eye of the Tiger?"

The podcast above will answer your questions on how you can use music in a political campaign.  Want to hear even more from Tamera Bennett and Gordon Firemark on the topic - click here for the Entertainment Law Update Podcast where they discuss the latest on Trump and Steven Tyler.

Join Us |

Leave a comment below with your favorite campaign song.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episode 66 - Live from Dallas

entertainment law podcast live dallas tamera bennett gordon firemark september 2015 episode 66

Dallas trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett and Los Angeles film lawyer Gordon Firemark presented the Entertainment Law Update Podcast before a live studio audience at the Dallas Bar Association on September 23, 2015.

With a full house of sports and entertainment lawyers, Gordon and Tamera chatted in detail about the "Happy Birthday" copyright decision, the DMCA dancing baby decision, and other cases of interest. There's also bonus material revealing "behind the scenes of podcasting for lawyers."

Click the arrow below to listen to Episode 66.

Tamera was also interviewed on KRLD radio about the "Happy Birthday" decision. Click here to listen.

Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Drumguy880.


Tamera Bennett Interviewed on Happy Birthday Copyright Case


Dallas copyright and music attorney Tamera H. Bennett was interviewed today by KRLD Radio News Anchor Mitch Carr regarding the Central District of California court ruling on the song "Happy Birthday To You."


A federal judge has ruled a music publisher does NOT hold a valid copyright on the song "Happy Birthday to You."   Royalties have been paid for years to use the song in movies and TV shows and such. Tamera Bennett is a copyright attorney in North Texas . . . What does this ruling mean?

Click the arrow below to hear the full interview.

Transcript of Interview By Mitch Carr of Copyright Lawyer Tamera H. Bennett

Mitch Carr -- A federal judge has ruled a music publisher does NOT hold a valid copyright on the song "Happy Birthday to You."   Royalties have been paid for years to use the song in movies and TV shows and such. Tamera Bennett is a copyright attorney in North Texas . . . What does this ruling mean?

Tamera Bennett -- So now it means we can sing "Happy Birthday," it can be included in film and TV and there's not going to be a license that would need to be paid to the copyright holder.

Mitch Carr --  Yeah Warner Chappell Music owns it now and it was originally the Clayton Summey Company. But does this mean that YouTube, and as you mentioned TV shows, now and movies too don't have to worry about it?

Tamera Bennett --  That's exactly right. And I mean the decision that the judge came down with was that the lyrics, and again the music has long since been unquestionably in the public domain, that there was no valid copyright assignment was part of the issues that they talked about in the twenties and thirties. That perhaps Summey may never actually owned the lyrics at all. And, it also means it is in the public domain.

Mitch Carr -- Is there any expectation that this will be appealed by Warner Chappell or anybody else?

Tamera Bennett -- I suspect it will be. I think they earn two million a year in fees. I believe that was either part of the opinion or some of the press that's been out. So at 2 million a year I suspect it's worth a fight to appeal the case.

Mitch Carr -- Can I get money back?

Tamera Bennett -- You know that's a great question. Because what about all of the -- even taking it out of the realm of the folks who maybe posted their birthday celebration on YouTube -- but let's put it into the realm of it was used in a movie.  And in this case it was used in a documentary -- is what spurred this lawsuit. You know, can those folks come back and get their money back? I don't know how that's logistical going to happen. I suspect anybody who has secured a license and going forward they're going to stop paying. And I think they can unless there's some contractual reason in the contract that they have to keep paying even though copyright has expired.

You know people wonder why when you go into certain restaurants and the servers are going to greet you for your birthday and they don't sing the happy birthday song -- they make up a song to sing to you?

Mitch Carr -- Right

Tamera Bennett -- No more. They'll now be singing it to you.

You can follow Tamera on Twitter @tamerabennett and Mitch on Twitter @mitchcarrnews.

The clip is used by permission of KRLD-CBS Dallas.

Image CC2.0 By Will Clayton.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Live - Belo Mansion - September 23


Tamera Bennett and Gordon Firemark meet up in Dallas to record Episode 66 of the Entertainment Law Podcast - live - in front of a studio audience.

Join us at the Belo Mansion, Noon on September 23, 2015 for lunch, CLE, and the Podcast.

We will discuss the latest ruling in Lenz v. Universal (aka Prince v. The Dancing Baby). Other topics include extensions to the Canadian Copyright term, the latest in Fashion law and IP rights, and "knock-knock," "who's there?" "Stolen Joke on Twitter. Take it down."


Dallas Bar Association

Belo Mansion

2101 Ross Avenue

Dallas, Texas 75201