copyright infringement

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 82 - Tamera Bennett and Gordon Firemark

#podcast #createprotect Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 82 Tamera Bennett Gordon Firemark

Listen to Dallas-area music lawyer Tamera Bennett and Los Angeles film lawyer Gordon Firemark discuss the latest entertainment law issues on the Entertainment Law Update Podcast.

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Entertainment Law Topics In This Podcast Episode:

In Episode 82 of the Entertainment Law Update Podcast, Tamera and Gordon discuss the latest news and cases involving copyright, trademark, film, TV, and other entertainment law issues.

These cases and much more on this episode of the Entertainment Law Update Podcast.

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Five Things You Need to Know About Filing A DMCA Designated Agent

Five Things You Need To Know About Filing a DMCA Designated Agent #createprotect #copyright #dmca

Enacted in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), 17 USC Sec. 512 established a system for copyright owners and online entities to address online infringement.

Does Your Website Have Third-Party Generated Content?

If you are a service provider (the term service provider includes web sites) that allows the upload of third-party generated content, you may have limitations on liability if you fulfill certain requirements. One requirement is registering a Designated Agent with the U.S. Copyright office to receive notice of infringing content posted on your website.

Why Should I Register a DMCA Designated Agent?

To protect your business from certain claims of copyright infringement.

By What Date Do I Need to Re-Register?

New regulations went into place on December 1, 2016, the same date the U.S. Copyright Office launched a new electronic system and directory. The new electronic DMCA Registered Agent registration system will expedite the process of recording and searching for Registered Agents. Any service provider that has previously designated an agent with the Office will have until December 31, 2017 to submit a new designation electronically through the new online registration system.

As part of the transition to the new system, the Office’s present public directory of designated agents, generated by service providers’ paper filings, will be phased out on December 31, 2017. Until that time, an accurate designation in the old paper-generated directory will continue to satisfy the service provider’s obligations under section 512(c)(2), and the public will need to continue to search the paper-generated directory if the service provider is not yet listed in the new electronically-generated directory.

Where Do I Register My DMCA Designated Agent?

You can register online for only $6 via the U.S. Copyright Office.

How Does Someone File A Notice of Claimed Infringement When I Have a Designated Agent?

When a copyright owner’s work is allegedly being infringed on or through a service provider’s service, the copyright owner may send a notification of claimed infringement (often referred to as a “takedown notice”) to the service provider’s designated agent. For takedown notices to be legally effective, they must be provided to a service provider’s designated agent in writing and include substantially the following:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.

  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

  5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3)(A). Upon receipt of a compliant takedown notice, a service provider must respond expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of the infringing activity. If a service provider fails to do so, it may lose its safe harbor protection and be subject to an infringement suit.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episode 76

Entertainment Law Update Podcast 76 Tamera Bennett- Gordon Firemark #trademark #copyright #entertainmentlaw

Listen to Dallas-area music lawyer Tamera Bennett and Los Angeles film lawyer Gordon Firemark discuss the latest entertainment law issues on the Entertainment Law Update Podcast.

Click the arrow below to listen to the Entertainment Law Update Podcast or subscribe in iTunes.


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Grooveshark Closes in Wake of Court Ruling - What does it mean for artists and songwriters?

grooveshark-settlement-dmca

Until May 1, 2015, music locker service Grooveshark was embroiled in litigation battles over the unlicensed songs and sound recordings stored, streamed and downloaded via its locker service. See Capitol Records, LLC v. Escape Media Group, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-06646-AJN-SN, (S.D.N.Y, filed Aug. 30, 2012).

Grooveshark reached a settlement with labels and the Grooveshark website is down after eight years.  Grooveshark closing its doors is a win for content creators and owners. If you read the history below you'll see damages were estimated in the millions. What we don't know is if money changed hands as part of the settlement. Interestingly, Grooveshark admits in a public statement to handing over its mobile app, patents and copyrights to the labels. I just wonder how the various labels are going to divide that technology pie.

What about the indie labels, publishers and songwriters?

As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.

— Groovshark Settlement

And, what does it mean for music publishers, artists and songwriters? The typical artist or songwriter agreement would allow for the artist or songwriter to share to some extent in a lawsuit recovery. I get it that the legal fees in these cases probably extend far beyond any cash recovered.  But, will the labels be the only ones profiting from acquiring the technology? How will the benefit trickle down to the artists and songwriters?  And, what about indie artists and publishers, are they now at the mercy of the majors that acquired the Grooveshark technology if it is relaunched? Food for thought. Feel free to comment below.

Here's more background on the case(s).

Grooveshark let users upload songs that could then be streamed or downloaded by anyone. This is in contrast to locker services such as Google Play, iTunesMatch and Amazon Cloud Player which restrict a third-party from streaming or downloading songs from somebody else’s locker unless a license has been secured  with the label and publisher for that specific use.  Because Grooveshark is an interactive service, similar to a music-only YouTube, compulsory licenses are not an option and negotiated licenses must be secured.

The only major label that entered into a license with Grooveshark was EMI.  Three lawsuits later, EMI terminated their deal with Grooveshark.  The labels and publishers have multiple arguments why Grooveshark’s actions constitute copyright infringement and Grooveshark is not protected by the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions. The labels accuse Grooveshark of uploading roughly 100,000 recordings to the online music service, without payment or licenses. In light of the MP3tunes decision, the labels/publishers are asserting the employees of Grooveshark were baiting Grooveshark by uploading unlicensed content.  Arguably, intentional actions of the employees and/or executives should not be protected by the DMCA.

On March 24, 2015 the judge granted EMI's motion for summary judgement on claims that Grooveshark's parent company Escape Media Group, Inc. infringed its copyrights.  Relying on the MP3tunes decision, the court found Escape's repeat infringer policy did not meet the conditions of the DMCA Safe Harbor, Escape had an insufficient record keeping system, failed to terminate repeat infringers, and "actively" prevented copyright holders from collecting information needed for the takedown requests required by the DMCA.  Total damages could amount to $420 million based on the court's finding that 2,807 EMI-copyrighted sound recordings existed on Grooveshark's servers.


MP3 Tunes - Judge Pounds Final Nail In Damage Coffin

You may recall in MP3Tunes a U.S. District Court judge in New York ruled in August 2011 that online music locker service MP3Tunes and its founder Michael Robertson were liable for copyright infringement for content they uploaded.  Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3Tunes, LLC, 2011 WL 5104616 *14 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 25, 2011).   In March 2014, the jury held MP3Tunes was not entitled to DMCA safe harbor protection for infringing content that was readily identifiable in DMCA take-down notices from the plaintiff but not removed from MP3tunes after notice was received.

The damage phase continues in the MP3Tunes case into 2015.  An original jury award of 48 million was modified by the Judge on September 29, 2014 and on April 14, 2015 the court reduced the judgment to a little more than 23 million and issued the following order finding the owner of MP3Tunes jointly and severally liable because of his knowledge and actions”

AMENDED JUDGMENT: IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that

1. Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant Michael Robertson in the amount of Twelve Million Two Hundred Forty One Thousand Five Hundred Thirty One Dollars ($12,241,531.00) (the "Robertson Judgment");

2. Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant MP3 tunes, LLC in the amount of Eleven Million Fifty Seven Thousand Thirty One Dollars ($11,057,031.00) (the "MP3tunes Judgment);

3. Of the Robertson Judgment, $1,461,500.00 is entered solely against Defendant Michael Robertson;

4. Of the MP3tunes Judgment against Defendant MP3tunes, LLC, $290,500.00 is entered solely against Defendant MP3tunes LLC;

5. $10,766,531.00 of both the Robertson Judgment and the MP3tunes Judgment is entered jointly and severally against both Defendants; and

6. The foregoing judgments shall bear post-judgment interest, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a), running from October 30, 2014 until satisfaction of this Amended Judgment.

Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3Tunes, LLC, No. 1:07-cv-09931-WHP-FM, Doc 692 (S.D.N.Y., filed Apr. 14, 2015).

 

Episode 60: Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Copyright and Music Law Update

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Texas music lawyer Tamera H. Bennett and LA film and TV lawyer Gordon Firemark have another great Entertainment Law Update Podcast. Tamera and Gordon discuss the latest in Pre-72 sound recording copyright cases, proposed changes to the Copyright Act and the Music Licensing scheme in the U.S., the Jersey Boys copyright infringement case and "ad skipping" technology lawsuits.

2014 Year In Review - Entertainment Law Update Podcast

Image CC2.0  Ruta N. Medellin

Image CC2.0 Ruta N. Medellin

Click the arrow below to play the Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 58

What were the hottest lawsuits and most talked about film, tv, music and entertainment law matters of 2014? Listen to Entertainment Law Update Podcast co-hosts Gordon Firemark and Tamera Bennett to find out.

You'll get a quick overview of the year in Entertainment Law and predictions for 2015.

Thank you to all of our listeners. We appreciate you very much.

Happy New Year!

Episode 57 - Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Tamera Bennett & Gordon Firemark

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Dallas Music and Trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett and LA Film and TV lawyer Gordon Firemark bring you the updates on copyright, trademark and entertainment law matters in their monthly podcast by entertainment lawyers for entertainment lawyers. Listen this month to see if there are any "Blurred Lines" or blurred photos.  You might hear the strains of "Rocky Top" and decide you need some sassy new shoes.


Grooveshark Lost Copyright Infringement Case to Majors

grooveshark-lost-copyright-infringement

A Manhattan District Court found online music service Grooveshark liable for copyright infringement.

The lawsuit filed by the UMG family of record labels in 2011 is not over yet as damages must be determined.  The clincher in this case was the fact that Grooveshark directed its officers and employees to upload unlicensed tracks.  Sounds very similar to the situation in Mp3 Tunes.

With over 5000 tracks uploaded by employees, Grooveshark could not claim a "safe harbor" under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as that provision would only protect Grooveshark if it had no knowledge of the uploads.  The actions of the employees was willful and with knowledge.

We will continue to watch the pending state court litigation over Pre-72 copyrights and pending federal court cases.

Here's the Court's opinion in UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Escape Media Group, Inc., 11 Civ. 8407, SDNY, Sept. 29, 2014.

 

Turtles "Happy Together" With Copyright Win Against SiriusXM

The Central District of California Court ruled that sound recordings published prior to February 15, 1972 include a public performance right that may be infringed if permission is not secured before the sound recording is played on satellite radio.

Flo & Eddie of The Turtles sued SiriusXM in August 2013 for infringement of sound recording copyrights.  SiriusXM pays royalties to Sound Exchange for sound recordings protected by federal copyright law.  Sound recordings published prior to February 15, 1972 are protected by state law and not federal law.  The case moves forward on other pending issues and there's little doubt defendant SiriusXM will appeal the summary judgement ruling against them.

This is a huge ruling for legacy sound recording copyright owners.  While it might only apply to actions in California, as that's the state law that was interpreted, it means we are one step closer to legacy recordings being treated equally in respect to digital performances.

Support The Respect Act to secure federal copyright protection for Pre-72 Recordings.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episode 55

entertainment-law-update-podcast-texas-music-lawyer-tamera-bennett
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From Monkey's taking photographs, Jay-Z being sued for copyright infringement, and DeadMou5 versus Mickey Mouse, film lawyer Gordon Firemark and music lawyer Tamera Bennett cover hot entertainment law topics.

You can listen to this episode of the Entertainment Law Update podcast by clicking the link above or visit the podcast website for archive episodes.

Image CC 2.0

 

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episodes 48 and 49

Film lawyer Gordon Firemark and music lawyer Tamera Bennett have two new episodes of the podcast for entertainment industry professionals.

Episode 48 - March 2014: Listen for updates on the end of 7 years of Viacom v. Youtube copyright litigation.  A jury finds the CEO of Mp3Tunes.com personally liable for copyright infringement.  Join the conversation on why there is no DMCA take-down notice for Trademark Infringement.  Listen here.

Episode 49 - April 2014: Join Tamera and Gordon as they provide a roundup of Aereo copyright infringement cases.  They also bounce around ideas for balancing of copyright vs First Amendment/Free Speech.   Keep listening for magic trick protection and a possible Disney trademark infringement lawsuit with DeadMou5.  Listen here.