Category Archives: Music

Pharrell, Thicke, and T.I. Appeal “Blurred Lines” Decision

Earlier this year, a jury awarded the Marvin Gaye family $7.36 million from Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. for copying Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” when writing their hit song “Blurred Lines.” On Monday, December 7, 2015, Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The copyright infringement suit was commenced in August 2013 in a California federal court by the Estate of Marvin Gaye. The Estate argued that “Blurred Lines” — the most popular song in the world in 2013…

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99 Problems And A Lawsuit’s One: Jay-Z Streaming Companies Sued Over Lil Wayne Tracks

A lawsuit was filed in New York on Thursday by rapper Lil Wayne’s label company Cash Money Records against rapper Jay-Z’s streaming services including Aspiro and WiMP Music, which operates a streaming service known as Tidal. The lawsuit alleges that Defendants wrongfully engaged in the early release of Lil Wayne’s newest album, and that Defendants are hurting CMR’s investments in Lil Wayne. In CMR’s court filings, it alleges the following of Defendant streaming companies: [Defendant’s actions] are a desperate and illegal attempt to save their…

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Two B.B. King Heirs Allege Murder by Poison; Police Deny Investigation

Following the sorrowful death of B.B. King, two of his daughters, Karen Williams and Patty King, accused his two closest aides of hastening his death by way of poison.  They allege that family members were prevented from visitation while B.B. King’s business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson, were the only people with him. Toney and Johnson have declined to comment on the accusations, but Toney, who worked for B.B. King for 39 years and had power-of-attorney over his affairs, has shrugged

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Katy Perry’s “Left Shark” Design Fails to Overcome Trademark Hurdles

The U.S. Trademark Office blocked Katy Perry’s attempt to capitalize on a “Left Shark” design.  According to David Collier, the trademark examiner, to be able to register a trademark, a mark or design must “function as a service mark to identify and distinguish applicant’s services from those of others and to indicate the source of applicant’s services.”  Based on evidence submitted by Perry, the Office found that the shark design failed to sufficiently conjure up Katy Perry or her music performance.  Collier also noted that…

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8-Year Old Lawsuit Over Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’” Going to Trial

The lawsuit over Jay Z’s sampling of an Egyptian tune in his hit “Big Pimpin’” may come to an end in October when a jury decides whether the rapper had the right to use the Egyptian composition. Claiming that he is an heir of the composer Baligh Hamdy, Osama Ahmed Fahmy in 2007 sued Jay Z as well as Timbaland, Paramount Pictures, Warner Music, UMG and MTV.  He alleged that the rapper sampled the tune titled “Khosara, Khosara” from the 1957 film Fata

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Rise and Fall of an Empire (Distribution, Inc.)

In the pilot episode of Fox’s smash-hit series Empire, Cookie Lyon, explaining why, after her release from jail, she’s returning to her husband Lucious Lyon’s fictional record label, Empire Entertainment, says simply: “I’m here to get what’s mine.”  This is, of course, in reference to the formerly-jailed matriarch having taken the rap for Lucious to the tune of 17 years behind bars for drug-running while he built his music “empire.” Coincidentally, it also may sum up the thinking over the last couple of months…

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Jury Finds “Blurred Lines” a Copy, Awards Gaye Family $7.36 Million

On Tuesday, March 10, a California Jury  determined that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up” in writing their hit song “Blurred Lines,” awarding $7.36 million in damages to Gaye’s children. Back in August of 2013, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams filed a preemptive lawsuit to declare that their hit song “Blurred Lines” did not infringe on the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”  Ever since that point, the music world has…

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The Secret Is Out: How Much Artists Make on a Hit Like “Blurred Lines”

$16.6 million.  That is the profit that the hit song “Blurred Lines” has generated since its release.  While the profitability of a song is highly guarded secret in the industry, Robin Thicke was forced to reveal the number during the copyright infringement trial.  Of the total profit, he and Pharrell Williams each took over $5 million. The copyright infringement dispute arose when the family of deceased “Got to Give It Up” singer Marvin Gaye sued Thicke over allegedly ripping off Gaye’s song.  Arguing…

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Robin Thicke Takes Center Stage in Court to Show No Copyright Infringement

From the witness box in a federal courtroom in Los Angeles, Robin Thicke sang, played the piano, and even danced a bit to demonstrate to the jury that his song did not infringe on Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.Thicke’s performance took place after U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt held in a pre-trial hearing that the jury would not hear the actual sound recording of Gaye’s 1977 hit.  Since Gaye’s performance in the original recording is not at issue, the…

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“The Blueprint” for an Infringement?

A recently-filed case in a California federal court has Jay-Z and his promoters at Live Nation wondering whether they’ll continue to reap the benefits of the 1999 hit single Big Pimpin’ or whether they’ll be “spending G’s” to clean up a potential infringement posed by a sample looped throughout one of S. Carter’s most famous tracks.  Last week, an Egyptian plaintiff named Osama Ahmed Fahmy sued Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., seeking unspecified actual damages and costs, alleging Live Nation’s continued “use” of Big Pimpin’ in…

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