Category Archives: Music

Freeplay Music Sues Disney’s Maker Studios and Other MCNs for Copyright Infringement

Freeplay Music, a music licensing company that owns rights to 50, 000 works by various composers, is suing separately four YouTube multi-channel networks (MCNs) Disney’s Maker Studios, DreamWorks Animation’s Awesomeness, Big Frame and BroadbandTV Corp., alleging the defendants misappropriated its licensed music in YouTube videos. More specifically, Freeplay claims Maker infringed over 45 copyrights, AwesomenessTV and Big Frame together infringed on 14 copyrights, and BroadbandTV infringed on more than 70 copyrights. It was only last week that Freeplay was in the news when two…

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Lil Wayne Seeks $51 Million from Cash Money Label

On Wednesday, January 28, long-time rapper Lil Wayne filed a lawsuit in NY federal court claiming his label, Cash Money Records, owes him $51 million. Lil Wayne signed with the label back in 1998 and has been happy with them until 4 years ago. In the past, Lil Wayne has looked to Cash Money head, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, as a type of father, however, the latest album delay seems to have finished off a deteriorating relationship.  Wayne took to Twitter last month, feeling like…

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American Idol Winner Phillip Phillips Seeks to Void Recording Contract

On January 22,  American Idol’s season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips filed a petition to get out of the “oppressive” recording and management contract he signed with American Idol producer, 19 Entertainment. Prior to winning the 11th season of American Idol in May of 2012, musician Phillip Phillips signed a recording, management, and merchandising deal with 19 Entertainment that he now claims is to constricting.  Phillips is seeking to void the agreements because he feels the company provides too much oversight, and he…

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“Blurred Lines” Copyright Lawsuit Jury Barred from Listening to Original “Got To Give It Up”

Despite the alleged similarities between Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye’s 1977 “Got To Give It Up,” the jury sitting in the copyright infringement suit will not hear the original recording of the song at all.  On January 26, U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt in a pre-trial hearing ruled that the actual sound recording of the 1977 hit would be barred. Judge Krondstadt ruled because Gaye’s performance in the original recording is not at issue, allowing interpretations of the musical…

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Benihana and Benny Hunna Battle For Naming Rights

Benihana, the self-proclaimed “leading Asian themed restaurant chain in the world” (see Notice of Opposition), has brought it’s a-game in a trademark battle with Mississippi’s hottest up and coming rapper and entertainment mogul, Benny Hunna. Benny Hunna, born Benny Hodges, is an aspiring rapper hailing from Mississippi who filed for a trademark of his rap name with the US PTO in May 2013 to use it as the name of the entertainment empire he is currently building.  His name, however, caught the ear of…

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Apple Wins $1 Billion iTunes Antitrust Case

After only three-hours, the jury in a 10 year old dispute reached a verdict favoring Apple.  The federal jury found that Apple’s iTunes 7.0 software was a technological improvement for iPods rather than an attempt to monopolize digital music. Along with improvements such as the addition of games and movies to iPods, iTunes 7.0 included FairPlay.  FairPlay was a digital rights protection system that only permitted songs purchased through iTunes or on CDs to play on iPods.  Songs purchased from competitors would not work. …

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Creedence Clearwater Mark Revisited

There’s a bad moon on the rise once again for John Fogerty.  Fogerty, the former lead singer and guitarist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a man who holds the distinction as being perhaps the only musician in the history of recorded music to be sued for allegedly plagiarizing his own recording in another one of his own recordings, finds himself feelin’ blue again, having been sued last week by his surviving former bandmates, Doug Clifford and Stu…

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Lady Gaga’s Former Producer to Pay Talent Scout $7.3M

US District Court in New Jersey ruled that Rob Fusari, Gaga’s former producer and business partner, must pay Wendy Starland, a woman who discovered Gaga, $7.3 million pursuant to their compensation agreement signed in 2005. The agreement required Starland to find “an artist under the age of 25 who could be the female equivalent to the lead singer of the Strokes.”  According to Starland, she attended about 50 live performances and conducted online search for an artist who was “edgy and bold.” After Starland…

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Sampling Not Palpable in “Run This Town” According to Judge

On Thursday, November 13, Jay-Z’s copyright infringement litigation load  lightened up as District Judge Kaplan for the Southern District of New York  filed an Order seemingly favoring Jay-Z. This good news comes just over a week after yet another federal lawsuit was filed against Jay-Z for allegedly stealing a song, “Made in America.”  In this dispute, Jay-Z is being accused of sampling the song  “Hook & Sling Part 1” in his 2009 hit “Run this Town.”  The Judge’s order states that after several listens, the…

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Rolling Stones in Legal Battle Against Insurance Underwriters over $12.7M

The Rolling Stones are taking a group of insurance underwriters to court over an insurance claim that was denied.  Before their 2014 tour of Asia and Australia, the Rolling Stones took out a $23.9 million insurance policy to cover cancellations resulting from the death of family members and others named in the policy. The insurance policy was triggered when the group cancelled the Australia and New Zealand concert dates because Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott committed suicide in her New York apartment on March 17. …

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