Category Archives: Music

Man Sues Jay Z and Kanye for Stealing “Made in America”

A musician named Joel Mac filed a copyright infringement suit in New York federal court, claiming that the hip-hop musicians Jay Z, Kanye, and Frank Ocean stole his song. According to the complaint, Mac allegedly sold a CD containing his 2009 song titled “Made in America” to Mike Dean, one of the producers of Jay Z’s “Watch the Throne” album in 2011 outside a New York hotel where the hip-hop musicians were recording part of the album.  Later, when the album was released, Mac discovered…

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“Blurred Lines” Copyright Suit Set to Go to Trial

On Thursday, October 30, a California District Judge denied Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ motion for summary judgment to end the suit revolving around their song “Blurred Lines.” The recording artist and his producer went on the offensive in August 2013 by filing a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief to protect their song “Blurred Lines” from Bridgeport Music and Marvin Gaye’s children, who were threatening their own actions claiming copyright violations.  The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment to end the lawsuit in their favor…

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Duluth Trading Company Takes it Easy and Don Henley Takes Them to Court

Maybe Duluth Trading Company should’ve known better. Maybe it was just living life in the advertising fast lane. But on October 6, 2014, the Wisconsin clothing company circulated an ad to its customers imploring them to “Don a Henley and Take it Easy.” The “Henley” the ad refers to is the famous, three-button long sleeve shirt that has become a symbol of relaxation and “cool” since it was first placed on store racks. But in invoking the surname of Eagles’ co-founder and lead singer Don…

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Thicke Says No “Blurred Line” Between Idea and Expression

While news stories last week reported about Thicke’s admission during deposition that he did not write the hit song “Blurred Line,” Thicke on Monday responded to a memorandum filed by the Gayes family and Bridgeport Music, Inc. in opposition of Thicke’s Thicke v. Gaye. Thicke criticized the expert witness for the Gayes was less persuasive as she failed to provide any transcription analysis possibly to avoid revealing “how different the notes are.”  Thicke further claimed his musicologist’s analysis dissecting the alleged similar parts into…

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Jay Z Fights Back Copyright Suit Over Sampling of ‘Oh’ in “Run This Town”

Jay Z filed a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Record label TufAmerica before a New York federal district court.  The suit alleged that Jay Z and Rihanna’s hit song “Run This Town” sampled the Eddie Bo song “Hook & Sling” without authorization. According to the filing, Jay Z allegedly misappropriated ‘oh’ sound from “Hook & Sling” throughout “Run This Town.”  In filing the motion to dismiss, Jay Z’s legal team argued that the claim was “misguided” as it was not…

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Court Denies Taylor Swift’s Motion to Dismiss Lucky 13 Suit

A California district court denied Swift’s motion to dismiss a trademark infringement suit over ‘Lucky 13’ brought by Blue Sphere, Inc. last May.  Blue Sphere, an Orange county-based company, does a business as ‘Lucky 13’ and sells a wide range of products including clothing and has sued over Swift’s use of the phrase ‘Lucky 13’and selling via internet t-shirts bearing the phrase without the company’s authorization.  Additionally, the suit named American Greetings as one of the defendants for running the online promotion of a “Lucky…

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Not So Fancy – Iggy Azalea Sues Ex-Boyfriend for Marketing Unfinished Songs

On Wednesday, September 17, pop-star and Levi Jeans model Iggy Azalea filed a lawsuit in the Central District of California against her ex-boyfriend, Maurice Williams over allegedly stolen bootleg copies of unreleased songs. The complaint, published here by The Hollywood Reporter, alleges that Williams downloaded the contents of her personal computer onto a thumb drive, including several unfinished and unreleased songs.  The songs were recorded from March 2008 to December 2008, during which time Azalea was living and working in Texas.  It was also during…

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Eminem Sues New Zealand’s National Party for Copyright Infringement

Detroit-based Eight Mile Style, LLC and Martin Affiliated, LLC, the music publishers of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” filed a copyright infringement suit against New Zealand’s National Party.  According to Joel Martin, a spokesperson for both companies, New Zealand’s ruling party used the song in a political campaign commercial without authorization. The party allegedly used the song in a TV advertisement in its efforts to support the reelection of Prime Minister John Key.  Rejecting the allegations, Prime Minister Key responded that the party did not intentionally…

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Thicke “Blurred” His Writing Credit

“Blurred Lines,” the pop song that became an instant hit and put Robin Thicke on the map is back in the lime light. When the song was noted for its similarity to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got to Give it Up,” “Blurred Lines” “writers” Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford “T.I.” filed suit against the estate of Marvin Gaye to protect their song against claims of being a rip-off. Gaye’s estate filed a cross-complaint accusing the plaintiffs of making an unauthorized derivative of “Got to Give…

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