Entries by Marc

Copyright Conundrums for Collaborators

[Note: This article was previously posted on NewMusicBox, a site for creators and fans of contemporary classical and other experimental music, on September 3, 2015.] Here’s a situation that’s commonly misunderstood among creative collaborators: Jack and Jill agree to write a song together. They call it “Tumblin’ Down the Hill.” Jack writes the music and […]

Google Books’ Dubious Distinction Between Transformative Use and Derivative Works

Given its prior ruling in last year’s substantially similar HathiTrust case, the Second Circuit’s October 16 decision in The Author’s Guild v. Google, Inc. was as inevitable as the Cubs failing to win the World Series. Still those in the content creating community feel it’s fundamentally unfair that Google gets to scan millions of copyrighted […]

Why the RIAA Indirectly Sued Aurous For Willful Copyright Infringement

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wasted no time in going after the new streaming site, Aurous. A mere three days after its “alpha” launch, RIAA’s constituent major labels, Atlantic, Warner Bros., UMG Recordings, Sony Music and Capitol Records (the entities that have standing to sue) filed their copyright infringement action against the company […]

A Peek at the Congressional Briefing Book on the Music Business

On September 22, the Congressional Research Service (“CRS”) of the Library of Congress, released a report, Copyright Licensing in Music Distribution, Reproduction and Public Performance (the “Report”). The Report states its purpose as follows: This report provides an overview of the complexities of the Copyright Act’s provisions concerning music licensing. It also discusses four issues […]

Did the Joker Write the Ninth Circuit’s Batmobile Decision?

In DC Comics v. Towle, the Ninth Circuit recently upheld the district court’s summary judgment determination that the Batmobile, as it appeared in at least two very different iterations created more than twenty years apart, constitutes a single copyrighted “character.” No joke. The case involved Towle’s creating and selling Batmobile replicas, specifically the car used […]

A Happy Birthday to a New Public Domain Song

I originally wrote about Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., the “Happy Birthday To You” case, in June 2013 when the case was originally filed in the Central District of California. Last week, Chief Judge George H. King, in a 43-page opinion, granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in their declaratory judgment action, holding that the […]

Guest Blogger on NewMusicBox

I’m honored to have been asked to write a series of posts during September on music and copyright for NewMusicBox, the online magazine of NewMusic USA, an organization that supports creators, performers and presenters of “new music” (sometimes referred to as contemporary classical or experimental music, including jazz) by American composers. Although these posts will […]

What’s Next for ASCAP and BMI as SESAC Buys The Harry Fox Agency?

A lot of people are wondering what it means for the music industry since it was reported that the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), the leading trade organization for US music publishers, has sold its wholly-owned mechanical licensing subsidiary, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA) to SESAC, Inc., the smallest of the three domestic music […]