The De Minimus Exception to Infringement is Now in Vogue for Sound Recordings

On June 2, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s granting of summary judgment to defendants and vacated an award of attorney’s fees in the case of VMG SalSoul, LLC v. Ciccone. Plaintiff alleged that Madonna’s mega-hit, Vogue, infringed both the copyright in the composition and the copyright in the sound […]

Interview on Music Publishing Podcast

Before the Memorial Day holiday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my friend and colleague, the composer Dennis Tobenski. Our 90-minute talk, which was posted last week, covered a variety of topics applicable to composers, songwriters and other creators, including copyright principles, fair use, the role of PROs and estate considerations for artists. […]

The Question Songwriters Should Ask Obama at SXSW

This Friday, President Obama will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas. Although originally just a music conference, SXSW now has three overlapping sections, Interactive, Film and Music. While it is doubtful that the President will be taking questions from the audience, songwriters and other […]

All About The 100-Page White Paper on Remixes, First Sale and Statutory Damages

Last week, the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force issued its White Paper on Remixes, First Sale and Statutory Damages, a 100-page report with nearly 600 footnotes, plus appendices. To paraphrase the opening voice over to the recently-canceled TV show, The Soup, I’ve read the report so you don’t have to. And just like the […]

Do Candidates Have The Right To Conscript Songs For Political Purposes?

[Note: This piece was previously posted on NewMusicBox, a site for composers and fans of contemporary classical and other experimental music, on September 24, 2015.] It’s another presidential election cycle and—in addition to PAC moneymen, countless commercials, polls, trolls, sound bites, and sniping—there’s the new tradition of one candidate or another pissing off some well-known […]