The Second Circuit Terminates Copyright in Santa Claus Song

In its October 8 decision in Baldwin v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc., the Second Circuit reversed the District Court’s granting of summary judgment to defendant music publisher, holding that a 2007 termination notice effectively severed a portion of EMI’s US copyright interest in the Christmas classic, Santa Claus is Coming to Town (the “Song”). The […]

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 […]