Wednesday, November 18, 2015



The purpose of this blog is to expose three legal liabilities which have a major impact on my business activities. I will be discussing the use of unlicensed works, sampling and the public performance license. This blog will help the developing entertainment business professional to understand that it is a good idea to practice legal research when dealing with intellectual property.
Let’s look at this idea, before a recording can be sold in retail the necessary license and authorizations must be acquired. (Butler) In a recent article by Adam Klasfeld it was reported that in 2012 musician Norman Blagman sued Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others for accepting and selling unlicensed works through aggregators. Blagman claimed the retailers violated copyright on the tune “Jazz is His Old Lady and My Old Man”. The U.S Magistrate Judge James Francis ruled that he would help to secure a letter of Rogatory from the foreign court for judicial assistance in this case. This case is a bold reminder to all persons involved in the creation of intellectual property; the United States Copyright Law and Copyright registration are in place to protect the rights of the creator of said works. Mr. Blagman exercised his rights to sue in court.

This brings us to the Frank Ocean Law suit which was described by Eriq Gardner in a Billboard article in February. “The arguments over a few seconds of samples on a hit record can add up to a few years in the court room” as Gardner says it. “It is difficult to apply the copy right law to sampling according to” Tuff America. Oceans label is being sued for infringement. Sampling law suits are growing during the same week of the Ocean law suit a Congressional Hearing was taking place to determine if a compulsory license would help to solve the sampling issues.  To conclude, it is important to understand the law and secure a license before using a sample. The length of the sample is not important the fact is the sample is protected by the U.S. Copyright Law of 1976.

It has been proven that popularity controls the price paid to copyright holders by streaming services. This brings us to the third and final legality. Record labels produce and publish music products to earn a profit over time. The license to perform music provided by labels is granted to streaming services by just asking and a fee is charged. In an article posted by ASCAP March 24th 2014 examines why the Pandora Rate Court Decision is unfairly low. Pandora was granted a five year term 2011-2015 at a rate of 1.25% of revenues. The decision was issued by Judge Denise Cole. The decision has a negative effect on the industry as a whole because the objective criteria was presented and showed that the peer streaming services are paying 2.5% of revenues. Performance licenses are granted equally across the industry the fees should be equal for each streaming service.

436 MEDIA Inc.

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