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Entries in Legal (7)

Tuesday
Dec152015

Bidding On Music: 3 Things You Need To Know About Copyright Law

Both artists and consumers alike have to worry about copyright laws.  If you’re the creator of a song or score, you want to ensure that your work is legally protected when you place it online for the world to listen to. If you’re a consumer who wants to use the music in a project, such as a movie, short film or even a simple vlog on YouTube, copyright laws can make or break you. If you aren’t sure about the ownership status of a song or composition and use it in something that you later publish without permission, even by citing the original creator, you can find yourself facing serious legal consequences.

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Wednesday
Jul162014

Hey YouTube! 750 indies have signed the Fair Digital Deals Declaration

 

The 32 pages long YouTube horror story

Some time ago I happened to read the long, horrible contract that YouTube asked indie labels to sign for launching their new premium streaming service. A copy of the leaked contract is here but I guess you won’t go far: their legal patois is unintelligible to a normal human being.

The contract is not only horrible to read: it is also greatly unfair toward indies. So indies promptly replied by taking off content from YouTube (Adele was said to be missing although I was much more concerned about XX and Anna Calvi).

 

Indies’ next bold move

Now it seems that indies have taken another move toward the Cupertino’s giant: more than 750 of them have signed the Fair Digital Deals Declaration (and notwithstanding the longish hashtag #fairdigitaldeal4artists, they quickly created a buzz on twitter), an initiative launched by the WIN- Worldwide independent network, that represents the interests of independent labels.

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Monday
May192014

In "Raging Bull" Case US Supreme Court Opens The Door To Even Long-delayed Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

     In a copyright dispute over the movie “Raging Bull”, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the case can continue dispite the substantial passage of time. In a 6-3 decision the Court held that plaintiff Paula Petrella, daughter of the late screenwriter Frank Petrella, did not wait too long to file her lawsuit against MGM claiming an interest in the film.

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Tuesday
May062014

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING AN INTERNAL BAND CONTRACT

     Over the years there have been many lawsuits between and among the members of various musical bands. These lawsuits have concerned everything from disputes over the distribution of money to the right of departing members to use (or not to use) the band name in connection with ongoing endeavors. In most cases, it would have been better to be safe than sorry, and get the understandings of the band members in writing when everyone was in agreement just so all the parties remember what they agreed to at the start.

     The internal group member contract between the members of a band is fundamentally important, but many musical groups ignore this crucial early step. When two or more people associate for the purpose doing business they create a partnership in the eyes of the law. General partnership law applies to the association unless a written agreement states otherwise. General partnership law provides, among other things, that all partners equally own partnership property and share in profits and losses, that any partner can contractually bind the partnership and that each partner is fully liable for the debts of the partnership. In the case of most musical groups, a written agreement setting forth the arrangement between and among the group members as partners is preferable to general partnership law.

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Tuesday
Aug062013

Free music search & download with MP3jam

One program to download over 20 million songs – this is what MP3jam’s like. It is a unique app for Windows to search, listen and download music in MP3 format. All downloads are legal and absolutely free – a ‘must-have’ for music fans.

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Thursday
Dec152011

Entertainment Attorney Dina LaPolt Educates Artists and Professionals On How to Navigate Business and Legal Aspects of Music Industry

Dina LaPolt, renowned Los Angeles-based attorney, who is The National Association of Record Industry Professionals’ 2011 Top Music Business Attorney, is once again bringing her expertise and experience to UCLA Extension with her popular “Legal and Practical Aspects of the Music Business” class for its tenth consecutive winter term.  LaPolt’s ability to break down into simple terms the complex legal concepts surrounding the various ways in which rights are exploited and monetized makes this course an essential for all artists, songwriters, managers, lawyers, accountants, executives, producers, publishers and other entertainment industry professionals.

Some of the most important issues covered by the course involve the growth of ancillary revenue streams for artists that are not even related to music but which have become important brand-building tools for music artists, such as sponsorships/endorsements, opportunities in television, book publishing, and creative forms of merchandising.  Licensing music for film, television and video games still create significant opportunities but licensing these rights have become very complicated due to the corporate mergers of the record and publishing companies.  To most, these subjects can be overwhelming but one of the main assets those taking this class will walk away with is a firm grasp of how to navigate one’s way through these minefields in order to have a complete understanding of today’s music business.  LaPolt, her firm’s associates,  and a stable of specific guest lecturers  will also discuss other areas as well such as issues that arise in the recording studio, recording and publishing agreements, as well as fans, brands, social networks, and cultural communities as they affect music, copyrights, and merchandising in a global music market.

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Tuesday
Nov092010

Don't Get Screwed!!! Music Contract Terms Every Artist Should Know, In Plain English-Part 2

In Part 1 of this list, I began listing common terminology you will see over and over again in the contracts you receive. And although an entertainment attorney and other experienced professionals should be reviewing and explaining them to you, it is always good to have at least a basic understanding of some of the jargon. So here is Part 2 of Music Contract Terms Every Artist Should Know, In Plain English…

Common Contract Terms Every Artist Should Know

License - This has nothing to do with your driving…A license in the entertainment business is permission a company or any other 3rd party gets when they want to use your music. If you write a song, and Lady Gaga wants to sing it, she has to get a license from you to use it. If “Ride Or Die San Andreas-The Movie” wants to then use her version of that song in their new game, they need a license from you AND her…Radio gets a license for every song they play. So does every bar, club, and restaurant! (Well, they’re suppose to anyway…) This license is needed because under copyright law, you own the song, and therefore have a right to decide who gets to use it (for an exception, see compulsory license below).

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