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Monthly Archives: September 2021

Unhappy Together

Unhappy Together

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at www.entertainmentlawupdate.com/137

  • CALIFORNIA PAY TO PLAY ACT EFFECTIVE THIS MONTH 
  • STATE SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY CORNER
  • BLACKBEARD FILMMAKER SETS SAIL WITH NEW CLAIMS ALLEGING TAKINGS INSTEAD OF COPYRIGHT
  • TEXAS A&M ESCAPES COPYRIGHT CLAIMS AT 5TH CIRC. OVER 12TH MAN STORY 
  • NIRVANA SUED BY 30 YEAR OLD FOR NEVERMIND COVER
  • BEASLEY V. HOWARD
  • FLO AND EDDIE NOT HAPPY TOGETHER IN NINTH CIRCUIT
  • BELL V WILMOTT STORAGE SERVICES
  • JUDGE RULES AGAINST LOCAST – STREAMING NOT EXEMPT FROM COPYRIGHT
  • WHO OWNS THE THEATRICAL ADAPTATION OF A PUBLIC DOMAIN NOVEL?
  • PEREA V. EDITORIAL CULTURAL, INC., NO. 19-2119 (1st Cir. 2021) 
  • 3RD CIRCUIT HOLDS RIGHT OF PUBLICITY IS A FORM OF IP, AND THUS NOT SUBJECT TO SECTION 230 
  • COMING ATTRACTIONS
  • MARVEL-OUS THINGS ON THE HORIZON
  • POTENTIAL IATSE STRIKE – GOES TO A VOTE OF MEMBERSHIP OCT

Locast (local TV antenna-to-streaming service) suspends ops after devastating court ruling.

Locast is a digital app that live streams over-the-air television stations without a cable or satellite TV subscription. The service has a few million users for its expanding offering which Locast currently covers roughly 55% of the US with operations in 36 markets.

On August 31, that all changed. a New York federal court granted partial summary judgements in the high-profile copyright case against the service brought by the four major broadcast networks.

The Court concluded that Locast's reliance on a loophole in coppyright law created to allow nonprofit organizations to operate secondary transmission services did not cover Locast's service.

The ruling is a major blow, but it's only a partial ruling. There may still be a trial. But the day after the ruling, Locast notified its users that it was ceasing operations immediately.

No Public Performance Right in California for pre-’72 recordings.

‘Flo and Eddie', The founders of iconic '60's band The Turtles, were dealt what's likely a final blow in their long-running lawsuit against digital broadcasters and others claiming infringement of common-law copyrights in their recordings. (Sound recordings were not protected under federal copyright law until February, 1972).

Photo by Marcel Heil on Unsplash

Flo & Eddie had argued that pre-1972 sound recordings were still covered by state law, and that such laws included a performance right. Their suits in many other states had gone against them, and last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California's common law protection did not create or protect a performance right.

So, in this, the last of the outstanding cases, the Court has confirmed that oldies radio and 50's themed restaurants need not pay royalties when they play these pre 1972 recordings. (But they still DO pay performance royalties for the musical compositions through organizations like ASCAP and BMI).

(The result in this case is somewhat limited, since Congress' enactment of Music Modernization Act extended the federal performance right for digital performances to cover such pre-'72 recordings.)

While it's still possible that Flo N Eddie will appeal to the Supreme Court, commentators don't think it likely the Court will take up the case.

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