CALL US! (310) 443-4185

Author Archives: Gordon Firemark

What can you do if forced out of your podcast?

Legit Podcast Pro

“What can you do when you're forced out of YOUR podcast?

That's the question of the week on Legit Podcast Pro (the Podcast) – with The Podcast Lawyer™ Gordon Firemark

Join me as I begin a new podcast, just for podcasters. Y

ou don’t have to BE a pro, but if you're committed to approaching things like a pro, this show is for you.

I'll be answering questions, sharing legal and business topics around the podcast arena, and interviewing legit podcast pros. Recording live on Thursdays at 4pm Pacific. Join me each week.

Got a question? Post it in the comments and I'll respond in a future episode.

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.

How the spice of life saved my bacon!

How the spice of life saved my bacon!

This past 16 months have been hard for everyone… with the pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions, so many business have been hit hard. When it all began, I was fearful. I knew that film, television and theatre production ( my most significant law practice areas) would basically be dormant… and that meant my practice could well… Continue Reading

What actually IS a podcast network, anyway?

What actually IS a podcast network, anyway?

This week, I’ve been head-down on a couple of projects for start-up podcast networks. Every network is a little bit different, but they all have a few common hallmarks. Here are some examples:

Overall character of the relationship. Is the host a gun-for-hire, or an owner of the show? What are the responsibilities of the host/podcaster? What does the host/podcaster receive as compensation/benefit for being part of the network? Continue Reading

A glimmer of good news for theatres, producers and other live-performance operators suffering during pandemic

Theatre owners, operators and producers are among those eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program being administered by the Small Business Administration. The program was created under The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered… Continue Reading

Find us on Google+