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.
‘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).
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.
For the 6th year in a row, Gordon Firemark has been selected by his peers for recognition among Best Lawyers in Entertainment – Theatre.
Says Firemark, “I'm grateful to my colleagues for this wonderful recognition, which validates my commitment to working with creative business people to advance the performing, cinematic and digital arts.”
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
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
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/133 Continue Reading
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
First off, if you celebrate, let me wish you a Happy Hannukkah!It’s getting to be that time of year when we all sort of wrap up our work activities, and things start to slow down. That makes this a really good time to think about a few tasks that are best done before 2021 begins. The… Continue Reading
Each year at this time, we give thanks for the people and experiences that have enriched our lives. But this year, with all that 2020 has dumped on us, I feel it’s even more important to take time out to get in touch with gratitude and appreciation for the good things in our lives. I… Continue Reading