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Category Archives: Law

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.

The Happiest Episode On Earth

The Happiest Episode On Earth

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/136

  • APPEALS COURT REVIEWS CASE OVER “BARE NECESSITIES” AGAINST DISNEY
  • QUICK TAKE: INSIDE OUT SPARKS ANOTHER LAWSUIT, THIS TIME IN CANADA
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON SUES DISNEY OVER SIMULTANEOUS RELEASE
  • JUDGE EVALUATES USE OF 9/11 FOOTAGE IN FILMS.
  • FROZEN MECHANICALS ISSUE
  • THEATER SEGMENT
  • DISTRICT COURT DISMISSAL OF RUSSIAN FALSE LIGHT UPHELD
  • JERSEY BOYS PREVAIL
  • SHOWTIME BILLIONS WIN UPHELD
  • OH THE PLACES YOU’LL BOLDLY GO IS FINALLY GOING TO TRIAL – MAYBE.
  • REMEMBER, DUE DILIGENCE IS IMPORTANT – CLEVELAND GUARDIANS
  • Apparently, “Blue Line” does NOT apply to police abusing Copyright Law to prevent upload of citizen recordings
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

Murderers, Monster, and the Game of Life

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/134 FOLLOW-UP: COX FILES APPEAL of $1B Verdict QUICK TAKE: COPYRIGHT OFFICE MEMO ON MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT DRAKE AND SHANIA TWAIN PUSH TO… Continue Reading

Google’s Fair Use, Warhol’s isn’t… or is it?

Google’s Fair Use, Warhol’s isn’t… or is it?

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/132 GOOGLE PREVAILS OVER ORACLE ANDY WARHOL ESTATE THWARTED IN APPEALS COURT IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT… Continue Reading

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