Month: April 2011

Entertainment law programs set nationwide

For those who follow Entertainment Law, there’s a full docket of events or sessions. These are duly noted on our Event Calendar tab (see above), as well as described more fully as follows. For general info about the site’s event listings, see this post’s end.  This week: Starting Monday and running through Wednesday, the Berklee College of Music and Midem will offer its first “Rethink Music: Creativity, Commerce, and Policy in the 21st Century” program at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Top artists and managers who are reshaping the music business scene will join at the session with...

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Brits get U.S. firm to take down Canadian site

The UK Music Publishers Association temporarily had the Canadian-based International Music Score Library Project taken down with a DMCA notice to the sheet music folks’ U.S. -based domain registrar, Go Daddy. A 1935 choral work — The Bells, Op. 35, by Sergei Rachmaninoff — provided the fodder for the allegation of copyright infringement that prompted the take-down demand, though the British group later said via Twitter that it had asked Go Daddy to reinstate the domain name. The Canadians’ argument on why the action against it was wrong is here. In brief, they assert that the Brits erred and there is no copyright in the U.S. nor the European Union for The Bells. The post also argues that it’s not the business of the Brits to enforce E.U. copyright laws upon the rest of the world. Michael Geist, a Canadian legal scholar, blogger and tech expert, notes that Canada’s law offers a more reasonable approach to DMCA takedown notices. Rather than a domain registrar shutting a site based on accusations, the law up north lets courts decide if there has been a copyright infringement based on a “notice-and-notice approach.” From Michael Geist’s Blog. He also wrote about this issue in 2007. Copy of the DMCA takedown letter...

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‘Oh, Really?’ Movie chatter in legal briefs?

In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. The pursuit of lively legal prose leads lawyers to seek entertaining references, with some of these surprising citations devoted to pop culture and especially the movies. But what crops up in those legal briefs can be amusing — or an utter fiasco. Let’s look at some instances where lawyers and judges either have made their formal documents delightfully breezy — or left nothing less than memorable stink bombs. The blogosphere has buzzed plenty about a recent cinema citation, which Kevin Underhill from Lowering the Barpresents as the “New Contender for Worst Legal Brief.” In this instance, a lawyer apparently based his appellate argument on the premise of the movie “The Hangover.”  It’s something you must see for yourself. The argument from the first paragraph of the brief begins with: “In the 2009 movie The Hangover, the ultimate Las Vegas bachelor party goes bad when the groom’s men wake up in their suite at Caesar’s Palace with a tiger in the bathroom, a 6-month old baby in the close, and the groom nowhere to be found.  What’s more, nobody can remember the previous night’s events, due to the effects of the alcohol they ingested together with...

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Britain’s ‘digital economy’ law survives test

The British music industry got reason to cheer recently when Justice Kenneth Parker of the High Court rejected four arguments suggesting the nation’s Digital Economy Act could not stand because it was out of sync with European law; those arguments were unsuccessfully advanced by the Internet service providers  BT and TalkTalk, the latter which is known to have customers who used their service with the company to perform acts of copyright infringement. TalkTalk,  in 2010, openly talked about its refusal to adhere to Britain’s digital laws, saying, “Unless we are served with a court order, we will never surrender a customer’s details to rights holders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it. If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement, we will refuse to do so and tell the rights holders we’ll see them in court.” The firm also balked at Section 3 of the DEA, which obliges ISPs to notify subscribers of possible copyright infringement. The judge’s ruling keeps the DEA in place, which is good news for the music industry in its fight to stop Internet...

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Musicians, record industry say ‘no’ to FM chips

In a fight to protect a potentially huge revenue source, musicians have joined the Recording Industry Association of America, the Wireless Association, the Consumer Electronics Association  and others to lobby against  possible government rules requiring that FM chips be installed  in the future in various mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. The disparate parties also announced this week that they would partner to support House Continuing Resolution 42 — dubbed the “Creativity and Innovation Resolution” sponsored by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) That measure specifically opposes the requirement for manufacturers to include FM chips when they build or distribute wireless mobile devices in the future. What’s the huge concern about broadcast tuners in wireless mobile devices? Opponents fear they will pave the way for more FM radio broadcasting, which, they contend, inadequately pays artists for their works. They also worry broadcast growth will hinder and undercut those new devices and technologies that compensate musicians and performers through an array of revenue sources. The current congressional resolution endorses “creativity and innovation.” It opposes allowing individuals to create and promote technology that fails to both benefit consumers and the U.S. economy but also provides compensation to “artists, creators, and innovators.”...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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