December 6, 2007

Even Madonna Has the Landlord Blues

Madonna - yes, Madonna - is suing her New York City apartment cooperative, the building's management company, and a neighbor for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and injunctive relief. The equitable relief seeks transfer of shares of the cooperative, currently allocated to Madonna's neighbor (Apartment 7-A) to Madge.

As Madonna merely filed a summons with notice, details to follow. In the meantime, any one with info (neighbors?) feel free to drop OTCS a line. This is a juicy Central Park West (Manhattan's Upper West Side) story!

[Madonna Ciccone v. One West 64th Street Inc. and its directors and officers (as they may be elected or appointed from time to time and hold such office); Midboro Management Inc.; Ganfer & Shore LLP (as transfer agent, for relief purposes); Julie Clark Thayer (as an interested party who property interests are affected). Filed New York Supreme Court, N.Y. Co. 12/5/2007; 07-604002]

December 5, 2007

One Way Or Another

Blondie, and her label EMI Music NA (Chrysalis) sued in New York Supreme court for alleged breach of contract and tortious interference arising from a 1979 agreement between plaintiff and defendnats. Allegedly, Blondie misinterpreted the agreement and are not seeking to renegotiate and "extort concessions" from plaintiff.


According to a 1979 article in Rolling Stone, Leeds was Blondie's manager...but things must have soured. The article continues: "They are now engaged in the legal process of dissolving their relationship..." So what went wrong? Leeds' own claim to fame - Under his tutelage with Blondie, "When in the history of rock & roll music did somebody lay down $500,000 to buy the recording rights to a group that had sold fourteen records?"

And what is going on today, in 2007?

[Peter Leeds v. Deborah Harry; Christopher Stein; James Mollica; Clement Bozewski; EMI Music North America. Filed 12/4/2007 07-603978 ]

December 4, 2007

Funky Cold Nasty Girl Expresses Herself

Cookie-cutter "public" performance case filed in Eastern District of California. Complaint alleges ONE instance of infringement in June of this year for each of the following songs: "Funky Cold Medina", "Express Yourself", and "Nasty Girl".

Only big players here are plaintis WB Music Corp., and Universal-Polygram International Publishing.

[Nasty Girl]

Little Drummer Boys - Where You At?

As Chanukah, the festival of lights, begins this evening, OTCS began to wonder - who is writing holiday songs anymore? Yes, a variety of artists each year (without fail) will release holiday albums. Usually, these consist of covers of "classics". No doubt, the writers and publishers of such "classics" make a killing (not only do people buy these albums, but they are constantly broadcast an played IN PUBLIC - triggering other copyrights).

So OTCS wonders - why don't more writers and publishers take a stab at "hit" holiday songs, ones that transcend this years holiday season and go on to the next? Surely, its a gold-mine. Imagine having YOUR song played in every mall, office lobby, and toy store for one month each year. You'd make a killing!

So, OTCS invites all aspiring authors of holiday compositions to post their songs for OTCS first annual "Little Drummer Boys - Where You At?" Competition (it's a working name...)

December 3, 2007

You turn me on, I'm a Radio...

OTCS is shocked by the following data reported by the New York Times:

Of the 10 songs that have notched the most plays in one week, 8 joined the list
in the last three years. And the oldest of the 10, Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” dates only to 2002.

Wowzer. In today's world, is it possible for radio to break new artists like, for example, WMMS (Cleveland) broke David Bowie to the USA? Or is radio just a means of promoting downloads, and thus forcing top 40 to listeners at the bequest of the labels? The problem is, this is a self-perpetuating cycle. Radio keeps playing the same songs over and over because people want to hear popular songs (remember Outkast's "Hey Ya"?!) - but the more radio plays the songs, the more listeners realize what a limited medium radio is as compared to their iPods and satellite stations. As radio loses listeners, they play songs that are "popular" to attract listeners back. And so it goes... (But see the following justification from a program director who played one song 78 times last week: That is not so much out of concern over digital competition as it is a desire to respond to listeners’ busy lives. For real?)

Of course, this commentary relates only to pop-radio - there are still plenty of college/indie stations that play what they want to play (see any CMJ magazine!).