February 26, 2009

Senate Proposes Royalties for Broadcast Sound Recordings

A new bill has been introduced in the Senate that would require over-the-air radio broadcasters to pay royalties for performances of sound recordings. Radio already pays royalties to composers for the music they broadcast, but since the advent of radio, stations have not been required to pay royalties to the performing artists or record labels. The new bill would give sound recording copyright holders the right to control performances of their recordings, but would set up a compulsory license under which radio stations would be able to perform sound recordings pursuant to agreed-upon rates.

By Bruce G. Joseph and Matthew J. Astle, Wiley Rein LLP (2/20/09)

February 24, 2009

Ticketmaster Settles with Attny Gen. in Springsteen Fiasco

"Attorney General Announces Settlement with Ticketmaster on Sale of Springsteen TicketsTickets will be made available for thousands of consumers shut out by Ticketmaster and steered to a more expensive ticket re-sale website." (Announcement; 2/23/09)

Attorney General Anne Milgram announced today a settlement with Ticketmaster to resolve more than two thousand complaints filed by consumers with the State Division of Consumer Affairs this month in connection with the sale of tickets to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concerts scheduled for May at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The agreement also mandates reforms to Ticketmaster’s business practices.

February 23, 2009

Copyright Statute of Limitations Bars Suit

"Plaintiff's infringement and ownership claims premised on his alleged full copyright ownership of the songs is barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff had been having 'numerous discussions and several meetings' with representatives of Atlantic, Warner/Chappell's predecessor-in-interest, as early as 1988 and knew that Atlantic was claiming a right to publish the songs at that time. Therefore, the three-year statute of limitations expired at latest in 1991 and, as the instant action was filed in 2006, Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed for untimeliness.


Plaintiff asserts that settlement discussions took place throughout this time period, but settlement discussions are not the sort of extraordinary circumstance that justify Plaintiff's failure to bring the instant action in a timely manner or to continue prosecuting the 1991 lawsuit, absent evidence of any misrepresentations from the relevant entities or any other type of egregious misconduct at any time during the relevant period."

Poindexter v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc., 2/23/09 N.Y.L.J. "Decision of Interest" (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 9, 2009)

[Procedural note: the Court converted Defendant's 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment, pursuant to Rule 12(d), "because both parties referenced and submitted materials beyond the scope of the complaint." The parties were permitted to make additional submissions.]