February 10, 2011

Summary Judgment Motions Denied In Alleged Hip Hop Infringement

Lessem v. Taylor et al., No. 07 Civ 10601(LLS), 2011 WL 344104 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2011).

Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment that defendants' song "How We Do" infringes their copyrighted song "Elevator". (Defendants' song appears on the album "The Documentary" by hip-hop artist The Game.)

The Court analyzed defendants' access to the Plaintiff's work (specifically, through a third-party intermediary), the probative similarity of the two works (based on expert reports), the alleged improper appropriation, and whether or not defendants independently created their song. The Court determined that factual issues precluded summary judgment.

February 9, 2011

Music Photos Suit

Lawrence Martin Temme v. Sony Music Entertainment, Index No. 11-650342 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. filed 2/8/2011).

Complaint for negligence and conversion. Plaintiff, a freelance music photographer, alleges that over the course of his 20 years in the music industry, he has photographed some of the biggest names in popular music. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant has lost or converted thousands of valuable photographic images belonging to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff seeks $500,000 in damages based on the defendant's alleged breach of bailment, its negligence, and its conversion of the plaintiff's property.