January 13, 2012

9th Cir. Affirms Public Performance Liability Against Restaurant

Range Road Music, Inc. v. East Coast Foods, Inc., No. 10-55691 (9th Cir. filed Jan. 12, 2012).

The 9th Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment and legal fees in favor of plaintiffs (ASCAP) against defendant (restaurant/lounge). Defendant was vicariously liable for copyright infringement related to the public performance, both by a live band and by a CD, of copyrighted songs. Plaintiff's proof was an investigative report by a visitor to the premises. The report did not need to be by a certified expert because "identifying popular songs does not require 'scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge'.” The Court rejected defendant's argument that a showing of substantial similarity was required for a public performance case. The Court properly awarded attorney's fees to Plaintiff.

January 12, 2012

Labels Denied Interlocutory Appeal In MP3Tunes Case

Capitol Records, Inc. et al. v. MP3Tunes, LLC et al., No. 07-9931 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 9, 2012) [Doc. 277].

Plaintiffs (record companies and music publishers) asked the Court to certify an interlocutory appeal of the Amended Memorandum & Order dated October 25, 2011 ("October 25,2011 Memorandum & Order") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). Plaintiffs sought interlocutory appeal on whether, (i) the DMCA safe harbors apply to sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, (ii) a repeat infringer policy can be reasonably implemented by terminating only "blatant" infringers, and (iii) red flag knowledge of infringement can be established through sources other than takedown notices. The Court denied Plaintiffs' request.

CA Statute Of Limitations Bars Singer's Malpractice Claim

Basilotta v. Warshavsky, 6508 115524/09, NYLJ 1202538059721, at *1 (1st Dept, Jan. 10, 2012).

Reversing the trial court's decision denying defendant's motion to dismiss, the Appellate Division applied California's one-year statute of limitations for legal malpractice to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint against her former lawyers. It appears that plaintiff had a recording contract with a record label, that label was involuntarily liquidated, and the lawyers allegedly neglected plaintiff's case against the label.

January 11, 2012

Bob Marley Heirs Settle With UMG

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. v. UMG Recordings, Inc., Index. No. 08-cv-6143 (SDNY filed Jan. 5, 2012) [Doc. 175].

The Court so-ordered the parties stipulation of dismissal without prejudice.

January 9, 2012

ReDigi Sued For Copyright Infringement

Capital Records Inc. v. ReDigi Inc., No. 1:12-cv-00095 (SDNY filed 1/6/2012).

Plaintiff alleges copyright infringement arising from defendant's contributory, vicarious, and inducement of the willful and systemic use of plaintiff's original sound recordings on defendant's "ReDigi" music service. Defendant is an internet business whose stated purpose is to help consumers buy and sell "used" digital music files. Plaintiff seeks $150,000 per infringement (maximum statutory damages for willful infringement).