When you are threatened with litigation, whether it be in the realm of intellectual property or otherwise, you don’t need to sit around waiting and wondering if/when an action will be filed against you. Instead, there is a type of action called a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment that allows you to go on offense, essentially asking the court to intervene and solve a dispute that cannot be reconciled by and between the parties.
On October 22, 2019, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (the CASE Act), was approved by a 410-6 vote in the House of Representatives. The intention of the Act is to establish a small claims court for content creators to more easily take legal action against alleged infringers.
Carlton Ridenhour, better known as the rapper Chuck D., who founded hip-hop group Public Enemy, has filed a Complaint for declaratory relief regarding the ownership of copyrights, as well as causes of action for fraud and conversion against Michael Closter and Closter’s fully owned Reach Global, Inc. He claims that the defendants used false copyright registrations to fraudulently obtain ownership rights in certain musical compositions written by him.
A copyright infringement lawsuit has been filed against the popular music streaming service Pandora. The Complaint, filed by Wixen Music Publishing, alleges that Pandora has continued to exploit lyrics to musical compositions without authorization. It includes a schedule of musical compositions, but indicates that there are likely many more that have not been included in the filing.
Internet personality Logan Paul, who has millions of subscribers on his YouTube channel, has been sued for copyright infringement. The Complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that his composition “No Handlebars” willfully infringes on an original composition by Flobots titled, “Handlebars.” The original was written and recorded in 2005. Paul released “No Handlebars” in November 2017.
What do you need in place prior to bringing an action for copyright infringement? That specific question was decided by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, et al.
Copyright infringement lawsuits must be brought in federal court. These cases are often filed by lawyers who not only think their clients can score a sizable judgment, but also have the opposition cover legal fees and costs. However, a new United States Supreme Court decision places a limit on what a prevailing party can actually collect.
Is it true that no one can own a dance step? That is what video game publisher Epic Games is arguing in a motion to dismiss that it filed on February 11 in a federal case that was brought by Terrence “2 Milly” Ferguson.
A Los Angeles jury found that rock band Led Zeppelin did not plagiarize the opening riff to the hit song Stairway to Heaven.
The estate of Randy Wolfe originally brought the copyright infringement suit against the rock legends on the grounds that they believed that Zeppelin stole the original riff from a 1968 song released by Wolfe’s band Spirit.
Stairway to Heaven has been voted the number three all time great Rock Songs by VH1 and has gone down in rock history as the most memorable compositions. If this case went in another direction, a chapter of rock n roll history would have to be rewritten.
Members of Led Zeppelin used their hazy memory to ultimately plea that they didn’t steal the riff. They also provided expert testimony that the two songs shared only a “common building block” that has been used for years.
The jury was not played the original version of Spirit’s song, but after a week of testimony they came to the conclusion that Led Zeppelin did not rip off the riff.