|Hmmmm - maybe ..........|
A New York federal judge has agreed to certify an interlocutory appeal by SiriusXM against the ruling that gave state copyright law protection to pre-1972 sound recordings. As a result, the 2nd Circuit will now address the legal issue that copyrights in pre-1972 sound recordings didn't cover the right to exclusive public performance - a position successfully challenged by Turtle's musicians Flo & Eddie of The Turtles who filed filed 2013 lawsuits in California, Florida and New York.
And the latest skirmish in who pays what for streaming music in the U.S. has kicked of in a court in New York. Its a legal battle over what royalties the Pandora streaming service should pay American collecting society BMI. Against the backfrop of the major publishers seeking to withdraw their rights from BMI (And ASCAP) so they can licence streaming services direct, this case concerns the terms of BMI's current licence - Pandora wants to pay 1.75% of its revenue to BMI, while the collecting society wants 2.5%. Whilst Pandora wants to maintain the status quo, somewhat oddly given the background, BMI will argue that it should be able to increase the rate from 1.75% to approach the rates the majors have achieved.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a decision in a copyright lawsuit against two members of the Four Seasons and developers of the group’s Tony Award winning biographical musical “Jersey Boys.” Donna Corbello sued Frankie Valli and fellow Four Seasons band member Robert Gaudio in 2011 for copyright infringement, claiming the musical was based in part on an unpublished autobiography of Four Seasons band member Thomas DeVito that her late husband Rex Woodard ghost-wrote. Although initially registered in DeVito's sole name, Corbello amended the US copyright registration so Woodard and Devito were co-owners. She said she deserved to share in the profits from the musical's success. The appellate court said there was contradictory evidence about whether Valli and Gaudio executed an agreement with DeVito to produce the play in time to avoid termination of their ownership rights but that “a co-owner of a copyright must account to other co-owners for any profits he earns from licensing or use of the copyright.” The case will now be sent back to Nevada federal court to determine if the musical infringes the autobiography, and Corbello is entitled to royalties from the theatre show which has run since 2005 and the Clint Eastwood film of 2014. More here and in the Hollywood Reporter here.