La-la-lawsuits: A Look at May’s Finest Litigious Moments

May 31st, 2012

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has held that an IP address does not definitively identify an individual because of the  numerous identification issues, including poached connections, shared connections, and proxy servers.  Judge Brown explained that “while the ISPs will provide the name of its subscriber, the alleged infringer could be the subscriber, a member of his or her family, an employee, invitee, neighbor or interloper.”

TufAmerica sued The Beastie Boys for copyright infringement, misappropriation and unjust enrichment for the alleged inclusion of uncleared samples of music by the band Trouble Funk on the albums License to Ill and Paul’s Boutique.  The lawsuit was filed the day before Beastie Boy Adam Yauch died from cancer.

Henry Mancini’s publishing company, controlled by his heirs, has filed a claim with the American Arbitration Association against EMI Music Publishing seeking more than $1.35 million in unpaid royalties allegedly owed to Mancini’s company from net profits from the music in the original 1963 Pink Panther film.  The heirs want EMI’s administration rights terminated in addition to punitive damages due to the alleged malfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty.

Michael McDonald has sued label Warner Music Group, joining the long list of artists suing their label over the digital download as sale or license debate.

The Supreme Court declined to review Joel Tenenbaum’s challenge against a lawsuit with the RIAA, which resulted in a $675,000 jury verdict against college-student Tenenbaum for his illegal downloading of 30 songs.

A Tennessee District Court judge granted The Weinstein Company‘s motion for summary judgment in a case brought by “Soul Man” singer Sam Moore over the 2008 film Soul Men, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac.  Moore claimed that the film was loosely based on the career of the group Sam & Dave, of which Moore was a member. Moore alleged that the film infringed his rights of publicity, trademark rights, and an unfair competition violation.  In a 98 page opinion, the court found in favor of the defendant, Weinstein Company.  The opinion describes the plaintiff’s expert witnesses as inadequate and unreliable, and noted that the film does not mention “Sam & Dave” or “Sam Moore” directly, did not use any of their music aside from one cover of a song of theirs, and expressly uses a disclaimer that the persons and events in the film are fictitious.  All of Moore’s claims were individually addressed, finding on all counts in favor of defendant Weinstein Co.

May’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

May 30th, 2012

Facebook acquired Glancee, a technology that enable proximity alerts among friends and like-minded users.

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has added Barry Coburn of Ten Ten Music Group and Zach Horowitz of Universal Music Publishing Group to its Board of Directors.

The Orchard has acquired IRIS Distribution.

Samsung acquired mSpot.

 Adrian Moreira moved up to SVP of Promotions from SVP of Adult Music at RCA Records.

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is leaving the company, following a rumored controversy around an embellished academic record. Ross Levinsohn will be stepping up as the interim CEO.

Jay Boberg is the new chairman of the board of Isolation Network, the parent of INgrooves Fontana.

Greg Scholl, former CEO of The Orchard, is making his music industry comeback as the Executive Director of Jazz At Lincoln Center.

Dick Wingate has moved from his position as General Manager, East Coast Business Development for digital consultancy TAG Strategic, to join venture capitalist DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures) as Principal.

A U.S. Senate panel will hold a hearing to discuss Universal Music Group’s proposed acquisition of EMI, another step in the lengthy regulatory review of the $1.9 billion deal. (WSJ) No date has been set.

Agent Joe Brauner, has moved to William Morris Endeavor from CAA, bringing clients Norah Jones and Amos Lee with him.

Richard Lom has been promoted from Director to VP of SBS Entertainment.

Alliance Entertainment acquired Audiolife.

Amanda Palmer Raises $1,000,000+ through Kickstarter

May 30th, 2012

Amanda Palmer has raised over $1 million dollars on Kickstarter, with over a day left to go on her campaign.  Amanda left Roadrunner Records following the 2008 release of her first solo album.  Her new album will be funded independent of a label, through the financial support of almost 22,000 fans and friends (as of this point).  Palmer’s original goal for her Kickstarter campaign was $100,000, a number she’s greatly exceeded.  The success of her campaign may lead other major label artists to move away from the traditional label model of album release and promotion and look to fans for the finances.

Event: Music Licensing in the Digital Age

May 30th, 2012

The New York State Bar Association

Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section Presents: 


Thursday, June 14, 2012  12-12:30 PM (Lunch) 12:30-2:10 PM (Panel)

Herrick Feinstein, LLP 2 Park Avenue (at 33rd and Park) 14th Floor Auditorium New York City

This program has been approved for a total of 2.0 MCLE Credits in Professional Practice

Cosponsored by the Television and Radio, Music and Recording Industry, and Motion Pictures Committees of the Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

Program Chairs: Barry Skidelsky, Esq. Pamela Cathlyn Jones, Esq., Christine Pepe, Esq, Mary Ann Zimmer, Esq.

Moderator: Barry Skidelsky, Esq

Speakers:  Jeff Brabec, Vice President, Business Affairs, BMG Chrysalis)  Benjamin E. Marks, Esq. Partner, Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP Matthew DeFilippis, Vice President, New Media & Technology, ASCAP

Program Description: Licensing music for film and television has long been a complicated and fragmented process, often requiring multiple copyright licenses from record labels, music publishers, and performing rights organizations. Advancements in digital device and distribution technologies have engendered additional complexity, simultaneously creating new opportunities and challenges — not only for creators and copyright owners, but also for those who counsel them. This panel will examine emerging digital business models and related issues — from the creative, business and legal perspectives.

Registration: Please register at by June 12, 2012

Pricing (Lunch Included):  $30 for EASL Members  $50 Non-Members

For More Information:

BET Awards Nominees Announced – Full List

May 23rd, 2012

Another award ceremony on the horizon…

The BET Awards Nominees were announced yesterday.  The awards show will be hosted this year by Samuel Jackson and will air July 1, 8 pm EST.

Here is the full list:

Best Female R&B Artist

  • Marsha Ambrosius
  • Beyoncé
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Melanie Fiona
  • Rihanna
Best Male R&B Artist
  • Chris Brown
  • Bruno Mars
  • Miguel
  • Trey Songz
  • Usher

Best Group

  • Bad Meets Evil
  • Diddy Dirty Money
  • Maybach Music Group
  • Mindless Behavior
  • The Throne
Best Collaboration
  • Beyoncé f/ J. Cole — “Party”
  • Big Sean f/ Kanye West & Roscoe Dash
  • DJ Khaled f/ Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
  • Drake f/ Lil Wayne and Tyga — “The Motto”
  • The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding
  • Wale f/ Miguel — “Lotus Flower Bomb”
Best Male Hip Hop Artist
  • Big Sean
  • Drake
  • J. Cole
  • Lil Wayne
  • Rick Ross
  • Young Jeezy
Best Female Hip Hop Artist
  • Diamond
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Brianna Perry
  • Trina
Video of the Year
  • Beyoncé — “Countdown”
  • Beyoncé — “Love on Top”
  • The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) —“N—-s in Paris”
  • The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding — “Otis”
  • Usher – ”Climax”
Video Director of the Year
  • Beyoncé & Alan Ferguson
  • Benny Boom
  • Chris Brown & Godfrey Tabarez
  • Kanye West
  • Hype Williams
Best New Artist

  • A$AP Rocky
  • Big Sean
  • Diggy
  • Future
  • Meek Mill
Best Gospel

  • Yolanda Adams
  • Kim Burrell
  • James Fortune & FIYA
  • Fred Hammond
  • Trin-I-Tee 5:7
Best Actress
  • Angela Bassett
  • Viola Davis
  • Taraji P. Henson
  • Regina King
  • Zoe Saldana
Best Actor
  • Don Cheadle
  • Common
  • Idris Elba
  • Kevin Hart
  • Denzel Washington
YoungStars Award
  • Astro
  • Diggy
  • Jacob Latimore
  • Keke Palmer
  • Willow Smith
Best Movie
  • Good Deeds
  • Jumping The Broom
  • Laugh At My Pain
  • Red Tails
  • The Help
Subway Sportswoman of the Year
  • Skylar Diggins
  • Candace Parker
  • Brittney Griner
  • Serena Williams
  • Venus Williams
Subway Sportsman of the Year
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Victor Cruz
  • Kevin Durant
  • LeBron James

Coca-Coca Viewers’ ChoiceAward

  • Drake ft. Lil Wayne, Tyga – “The Motto”
  • Beyoncé – “Love on Top”
  • Chris Brown – “Turn Up the Music”
  • Mindless Behavior – “Hello”
  • The Throne (Jay – Z, Kanye West) ft. Otis Redding – “Otis”
  • Wale ft. Miguel - ”Lotus Flower Bomb”
Centric Award

  • Common
  • Estelle
  • Robert Glasper
  • Robin Thicke
  • Tyrese
Best International Act: Africa
  • Camp Mulla (Kenya)
  • Ice Prince (Nigeria)
  • Lira (South Africa)
  • Mokobe (Mali)
  • Sarkodie (Ghana)
  • Wizkid (Nigeria)
Best International Act: UK

  • Estelle
  • Labrinth
  • Emeli Sande
  • Sway
  • Wretch 32



Facebook Stock Price Continues to Plummet

May 22nd, 2012

Facebook share prices hit a low today of $30.98, 18% lower from the $38 IPO on Friday and 8.9% lower than Monday.  Shortly after trading started on Friday, the stock had risen to a high of $45 but has been mostly on the decline since.

Nothing has changed at Facebook since the IPO to substantiate the decline, although just days before the offering, underwriter Morgan Stanley drastically cut Facebook’s revenue forecasts.  The general speculation is that Facebook was drastically overvalued.  Even at its Monday closing price of $34.04, the market implies a 24% annual growth rate for earnings over the next 10 years, which would rank above 90 percent of the companies in that industry.

An interesting twist on the story – Digital Music News reported on how the Facebook share decline will likely affect Spotify’s valuation.

2012 Billboard Music Awards Winners List

May 21st, 2012

The Billboard Music Awards took place last night.  Adele took home 12 awards, including Top Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album.  LMFAO won 6 awards.

Here is the full list of winners:

Top Artist – Adele

Top Hot 100 Song – “Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & Goonrock

Top Billboard 200 Album21, Adele

Top Duo/Group – LMFAO

Top New Artist - Wiz Khalifa

Top Male Artist - Lil Wayne

Top Female Artist - Adele

Top Touring Artist - U2

Top Hot 100 Artist - Adele

Top Billboard 200 Artist - Adele

Top Rock Artist – Coldplay

Top Country Artist - Lady Antebellum

Top Digital Songs Artist - Adele

Top Radio Songs Artist – Adele

Top Social Artist - Justin Bieber

Top Streaming Artist - Rihanna

Top Digital Media Artist - Adele

Top Pop Artist- Adele

Top R&B Artist - Chris Brown

Top Rap Artist - Lil Wayne

Top Country Album - My Kinda Party, Jason Aldean

Top Alternative Artist - Coldplay

Top Latin Artist - Shakira

Top Dance Artist - Lady Gaga

Top Christian Artist - Casting Crowns

Top Pop Album - 21, Adele

Top R&B Album – 4, Beyonce

Top Rap Album - Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne

Top Rock Album - Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay

Top Alternative Album - Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay

Top Latin Album - Formula: Vol. 1, Romeo Santos

Top Dance Album - Born This Way, Lady Gaga

Top Christian Album - Come to the Well, Castin Crowns

Top Digital Song - ”Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & Goonrock

Top Streaming Song (audio) - “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele

Top Radio Song - “Give Me Everything,” Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer

Top Streaming Song (video) - “Super Bass,” Nicki Minaj

Top Pop Song - ”Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & Goonrock

Top Country Song - “Dirt Road Anthem,” Jason Aldean

Top R&B Song - “Motivation,” Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne

Top Rock Song - “Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster the People

Top Alternative Song - “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele

Top Latin Song - “Danza Kuduro,” Don Omar & Lucenzo

Top Dance Song - ”Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & Goonrock

Top Christian Song - “Blessings,” Laura Story

Top Rap Song - ”Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & Goonrock


Event: May 23rd Evening of Live Music & Copyright Law

May 17th, 2012

The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York is putting on an event next week that is free and open to the public.

Scales of Justice


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The New York City Bar
42 West 44th Street, New York, NY

Program is free and open to the public

View Flyer

5:30 PM Reception
6:30- 8:00 PM Program


Hon. Judith S. Kaye
Former Chief Judge of the State of New York

Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt
President, The Historical Society of the New York Courts

A Musical Conversation:
When is an Expression of Music Copyrightable?

On the Podium
Robert W. Clarida, Esq.
Partner, Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC

At the Piano
Ted Rosenthal
Jazz Pianist, Composer, Educator

Joined by
Lesley Rosenthal
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary,
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


Inquiries about registration can be made to the Society at:

Event: Saturday May 19 NARIP Networking Brunch

May 16th, 2012

Coming up this Saturday, the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals (NARIP) is having its next music industry networking brunch.

Details below, from the NARIP Website.  I hear these are valuable events and a great way to mingle with professionals in the recording industry.  The brunch is open to NARIP members and non-members.

NARIP Brunch
Eat, Meet & Greet!

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sponsored by Discmakers

You are cordially invited to attend NARIP’s next brunch on Saturday, May 19, 2012 sponsored by Discmakers in New York.
We’re doing it again! Join us, come meet and greet New York-area record and music industry professionals.

All are welcome at our brunch.
You need not be a NARIP member to attend.

Please RSVP and register online by Thursday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. so we can prepare enough refreshments for everyone. NARIP encourages pre-payment. You are welcome to attend at the last minute as a walk-up, but we appreciate advance registration.

So come along to meet existing friends and contacts, and make new ones. NARIP brunches feature 30-second introductions by all present to help you identify and get in front of the people who can make a difference to your business. Professional speed-dating!

Among other things, NARIP sponsors events like these to encourage networking and the fostering of business relationships in the record industry. Over 75% of all great opportunities, deals and job offers come about as a direct result of second and third party referrals – who you know matters. So get to know more people in the record biz, and let them get to know you! Please join us and bring plenty of business cards. All are welcome, details below.


“NARIP brunches have been a HUGE benefit for me and my company,” says Geodesic Management’sDan Strader from New York. “In just a few hours at a Los Angeles brunch, I was able to establish a presence in that city and make solid connections that I still use to this day. Networking brunches have now begun in New York, and the connections we’ve made are career-changing.”


Please register online by Thursday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. so we can prepare enough refreshments for everyone. To register now, just scroll down.

Is your network not working? Ours is.

They can’t promote you if they don’t know who you are!

Special thanks to David Olinsky at Discmakers for sponsoring this event.


Saturday, May 19, 2012
11:00 a.m. – Arrive and eat!
11:30 a.m. – Introductions
1:00 p.m. – Brunch ends, networking continues


16 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011-5504


$10 for NARIP members
$20 for Non-members

Get a NARIP membership for $9.95 a month and only pay the member rate!

We encourage you to register in advance online now (just scroll down). Otherwise, cash only at the door on Event Day please. Price includes food, beverage and event admission.


Click here for map.
Between 5th and 6th Avenues.


Call 818-769-7007 or email info AT narip DOT com