Copyright Archives - Romano Law


Category: Copyright

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Rights for Public Performances of Music

Copyright laws provide authors with a “bundle of rights.”  One such right is the right to perform the copyrighted work publicly.  However, understanding public performance rights in the context of music can be complicated.  We first have to understand what constitutes a public performance.   WHAT IS A PUBLIC PERFORMANCE? The Copyright Act defines as

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Music Sampling Rights: What You Need to Know

Like many forms of creative expression, music is protected by copyright law.  That means a license is usually necessary if you create a new work using pre-existing music created by someone else (otherwise known as a “derivative work”).  What rights do you need to license for music sampling? MUSIC COPYRIGHT BASICS There are two separate copyrights

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Six Reasons Why You Should Register Your Works With the Copyright Office

Many might wonder why songwriters, recording artists, and other creative people should register their works with the U.S. Copyright Office.  After all, under the current Copyright Act, registration with the Copyright Office is not required to obtain a copyright in a work. Under Section 102(a) “[c]opyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of

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Copyright Conundrums for Collaborators

Here’s a situation that’s commonly misunderstood among creative collaborators: Jack and Jill agree to write a song together.  They call it “Tumblin’ Down the Hill.”  Jack writes the music and Jill writes the lyrics.  Who owns what? A) Jack owns the music and Jill owns the lyrics. B) It depends on whether the music or

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Joke Theft is No Laughing Matter

Comedians have likely been stealing jokes for as long as jokes have been told.  Professional comedians make their livelihood off their own original jokes through a variety of ways including, most recently, asserting public performance rights.  As a comedian, what options do you have if someone steals your stuff? What is Joke Theft? Joke theft

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Comedians Suing Over Writer Rights Is No Joke

The latest development in the world of comedy law is a flurry of lawsuits in recent months by comedians suing Pandora and SiriusXM, and a continuing heated dispute with Spotify (who initially yanked the comedy albums of hundreds of comics off their service).  The dispute is over payment of public performance royalties when these entities

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Taylor Swift Tagged for Infringement – But Not for Copying Words or Music

If you’re a megastar songwriter and recording artist like Taylor Swift, there’s a 100% chance you’ll be sued repeatedly for copyright infringement over your chart-topping hits.  For example, while Ms. Swift still has not been able to shake off the long-running suit over her 2014 hit, “Shake It Off,” she was recently hit with another

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Copyrighting and Licensing Choreography

A choreographic work is one where the “composition and arrangement of a related series of dance movements and patterns are organized into a whole.”  It may be used to convey a story, theme or abstract concept and can include elements such as rhythmic movements of the body and the sequence of those movements. Choreography is

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New U.S. Supreme Court Decision Explained: Unicolors v. H&M

Last week, in Unicolors v. H&M, the Supreme Court held that the Copyright Act’s safe harbor provision, found at 17 U.S.C. § 411(b)(1)(A), did not distinguish between a mistake of law and a mistake of fact.  Thus, the lack of either factual or legal knowledge by a copyright applicant can excuse inaccurate information in a

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