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The Idolawyer On Whether Or Not Coldplay Can Fly Away From Joe Satriani’s Lawsuit

It appears that Coldplay doesn’t plan to make nice with Joe Satriani by settling his infringement claim quietly; therefore, the matter will likely be decided in court. I’ve noted some armchair analysis of this matter has already occurred in the comments on this site, so I thought I’d provide a very brief legal framework for infringement suits regarding the copying of songs.

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It appears that Coldplay doesn’t plan to make nice with Joe Satriani by settling his infringement claim quietly; therefore, the matter will likely be decided in court. I’ve noted some armchair analysis of this matter has already occurred in the comments on this site, so I thought I’d provide a very brief legal framework for infringement suits regarding the copying of songs.

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The Idolawyer Tries To Figure Out If This Whole “Used MP3 Store” Thing Is Legal

It’s difficult to think of a thornier or more complicated issue in copyright law than that brought up by Bopaboo, a startup that purports to provide a forum for consumers to buy and sell used digital audio files online, so I’ll try to keep this brief. I’m not going to comment specifically on Bopaboo, but rather on the legal implications of after-market sales of digital audio files, referred to in this article under the appropriate legalese of “digital phonorecords.”

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It’s difficult to think of a thornier or more complicated issue in copyright law than that brought up by Bopaboo, a startup that purports to provide a forum for consumers to buy and sell used digital audio files online, so I’ll try to keep this brief. I’m not going to comment specifically on Bopaboo, but rather on the legal implications of after-market sales of digital audio files, referred to in this article under the appropriate legalese of “digital phonorecords.”

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The Idolawyer Gives Us Some Real Talk About Girl Talk

I’ve been asked to comment on Mike Barthel’s excellent “Girl Talk is Not Fair Use,” which appeared on Idolator yesterday. I’m a transactional entertainment lawyer, so I never actually litigate copyrights. Nevertheless, I’m treading in dangerous waters because I often represent copyright owners. I don’t claim to know how federal courts would analyze a hypothetical infringement claim against Girl Talk, a.k.a. Gregg Gillis; historically courts have been inconsistent in applying fair use analysis. I do, however, have some thoughts about how such a case should be decided.

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I’ve been asked to comment on Mike Barthel’s excellent “Girl Talk is Not Fair Use,” which appeared on Idolator yesterday. I’m a transactional entertainment lawyer, so I never actually litigate copyrights. Nevertheless, I’m treading in dangerous waters because I often represent copyright owners. I don’t claim to know how federal courts would analyze a hypothetical infringement claim against Girl Talk, a.k.a. Gregg Gillis; historically courts have been inconsistent in applying fair use analysis. I do, however, have some thoughts about how such a case should be decided.

More »


The Idolawyer Weighs Musicians’ Right To Protest The Use Of Their Songs By Politicians

There are two weeks left to go in the Presidential campaign, and that means one thing: More time for musicians to get annoyed when a politician whose views don’t jibe with theirs to get annoyed about what they see as “misuse” of their songs! In anticipation of this happening at least three more times before Nov. 4, we asked our official house counsel, John P. Strohm, for his legally considered opinion on the subject. After the jump, he talks about the nitty-gritty of song licenses, and whether Dave Grohl should have even bothered coming out of retirement to complain about John McCain’s use of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero.”

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There are two weeks left to go in the Presidential campaign, and that means one thing: More time for musicians to get annoyed when a politician whose views don’t jibe with theirs to get annoyed about what they see as “misuse” of their songs! In anticipation of this happening at least three more times before Nov. 4, we asked our official house counsel, John P. Strohm, for his legally considered opinion on the subject. After the jump, he talks about the nitty-gritty of song licenses, and whether Dave Grohl should have even bothered coming out of retirement to complain about John McCain’s use of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero.”

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The Judy’s Continue To Haunt The Hearts And Minds Of Texas Music Fans

judys.jpgThe Houston Press has an in-depth feature this week on early ’80s Texas new wave heroes the Judy’s, who recently re-released their catalog on CD and reunited to play at the Austin Music Awards. I first heard of the Judy’s my freshman year of high school as I was digging through my dad’s record collection, and immediately latched on to their super-mart brand of bass-and-percussion-oriented weirdo pop, which goes above and beyond your run-of-the-mill new wave fare, an especially impressive feat considering that they developed their sound not amid a thriving scene in New York, L.A., or even Austin, but rather in a garage in the (then rural) Houston suburb of Pearland. They became massively popular in Texas, opening for the B-52s and Talking Heads, and packing clubs for their own shows. Their most famous song is an infectious, squealing tribute the Jonestown massacre called “Guyana Punch.” Thankfully there’s a live 1981 performance of the song, complete with water-tossing and cutoff shorts. Never has mass suicide been so catchy.

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judys.jpgThe Houston Press has an in-depth feature this week on early ’80s Texas new wave heroes the Judy’s, who recently re-released their catalog on CD and reunited to play at the Austin Music Awards. I first heard of the Judy’s my freshman year of high school as I was digging through my dad’s record collection, and immediately latched on to their super-mart brand of bass-and-percussion-oriented weirdo pop, which goes above and beyond your run-of-the-mill new wave fare, an especially impressive feat considering that they developed their sound not amid a thriving scene in New York, L.A., or even Austin, but rather in a garage in the (then rural) Houston suburb of Pearland. They became massively popular in Texas, opening for the B-52s and Talking Heads, and packing clubs for their own shows. Their most famous song is an infectious, squealing tribute the Jonestown massacre called “Guyana Punch.” Thankfully there’s a live 1981 performance of the song, complete with water-tossing and cutoff shorts. Never has mass suicide been so catchy.

More »

“Austin City Limits” Changes Locations, Guards Vibe

willie.jpgAfter 33 years in a sixth-floor studio on the University of Texas campus, the PBS concert series Austin City Limits is moving from its 300-seat studio to a theater in downtown Austin which will accommodate 2,000 people. But long-time producer Terry Lickona is on vigilant vibe-watch to ensure that the series doesn’t lose the casual, intimate atmosphere that has fostered so many great performances over the years.

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willie.jpgAfter 33 years in a sixth-floor studio on the University of Texas campus, the PBS concert series Austin City Limits is moving from its 300-seat studio to a theater in downtown Austin which will accommodate 2,000 people. But long-time producer Terry Lickona is on vigilant vibe-watch to ensure that the series doesn’t lose the casual, intimate atmosphere that has fostered so many great performances over the years.

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Dolly Parton To Pay Tribute To Nashville’s Sparkliest Legend

porter-wagoner.article.jpgWord on the street in Nashville is that Dolly Parton is planning a tribute to the late Porter Wagoner, a country legend and Parton’s long-time singing partner. Wagoner gave Parton her big break in 1967 by adding her to the stable of musicians on his weekly country music TV show, a program as famous for its bedazzled blazers as it was for its music, a fact not lost on Parton in her plans to ape the snazzy designs of an infamous tailor named…Nudie.

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porter-wagoner.article.jpgWord on the street in Nashville is that Dolly Parton is planning a tribute to the late Porter Wagoner, a country legend and Parton’s long-time singing partner. Wagoner gave Parton her big break in 1967 by adding her to the stable of musicians on his weekly country music TV show, a program as famous for its bedazzled blazers as it was for its music, a fact not lost on Parton in her plans to ape the snazzy designs of an infamous tailor named…Nudie.

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Sir Paul McCartney has publicly denounced the culling of kangaroos in Australia, which are apparently so abundant that they “impact” other species. More »

Sir Paul McCartney has publicly denounced the culling of kangaroos in Australia, which are apparently so abundant that they “impact” other species. More »

YouTube Lets Sigur Ròs Be Weird All Over Its Front Page For 24 Hours

sheep.pngIf you’ve been on YouTube today, you may have noticed that the front page is curiously devoid of videos like “Todd’s Oscars rant” and “Monkey eats cheese.” Instead, Iceland’s second-most-famous weirdo musicians, Sigur Ròs, have taken over the site for the day, and anyone can watch their tour documentary Heima in its entirety (for free!). They’ve also selected ten fan-made videos submitted to the Minn Heima contest to be featured on the front page. Most of the videos use leftover footage from Heima, but at least one out of ten Sigur Ròs fans is going to be artsy enough to dabble in stop-motion animation. Let’s review a few of the more notable entires.

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sheep.pngIf you’ve been on YouTube today, you may have noticed that the front page is curiously devoid of videos like “Todd’s Oscars rant” and “Monkey eats cheese.” Instead, Iceland’s second-most-famous weirdo musicians, Sigur Ròs, have taken over the site for the day, and anyone can watch their tour documentary Heima in its entirety (for free!). They’ve also selected ten fan-made videos submitted to the Minn Heima contest to be featured on the front page. Most of the videos use leftover footage from Heima, but at least one out of ten Sigur Ròs fans is going to be artsy enough to dabble in stop-motion animation. Let’s review a few of the more notable entires.

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Idolator’s Tribute-Video Treasury Finds The Video To End All Videos

dom.jpgI’ve seen a lot of odd combinations on the tribute-video beat, but recently I found what I believe to be officially the Weirdest Thing on YouTube. It’s a confluence of cultural elements so incongruent, so entirely bizarre that I am not exaggerating when I say it causes me physical pain. Never has a musical soundtrack been put to such shocking ends, not even when the Phantom of the Opera paid tribute to Keiko the Orca whale. Brace yourselves: This one involves Dom DeLuise. And anime.

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dom.jpgI’ve seen a lot of odd combinations on the tribute-video beat, but recently I found what I believe to be officially the Weirdest Thing on YouTube. It’s a confluence of cultural elements so incongruent, so entirely bizarre that I am not exaggerating when I say it causes me physical pain. Never has a musical soundtrack been put to such shocking ends, not even when the Phantom of the Opera paid tribute to Keiko the Orca whale. Brace yourselves: This one involves Dom DeLuise. And anime.

More »


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