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First off today, Alex Pham at Billboard reports that Robin Thicke, prior to filing his lawsuit over his his hit “Blurred Lines”, offered a six-figure settlement to members of Marvin Gaye’s family to prevent a copyright lawsuit from taking place.
Thicke, along with collaborators Pharrell Williams and T.I., filed a lawsuit against the family of Marvin Gaye and a company that owns the rights to several George Clinton songs, seeking a judgment that “Blurred Lines” does not infringe either Gaye’s song “Got to Give it Up” or Clinton’s song “Sexy Ways”. However, according to this new report, Thicke first tried to settle the matter with the Gaye family before filing suit.
Gaye’s son has also expressed disappointment with the way Thicke has handled the dispute, noting that Thicke has said repeatedly that he was inspired by Gaye’s earlier work. However, music experts are skeptical as to whether there is any actual overlap between the two songs and Thicke denies any infringement.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that copyright expert Lawrence Lessig has teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to file a lawsuit against Liberation Music, which they say removed a YouTube video of Lessig’s even though it was not infringing their rights.
At issue is a YouTube video of a Lessig lecture named “Open”, which used clips of amateurs dancing to the song “Lisztomania” in various countries to illustrate how culture spreads. Liberation Music, which owns the rights to the song, ordered the video removed.
Lessig is suing over that takedown, saying his use was a fair one and that the takedown was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Lessig is seeking damages under that law. Liberation Music had threatened to sue Lessig if he reposted the video, which has prompted him to keep it offline until the case concludes.
Finally today, Greg Watkins at All HipHop writes that Paul Batiste, head of The Batiste Brothers band, has filed a $100 million lawsuit citing various rappers and record labels, claiming that they have released music infringing upon the catalog of his band, the New Orleans jazz ensemble The Batiste Brothers Band.
The lawsuit involves many popular musicians, including T-Pain and DJ Khaled, and claims that they produced songs that infringe on earlier works by The Batiste Brothers. The alleged infringements include “poached beats, lyrics, melodies and chords.”
In addition to rappers and producers, the lawsuit also names several record labels including Def Jam and RCA/Jive.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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