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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Sony Music has responded to a lawsuit filed by 19, a company that represents many American-Idol stars, and is claiming that it is under no obligation to maximize royalties for artists and is under no obligation to share revenue earned from lawsuit settlements or its dealings with services like Spotify.
19 filed suit against Sony alleging that the labels was negotiating in bad faith with Spotify by taking an ownership stake in the company rather than seeking higher royalties. Sony, however, has hit back saying that 19, as well as other artists, are entitled to proceeds related to specific tracks but not to general proceeds collected by the label, including piracy lawsuit settlements.
Sony also claimed that 19 failed to show that Sony’s deal with Spotify was below market value claiming that royalties were just one part of the agreement. Instead, Sony said the deal in total might have been unfavorable to 19, which is something Sony claims it is not against its agreements to sign
Next up today, Dave McNary at Variety reports that the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), a guild that represents musicians and songwriters in the film industry, have a filed a lawsuit against the record label Sony Music alleging that artists who have worked through Sony on the Michael Jackson documentary This is It were mistreated by Sony and are not receiving residuals that they are owed.
According to the lawsuit, Sony Music signed a Sound Recording Labor Agreement with musicians working on This is It. That agreement just covered the creation of a record and forbid the use of the audio in a film soundtrack. However, the AFM claims that Sony used the recordings in the soundtrack regardless, refusing to sign a letter allowing the musicians to collect residuals.
This is the third such lawsuit that the AFM has filed in recent weeks. Previously it sued Paramount over the film Same Kind of Different as Me and against the major movie studios for breach of trade agreements.
Finally today, Marie-Andree Weiss at the 1709 Blog reports that photographer Dennis Flaherty has filed a lawsuit against the drink company Big Red over alleging that the company, without permission, used a photograph he took in a Tweet honoring the 179th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.
According to the lawsuit, Big Red used the image and placed their logo on top of it. This has prompted him to sue not only Big Red, but also various employees or contractors who work for Big Red that were in charge of the tweet, alleging that the company received a direct financial benefit from his work.
However, the lawsuit doesn’t stop there and also sues Big Red for contributory copyright infringement, stating that the company induced other infringement by third parties, namely those who retweeted or otherwise shared the work.
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.