3 Count: Wolfgang’s Vault

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1: Wolfgang’s Vault Hit With Class Action Copyright Suit

First off today, Gene Maddaus a Variety reports that entrepreneur William Sagan is facing a class action lawsuit filed by Greg Kihm, of the Greg Kihn Band, over his allegedly unlicensed distribution of concert recordings.

The lawsuit focuses on Sagan’s site Wolfgang’s Vault, which opened in 2006. The site opened after Sagan acquired the archive of Bill Graham, a prominent San Francisco concert promoter. Since then, the site has been selling access to those recordings as well as the recordings contained in dozens of other collections.

However, musicians have not been pleased with the site. Music publishers previously filed a lawsuit against the site, which is ongoing, but Kihn’s lawsuit raises the specter of a massive class action lawsuit against it as well. Sagan claims that it has paid compulsory license royalties to the composers but publishers argue that such concert recordings don’t qualify for a compulsory license as they were recorded without the artist’s permission and that Sagan failed to meet notification requirements.

2: Carrie Underwood Hit with Song Theft Lawsuit by Canadian Songwriters

Next up today, Nate Rau at The Tennessean reports that country music star Carrie Underwood has been sued by two Canadian songwriters who claim that Underwood’s Something in the Water is based on a song they proposed a year before it was released.

The songwriters, Ron McNeill and Georgia Lyons, claim that they pitched their version of Something in the Water to Mark Bright, Underwood’s producer, in 2014. However, they never heard back about the song and were surprised when it was released a year later.

Underwood, however, strongly denies the allegations with a spokesperson for her saying that the song is a deeply personal one for her and that no one involved in her version of the song had heard the plaintiff’s version. McNeill and Lyons, however, claim that the two versions are identical and are seeking damages for copyright infringement.

3: Two Property Listings Portals Battle Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

Finally today, Rachel Au-Yong at The Strait Times reports that the largest real estate listing site in Singapore has filed a lawsuit against one of its chief rivals for alleged copyright infringement over the reuse of content on its site.

The lawsuit pits PropertyGuru against 99.co. According to PropertyGuru, many images and listing bearing their watermark appeared on 99.co’s website without their permission. However, 99.co argues that they are not responsible for the listings and, instead, it’s agents exercising their own copyright in the images to post the listings on their site using a third-party app named Xpressor.

PropertyGuru is suing over both alleged copyright infringement and allegations that 99.co encouraged agents to violate their terms of service by suggesting they use the Xpressor app to cross-post listings. Yesterday marked the beginning of a six-day trial between the two sides.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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