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Copyright law: Artist sues art collective

When New York artists sell a piece they've created, it is often a wonderful moment of celebration. Their hard work and determination has finally paid off, both financially and professionally. If a company or entity that purchases the art fails to properly compensate the artist, it can be financially devastating. Copyright law gives artists the means to legally protect their work. One artist decided to file suit against an art collective for this very reason, claiming it exploited her work.

The artist created original sketches of a character known as "Space Owl"around 14 years ago. She says she joined an emerging art collective, called "Meow Wolf" and her Space Owl was the inspiration for a large art installation in one of Meow Wolf's exhibits. The artist claims the collective promised her artist revenue shares if the collective became successful. She says the company went on to use images of Space Owl in merchandise without her permission. She also says she received no additional compensation for the usage of the character.

Attorney mistakes could lead to malpractice claims

You went to your attorney and were checking on the state of your case when you found out that the attorney had never filed it at all. It was mixed up in paperwork they had on their desk, and your files never made it to the court.

In your case, this slip-up led to the statute of limitations running out. That means that there is likely no chance that you'll be able to file your case or pursue a resolution for the problem you were having.

Nightclubs accused of violating copyright law

Many people in New York can't imagine a night out without music. When that music is played in a public building, such as a bar or a nightclub, it is important that the establishment has obtained the proper licensing to play it. All too often, businesses make the choice to play music they have no right to play, which can end up hurting the artists who created it and deserve to profit from it. Copyright law can help protect these artists from unauthorized use of their music. Several nightclubs are facing a lawsuit for alleged misuse of copyrighted music.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers recently filed suit against 15 different bars and restaurants for what it alleges are multiple instances of copyright infringement. One of the clubs had a licensing agreement from May 2009 until April 2018, when it allegedly stopped paying the necessary fees. ASCAP claims it tried to reach out to the nightclub, but that it did not receive the proper response.

Three 6 Mafia accused of 150 copyright law violations

Artists around the nation put their hearts and souls into their work. It is only right that they profit off of their creations. Unfortunately, other artists or entities may try to misuse or outright steal work that another artist already created. Copyright law exists to protect artists in New York and elsewhere from that happening and provide them legal recourse if it should occur. A few artists put this to the test recently when they made the choice to sue the hip-hop group known as Three 6 Mafia

The suit has been filed by several artists who claim that they worked with members of Three 6 Mafia when they were just starting out. They say that they contributed lyrics for several of the group's songs without receiving credit. The artists bringing the suit say they want damages and to prevent the group from receiving further profit off of work it did not create on their own.

Music artists: Does Spotify owe you money?

Streaming music platforms like Spotify are a good way for artists to get their music exposed to more people. But there can sometimes be problems with the artists being paid the royalties to which they are due from the streaming services.

Since first launching their streaming service to users in 2006, Spotify claims that it paid out royalties of $9.76 billion through the first quarter of 2018. These royalties were paid to music labels, publishers and the artists themselves.

Developer loses copyright law appeal concerning graffiti artists

Artists of all mediums contribute valuable work to society. They enrich people's lives while creatively expressing themselves. If someone else misuses or destroys their artwork, it may be a violation of copyright law and that artist may want to pursue civil litigation against those responsible. One developer here in New York recently lost his appeal in a case where accusers say that he whitewashed over artwork created by graffiti artists. Many say he destroyed the artists' art, while he claims that was not his intention.

The developer owned a piece of property that was a popular place in the 1990s for graffiti artists to paint. Artists commonly called the place 5Pointz. It was so popular it became a tourist attraction due to the art created on it. The developer eventually decided that he wanted to build condo towers on the area and he whitewashed over all of the graffiti art.

Spotify accused of violating copyright law with podcasts

When musicians create a song, they often feel as though they are putting a piece of themselves into it. To hear it get played on the radio is often a dream come true after many years of hard work. Artists in New York and elsewhere haven't always had a great relationship with streaming services since those sites don't always pay royalties in the same way, but most sites have worked out a way to properly compensate the artists. However, Spotify has recently come under fire for distributing podcasts that allegedly contain illegal music in what may be a violation of copyright law.

Reporters claim that some Spotify users are uploading podcast episodes that contain music tracks that have either been illegally obtained or are being illegally distributed, since the artist receives no payment. The tracks are often songs that don't appear on an artist's album, so they are typically popular with users looking for new content from their favorite singers or rappers. Critics say that Spotify hasn't done enough to prevent these podcasts and that even if they eventually get removed, the number of streams is sizable. In some instances, these bootleg podcast "episodes" are just one song, so users can, in a sense, create a "playlist" with these illegal songs.

Attorneys unfamiliar with an area of law can commit malpractice

Much like medicine, the practice of law requires both extensive education and practical experience. In addition to an undergraduate degree, lawyers and medical professionals typically have to have a graduate degree, as well as specialized training in a particular field within the industry.

Just like a physician will decide whether they want to become a dermatologist, a family practitioner or a gastroenterologist, so, too, do attorneys typically specialize their legal practice. Just like lawyers, attorneys can wind up financially and legally responsible if they commit legal malpractice, such as taking on a case without the competence to manage it properly.

Artist accuses gallery owner of copyright infringement

When an artist here in New York or elsewhere partners with a gallery, it is meant to mutually benefit both parties. The artist has a chance to showcase his or her work, and the gallery makes a commission on any sales of the work. There is a sense of trust between both parties that they will act in one another's best interest. Violating that trust isn't just morally wrong, it may be unlawful. An out-of-state artist recently filed a copyright infringement claim against a gallery owner, alleging that the owner copied her paintings.

According to the artist's civil claim, she and the gallery owner partnered last year to showcase several of the artist's paintings at the gallery. The artist took several paintings to the gallery where they stayed for about a week. The artist claims the gallery owner asked her to come pick up the work, which she did. The artist then took the paintings to another showing because she said she was not under contract with the gallery owner. 

Multiple streaming services sued over copyright law

When New York musicians create songs, it may feel as though they are sharing a piece of themselves with the world. It is only fair that they are properly financially compensated for the use of that music. However, with the internet, that is becoming increasingly more difficult to do. Streaming services such as the ones offered by Google, Apple and Pandora have come under fire recently for allegedly not compensating artists and related companies for the use of music. One royalty collection firm recently filed a civil suit against several different streaming companies alleging that they violated copyright law.

The collection firm, Pro Music Rights, claims that all of the companies listed in its lawsuit have used music without paying songwriters accordingly. One of the problems seems to be that certain streaming sites allow users to upload their own content. That means that users may be uploading music illegally and allowing others to access it. A streaming service may have its own uploaded version that is properly licensed, but doesn't remove the illegal versions.

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