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Copyright infringement lawsuit filed against DJ Marshmello

The music industry is one that involves a great deal of creativity. As a result, most musicians do not want their work unjustly used and seek copyright protections to avoid such outcomes. Still, some musical artists may find that others have used their work or created works similar to theirs, and copyright infringement lawsuits could result.

New York readers may be interested in such a lawsuit that was recently filed in a federal court in another state. According to reports, Artem Stoliarov, also known as Arty, is a DJ who filed the lawsuit against Marshmello, another EDM DJ. Apparently, Arty believes that "Happier," a song created by Marshmello and the band Bastille, willfully copies Arty's remix of another song. The suit claims that the "Happier" songwriters took composition elements from his remix to use in the song.

Another type of intellectual property could face more lawsuits

Lawsuits filed by patent trolls have been the bane of many companies over the years. The problem became so extensive that in 2016, Congress passed the Defense of Trade Secrets Act in an attempt to stem the flow of these lawsuits in order to allow them into federal court since they were ordinarily filed in state courts, including those here in New York. Unfortunately, it now appears that this opened up this type of intellectual property to patent-troll type lawsuits.

Another matter that could hasten an increase in litigation regarding trade secrets is a lawsuit filed in 2015. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to deliver software it needed. The defendant then filed a countersuit alleging that the plaintiff took its trade secrets and developed its own software. The jury and judge on the case agreed and awarded millions of dollars in damages to the defendant.

3 legal errors that your attorney should know better than to make

Attorneys are human, and, as a result, there is a chance that they'll make mistakes. No one can know everything about every law, statute or situation, so it's no surprise that errors are made. However, there are many mistakes that attorneys should know better than to make.

Some of the mistakes attorneys know to avoid include failing to file documents with the court on time, failing to keep their clients informed of the status of the case and trying to hide mistakes when they happen. Here's a little more on each one and what they can mean for your case.

Cat photographer's intellectual property litigation underway

Artists, songwriters, writers, photographers and others often have a hard time convincing the public that their creations are not free for anyone to use. Even when they sign a contract permitting the use of a work of art, the other party may take advantage of the permission. One New York photographer has turned to intellectual property litigation after an advertising agency allegedly stepped outside the boundaries of their contractual agreement.

Jill Greenberg has a reputation for setting trends in the advertising world as well as in fine art photography. The McGarryBowen advertising agency hired her to take some photographs for an advertising campaign for the Clorox Co.'s Fresh Step cat litter. The photographs were taken from under a sheet of glass on which various cats stood and frolicked. Greenberg's contract with the advertising agency apparently allowed for use of the photos in the ad campaign and specifically excluded them from use in video advertising.

Does your lawyer fail to communicate?

When you first contacted your lawyer, you felt like it was a good fit. They had experience with the type of case you wanted to start. They talked to you on the phone, set up an appointment and met you in person. They seemed kind and knowledgeable. You had a good feeling about the relationship moving forward.

That lasted for about a week. Then you started running into serious communication issues.

Songwriter files $20M claim over copyright law

Artists often consider their work to be a part of themselves. When they create a song, a photograph or another kind of artistic piece, they generally want the ability to control how that art is made available for public consumption. The artistic community is thriving here in New York, and it is important that artists have the ability to protect themselves and the art they create through copyright law. Recently, songwriter Kenny Nolan has filed a civil suit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing, claiming breach of contract and copyright infringement. He claims that several of his songs were acquired by the publisher without his permission.

Nolan, who is responsible for hits such as "Lady Marmalade," filed his claim regarding two sets of songs that he wrote or co-wrote over the years. He says that the first set of songs was licensed to his frequent co-writer around 40 years ago. The second set of songs was licensed to two other companies. Nolan claims his co-writer and those companies then licensed both sets of the music to Sony/ATV.

Songwriters want fair pay for intellectual property

When the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board recently announced its decision to raise the royalty rates record labels and digital services will pay to songwriters, many rejoiced. Songwriters in New York and elsewhere have arguably been a forgotten group of artists, and recent changes in intellectual property laws have brought their important work into the public consciousness. Unfortunately, streaming services may not have the same respect for songwriters as the CRB does.

After CRB announced its ruling to raise the compulsory royalties for songwriters by 44% within five years, Spotify and other streaming services filed an appeal against the raise. This action shocked and angered many songwriters. Although the appeal included Pandora, Sirius XM, Google and Amazon, songwriters singled out Spotify when they penned an open letter, which they sent to the chief executive of Spotify and posted on social media.

Does copyright law protect photos taken by paparazzi?

When most New York residents post pictures to social media, no legal issue arises. It makes sense that someone's picture of him or herself would not belong to another party. However, model Gigi Hadid recently became the subject of a lawsuit alleging that she violated copyright law when she posted a picture of herself on her Instagram account that was taken by paparazzi.

As most people know, there are companies across the country that employ photographers to do nothing but follow around celebrities and take photographs of them for profit -- the photographers are called paparazzi. One company in particular, which happens to be here in New York, alleges that Hadid failed to obtain the appropriate permission and license to post the photo. Even though it was taken down quickly, it undoubtedly received numerous views beforehand since the model has some 44 million followers.

Copyright: Protecting your product

You created a unique story, and you want to share it. However, you're worried that someone with more influence or marketing could take your work and make it out to be their own.

For that reason, you sought a copyright. Months later, after your book was published and began to do well, you noticed your illustrations and work being used illegally by others. Certain websites were giving it away for free, and people were using your art on T-shirts and other items to make a profit.

Telsa moves forward with intellectual property litigation

Trade secrets can separate a company from its competitors. This information also falls into the category of intellectual property, and like tangible property, it is important that proprietary information is protected. In most cases, the protections come in the form of contracts restricting the use and disclosure of this information. However, some individuals may break contracts, and intellectual property litigation may result.

New York readers may be interested in lawsuits recently filed by Tesla in regard to the violation of nondisclosure agreements and other contract terms by former employees. Apparently, four former Tesla employees who have gone to work for rival company Zoox took confidential information from their time at Tesla and provided it to the rival company. Tesla claims that the information allowed Zoox to bypass years of work.


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