Most customers of New York restaurants, cafes and shops have come to expect a certain atmosphere from their favorite haunts. A large part of that ambience includes the music piped through speakers. In most cases, that music comes via a streaming service, such as Pandora or Spotify. However, what customers may not realize is that many business owners may be committing intellectual property theft by misusing their music streaming subscriptions.
Those who remember the earliest days of "Saturday Night Live" may have fond memories of comedienne Gilda Radner, who died in 1989 of ovarian cancer. Many likely looked forward to the documentary, "Love, Gilda," which was released last month. For one New York journalist, however, the release of the intimate portrait of the beloved star was a shock, especially when the writer realized the movie used her intellectual property without her knowledge.
School mascots are meant to inspire and rally students to strive for success. Those mascots are often symbols of desirable traits, such as strength, perseverance or indomitability. Sometimes, however, a New York school chooses its mascot or logo because it is familiar to students. For one school in another state, a familiar mascot was also a violation of intellectual property rights.
The recent passing of Aretha Franklin was sad news to fans in New York and across the world. While her first hit song "Respect" became an anthem of empowerment for women and all those seeking fair treatment, it ironically represents the inequity many pre-1972 performers experienced under intellectual property laws. While songwriters and publishers received royalties for songs each time a radio station played them, the recording artists got nothing.
Music Theater International is a licensing agency providing official scripts, librettos and musical scores for local theater groups in New York and across the world. Because of MTI's services, communities that would otherwise have little opportunity to see popular Broadway shows can have a taste of the experience. Perhaps more importantly, those who enjoy performing can participate in quality shows with wide appeal. MTI protects the intellectual property of the authors and composers of these shows, and this promotes creativity and artistic expression.
College is a time to work out new ideas and make plans for the future. Since the atmosphere is often alive with creativity and the campus full of like-minded people, university life may spark many original ideas and give rise to inspirational projects. Far from dismissing those projects as the concepts of an immature mind, many graduates from New York institutions and those around the world find that the finished work is intellectual property worth protecting.
For a New York songwriter, music royalties are an important method of sustaining income. In the past, royalties were largely affected by record sales, but modern musicians earn money through licensing agreements with streaming services, such as Pandora, Amazon Prime and Spotify. These agreements give the services the right to offer certain songs to listeners for a fee. While the U.S. Congress considers legislation to broaden the intellectual property protection in the music industry, at least one music streaming service is settling a class action lawsuit.
When a high school drama club plans to stage a lavish musical production, there are many preparations to make. In addition to designing costumes, sets and props, the director, usually a teacher, must plot the scenes and decide how to schedule rehearsals. Many behind-the-scenes tasks must be completed before auditions can take place. One important step that cannot be skipped is ensuring the school has obtained the legal right to stage the production without violating intellectual property law.
New York is certainly one of those places where creativity abounds. Those creative people in this city and elsewhere understand the importance of protecting their art from those who would try to profit from it. The internet has made it a challenge to keep one's intellectual property safe. One artist is committed to protecting copyrighted images online, and she has taken her campaign to Instagram.
For many in New York, gaming is a passion. What started as computer games and software is now prolific interactive games with massively multiplayer online games gaining in popularity. Each of these games and its technology is the intellectual property of someone and protected by copyright law. The exception to this protection is enjoyed by those who run museums and archives that house software for games that are not available because their publishers have abandoned them. Gamers can come to such places to play those long-lost games.