2015 year in review




Santa Claus is Coming to Town ruling

In October , as we reported in Episode 67 of the show… the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that rights to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” the all-time most performed holiday song, will revert to the heirs of J. Fred Coots.


Happy Birthday Copyright

THIS CASE SETTLED LAST WEEK:  A settlement was reached last week in the class action claim that the lyrics to “Happy Birtday to you” are in the public domain.

Summary from episode 66. Mentioned in episodes: 42, 44, 46, 58, 62, 66


Order: http://www.scribd.com/doc/282431790/HBD-Summary-Judgment-Order


Lenz v. Universal (Dancing Baby / Fair Use a right)




Episode 66 and Episode 68


Blurred Lines Case

Then in Episode 65, we reported that the judge had ruled against the defendants’ motion for a new trial, but had trimmed the judgment down to about 5.3 Million Dollars…

and, just last week it was announced that The song’s writers, Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I., have filed an appeal


Innocence of Muslims Ruling (and possible  en banc review)

On February 26, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered YouTube to remove the video from its website by a 2-1 majority. The ruling was in response to a complaint by actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who had objected to the use of her performance, which had been partially dubbed for its inclusion in Innocence of Muslims.

Garcia had believed during production that she was appearing in a film called Desert Warrior, which was described as a “historical Arabian Desert adventure film”, and was unaware that anti-Islamic material would be added at the post-production stage. Garcia had argued that she held a copyright interest in her performance.  the lower court disagreed, but the 9th initially held that she could have such an interest, and ordered youtubr/google to takedown the film.

then, In May of this year…, in an en banc opinion, the Ninth Circuit reversed the panel’s decision, vacating the order for the preliminary injunction…


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Pre ‘72 Copyrights – Turtles case, etc.

Episode 65, Episode 60, and Episode 59


Pre-1972 Music Update, Sony, Google, Apple



Quick Mention: Sirius XM


This settlement was contested later in the year, covered in Episode 65, July 2015.


The Turtles Lose Bid to Halt SiriusXM’s $210M Settlement With RIAA


Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. et al., case number 2:13-cv-05693, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.(original lawsuit, http://www.project-72.org/documents/Flo%20&%20Eddie%20v.%20Sirius%20XM%20(Order%20on%20MSJ).pdf)


Pandora Settles

Pandora will pay $90 million to the Recording Industry Association of America.


Copyright Office Music Licensing Study – THB

Episode 60 – February 2015



Point Break Live ruling


Full Decision: http://www.loeb.com/~/media/files/publications/2015/11/keeling_second_circuit.pdf

From Episode 68: The second circuit has ruled that “Point Break” parody is entitled to copyright protection


Monkey Selfies

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151106/23433032738/monkey-see-monkey-sue-defendants-ask-judge-to-toss-out-ridiculous-monkey-copyright-lawsuit.shtml – (RE: Motion to dismiss by defendants)
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2509399/gov-uscourts-cand-291324-28-0.pdf – (Slater’s motion to dismiss)
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2509398-3e17e9c2-f21a-4cca-aca7-ba1c6c6fd616.html#document/p11 (blurb’s motion to dismiss)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/weird/ct-monkey-selfie-copyright-20151111-story.html– (Gender of the photographed monkey being disputed)

http://www.peta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/20151204Plaintiff27sOppositiontoMTD.pdf (PETA’s Response)

Episode 68