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How Music Copyright Lawsuits Are Scaring Away New Hits

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Amy X. Wang, writing for Rolling Stone:

    In the five years since a court ruled that “Blurred Lines” infringed on Marvin Gaye’s 1977 “Got to Give It Up,” demanding that Thicke and Williams fork over $5 million to the Gaye estate for straying too close to the older song’s “vibe,” the once-sleepy realm of music copyright law has turned into a minefield. Chart-topping musicians have been slapped with infringement lawsuits like never before, and stars like Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry are being asked to pay millions in cases that have many experts scratching their heads. Across genres, artists are putting out new music with the same question in the backs of their minds: Will this song get me sued?


    Lucas Keller — the founder of music management company Milk and Honey, which represents writers and producers who’ve worked with everyone from Alessia Cara and Carrie Underwood to 5 Seconds of Summer and Muse — recently began encouraging all his songwriter clients to purchase errors-and-omissions insurance, which protects creative professionals from legal challenges to their intellectual property.

    Cool system we got here.

  2. Absurd that you can be fined millions of dollars for making a song that 'feels' like another song. What?
  3. sawhney[rusted]2

    I'll write you into all of my songs Supporter

    The Blurred Lines case, ok I can kind of see that, even if it was a bit nebulous.

    The Katy Perry Dark Horse case was the next absurd step and set a dangerous precedent.
  4. ARo24

    Regular Supporter

    Lucas is the man! I was fortunate enough to intern for him years ago.
  5. DandonTRJ Jan 15, 2020
    (Last edited: Jan 15, 2020)

    ~~~ヾ(^∇^ Supporter

    Overstated risk, IMO. There are millions of songs released every year, thousands of chart topping hits, and out of all those, maybe two or three lawsuits of any real significance? I turn down flimsy music infringement cases every week that potential clients try to pitch me because most of them are even worse than the Katy Perry win everyone thinks was ridiculous. But I get why this impression persists, since nobody appreciates just how many hoops the successful plaintiffs have to jump through to actually convince a jury they’re right. It’s like the McDonald’s coffee case — easy to scoff at from a distance, but far more understandable if you actually look into the details.
  6. ManchesterOrch8

    Motel. Money. Murder. Madness.

    While I’d agree, it’s a very very rare thing, there is a ~higher~ number of hush money/go away money payoffs that occur each year that don’t make it to court.