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Music Copyright Infringement Resource

“Absolutely wonderful stuff…a unique and irreplaceable service to copyright students and teachers. Bravo.”

Robert A. Gorman
Kenneth Gemmill Professor of Law, Emeritus, U. Penn. Law School

“A great contribution to copyright scholarship and teaching.”

Paul Goldstein
Stella W. and Ira S. Lillick Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
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Overview

This resource provides information about music copyright infringement cases from the mid-nineteenth century​ forward in the U.S. and, to an increasing extent, in foreign jurisdictions.

Recently…

Los Angeles entertainment attorney Ken Freundlich submitted an amicus brief on behalf of musicologists in support of defendant Led Zeppelin in Michael Skidmore’s infringement claim against him. Curiously, the ethnomusicologists who, several years ago, endorsed an amicus brief in support of the Gaye family’s claim in the “Blurred Lines” dispute, have not demonstrated similar support for Michael Skidmore’s claim against Zeppelin, despite the fact that its merits — or lack thereof — are markedly akin to those of the earlier case. 

As predicted by 9th Circuit Judge Nguyen in her dissent in the “Blurred Lines” appeal, the outcome of that case has fostered the pursuit of similar opportunistic claims, like Skidmore’s and those recently lodged against Ed Sheerhan. One claim against Sheerhan involves Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” which was also at issue in “Blurred Lines”. The U.S. District Court in New York handling that case has postponed the trial until the 9th Circuit issues a ruling in the Skidmore/Zeppelin dispute. One can only hope Judge Nguyen successfully convinces her colleagues of the mischief and uncertainty resulting from the “Blurred Lines” opinion, and the importance of dissuading fatuous allegations of music copyright infringement that inhibit creativity and make a laughingstock of the American jury system.     

Previous news items …

Regrettable denouement in the “Blurred Lines” dispute

Music Modernization Act

Creative thinking about musical similarity   

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