One of my clients, Kiss the Girl, recently had two (2!) songs placed on Beverly Hills 90210. The songs are “Ride” and “She Likes Girls.” You can see the placements on KTG’s YouTube site. Also, see this article about the placements with links to purchase the songs on iTunes.
Congrats to Kiss the Girl!
Hopefully, you have heard of the musician, Joe Walsh. There is a guy currently running for Congress, also by the name of Joe Walsh. Candidate Walsh has used a song by Musician Walsh without permission for his campaign. In addition, Candidate Walsh also changed some of the lyrics to musician Walsh’s song. These are both no-no’s under copyright law.
When you own a copyright, you are the only one that can do whatever you want with your work. If anyone else wants to use your work, they have to get your permission. If anyone else wants to make changes to your work, they have to get your permission. (Since you may be wondering, there are still the fair use and parody exceptions if they apply.)
Musician Walsh’s attorney has sent a letter to Candidate Walsh. The letter is absolutely true in its statement of law, but written in a manner that is hysterical. My favorite part is where Peter Paterno (Musician Walsh’s attorney) says “Now, I know why you used Joe’s music — it’s undoubtedly because it’s a lot better than any music you or your staff could have written. But that’s the point. Since Joe writes better songs than you do, the Copryright Act rewards him by letting him decide who gets to use the songs he writes.” I applaud you, Mr. Paterno.
Last year, Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced they would merge. Then the Department of Justice (DOJ) got involved to investigate whether the merger violated anti-trust laws. After an investigation, the merger has been approved.
The new company, called Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. will thankfully be subject to conditions, such as the separation of ticketing and concert promotions services. However, it will still be one insanely large company with a stake in concerts, ticketing, merchandising and even the sale of recorded music.
What this means for artists: The industry is shifting to a model of large companies handling all aspects of an artist’s career. I personally think this is a bad idea because instead of having a company dedicated to performing one service well, you will have one company performing many services on a mediocre level. You wouldn’t want your dentist to also be your carpet cleaner and personal stylist, would you?
An artist needs the people servicing each part of his career to be experts in that area. It is fine if one company employs experts in each area it handles and services the artist with the artist’s best interests in mind. However, this is not always the case. Artists need to make sure whatever company they sign with is competent in all services it provides and does not screw the artist over by taking too large of a cut from some or all areas of service.
What this means for consumers/concert attendees: It is said this merger will also be better for the consumer because ticket prices will come down. AEG, a promoter behind Live Nation is also established as a competitor of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. under the DOJ’s imposed conditions. This is good because the DOJ is trying to not let this new venture have a monopoly over the concert and ticket industries. However, I will believe that ticket prices will come down when I see them coming down.
Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.
To be continued…
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~Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.