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June 2015 Archives

Copyrights, Licensing, Music, and Films

Have you ever listened to film sound tracks and felt that certain portions of the music sounded familiar? You could be right. Studios may recycle film music, but they are required to make payments for the original sound track music. The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), a labor organization representing about 80,000 professional musicians in the United States and Canada, is suing several Hollywood movie studios for recycling film music without making required payments. The AFM seeks to recover damages for breach of contract including payments for the benefit of musicians whose services were covered by the agreement.

Licensing Issues Faced by the Music Industry

It is no secret that the music industry has suffered financially from illegal downloads, and many believe music services such as Pandora (an online music streaming service) do not pay songwriters nearly enough. Remember when Taylor Seift pulled her music from Spotify not too long ago? Musicians feelings aside, courts have lately ruled in favor of Pandora.

Louis Vuitton's Checkerboard Pattern Is Not a Valid Trademark

Louis Vuitton's Damier checkerboard pattern continues to lack trademark protection. According to the European Union's General Court on April 21, 2015, the design is considered to be too commonplace to be owned by one brand. The EU's decision affirmed a 2011 ruling by the First Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). According to that decision, the checkerboard pattern was composed of very simple elements and had been commonly used in relation to various goods. Without any features to distinguish it from other checkerboard representations, it could not function as a source, or origin, indicator.