Alas, the sphere of copyright protected musical works is too often penetrated by pirates, and if Gilbert & Sullivan still could craft a tune, they’d bemoan that what’s been gained is now often lost. This fine, and hallowed, Memorial Day weekend, will include some time listening to some faves on the radio or media player, which was the notion that lent some interest to yesterday’s contempt ruling against an unauthorized distributor of contemporary works.
Among the hits that provoked the Court to consider the case were “Hypnotized,” “Freaky Gurl Remix,” and “Chillin With My B* * * *.” It was not Jung or Freud that observed: ‘know another by what he will steal.’
The first line of defense was improper venue. The defense wanted to a venue change, which could have raised questions under 28 U.S.C. §1400(a) of where that Freaky Gurl may be “found” or was Hyponotized or was Chillin. Transfer was denied.
Defendants earlier had consented to an injunction, but were alleged to have acted contemptously by later distributing hits that included “Dip Slide” by T.I., and “B* * * * * * Ain’t Sh*t” by Attitude. Surely, anyone with the credentials needed to ascend the federal bench would be prepared to address the degree of “substantial similarity” between rap songs, er.. tunes, (?) works…
Contempt was found, and the sanction was for the infringer to “disgorge a percentage of the profits derived from that album equal to the infringing song’s proportionate share of the total number of songs on the album.”
There just are things that deserve the protective sword of copyright.
Atlantic Recording Corp. v. BCD Music Group, Inc., 2009 WL 1390848 (S.D.N.Y. 2009).