Biz Talk

April 9, 2015 What's up music lovers? Back in March, a federal jury in California awarded the family of Marvin Gaye 7.4 million dollars for copyright infringement of Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit, "Got to Give It Up".  Was this decision bad for pop music? I think that this case has the potential of having both positive and negative affects on the music industry. On the one hand, creativity in producing and songwriting could suffer a severe setback from fear that creating any song that is reminiscent of a previous song could result in a finding of copyright infringement. In my opinion, although "Blurred Lines" sounds somewhat like "Got to Give It Up," from a legal standpoint, it does not have the substantial similarity required to warrant a finding of copyright infringement. Believe it or not, there is a silver lining to this controversy.  I would hope that the fear of being found liable for copyright infringement for creating a similar song will cause songwriters and producers to carefully think about music as an art form and, as a result, begin to utilize their God given creative talents to create wonderful, wholly original songs just like the songwriters and producers of the 60's and 70's who did not rely on sampling or strong references to previous hits to create new hits and the soundtrack for their generations. No matter what the outcome, the music industry has undoubtedly become more interesting in the last month, and what would the industry be without lots of creativity and lots of controversy?  See you next time!    

Better music licensing rates for songwriters?

April 25, 2015

4-25-2015 Hey everybody! Back in February, the United States Copyright Office released a 245 page report entitled "Copyright and the Music Marketplace,"( This report suggests that the current music licensing framework is outdated and should be significantly reformed. This report represents an outgrowth of the severe disappointment of songwriters and publishers…

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Everything old is new again?

May 2, 2015

Hey everybody! Despite the growth of digital music streaming over the last couple of years, the music industry is still being hampered by a decrease in overall sales. Despite this fact, major record labels are continuing to pour significant monies into signing new acts looking for the next "big thing."…

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Why do the major labels want to kill free music streaming?

May 13, 2015

Hey Biz talkers! The music industry is buzzing over recent reports that the major record labels (in particular Universal Music Group) are putting major pressure on music streaming services like Spotify to modify free streaming to the point of essentially eliminating it. This would mean that everyone using a music…

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Will the new Apple music streaming service put Spotify out of business?

July 1, 2015

Hey Biz talkers! Well, Apple just launched it's new music streaming service yesterday (June 30, 2015). The service will offer a wide range of interactive and non-interactive music streaming options, and will be free for the first 3 months before shifting to a full paid only subscription service to be offered…

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Could the “Blurred Lines” Court Decision be Overturned?

July 31, 2015


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Where Is The Music Industry Headed?

September 10, 2015

Hey Biz Talkers! Well, by now it should be no secret that music streaming is quickly becoming the future direction of the music industry. The music industry as a whole is down 64% from its 1999 peak. Streaming is outpacing digital downloading as the preferred way for consumers to enjoy…

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New Webcasting Royalty Rates for 2016-2020

January 19, 2016

Happy New Year Biz Talkers! Well, a new year brings new webcasting rates for streaming of sound recordings over the internet. On December 16, 2015, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announced new royalty rates that webcasters must pay to Sound Exchange for the use of sound recordings in digital transmissions over…

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Should Kesha Be Freed From Her Record Deal?

February 25, 2016

Hey Biz Talkers! Last Friday, a judge ruled that superstar recording artist Kesha could not be released from her record contract with superstar producer Lukasz Gottwald, professionally known as "Dr. Luke". Kesha's lawsuit alleges that Dr. Luke has continually abused Kesha both sexually and emotionally since 2005 when Dr. Luke…

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Stay True To Your “Brand”

June 5, 2016

Hey Biz Talkers! I'm sure that many of you have heard out Adele being on the verge of signing a $130 million dollar record deal (90 million British pounds) with Sony as well as Soulja Boy being a key player in a $400 million dollar project organized by World Poker…

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Long Live Sampling?

July 22, 2016

Hey Biz Talkers! In early June, the 9th Circuit Federal Court ruled that a 0.23 second sample of a sound recording used in another sound recording was too minimal to be deemed copyright infringement of the sound recording, or the musical composition of the sampled song. This ruling is groundbreaking because…

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