The Fair Use Check

Unless you have been following the case of Lenz v. Universal Music Publishing Group1, you would probably never imagine using the words “dancing baby” and…

Sampling Without A License

Sampling has been controversial from the very start. Supporters of the practice argue that artists sample songs they love and build on them to create their…

Shortchanging Covers

On February 5, 2015, the US Copyright Office released a comprehensive set of recommendations on how to revise copyright law called “Copyright and the Music…

Post-1978 Copyright Reversions

2013 marked the first year that sound recording and musical composition copyrights could revert from labels and publishers, respectively, to artists and songwriters. The Copyright…

Fair Use: A Manual

Fair use has always been a contentious concept. A great number of musicians, as well as artists of other varieties, include copyrighted material in their…

Copyright in Public Places

“All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It, and he said as much in other plays. The public performance of creative…

Protecting the Living Dead

There are many stars who left the stage far too soon, among them John Lennon, Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, and Kurt Cobain. In the aftermath of…

Conflict over Consent Decrees

In early June, the United States Department of Justice announced that it would be launching a review of the consent decrees governing the nation’s two…

Artist Progress, Pre-1972

U.S. copyright law currently has an odd loophole that limits federal protection for sound recordings to those made on or after February 15, 1972. This…

The Copyright Hearings

For more than a year now the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet has been conducting a series of hearings as…

Prioritizing the Net

Net neutrality has been making headlines for the past few months, and rightly so. It is an issue in which the wrong outcome will not…