(Not) Tired of Being Alone: The State of the Law on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
Speaker: Bobby Schwartz and Victor Jih
Monday, February 13, 2017
Meeting Location: DOMA Beverly Hills (Downstairs)
Starting in 2013, the owners of pre-1972 sound recordings by the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and others were convincing judges of their right to control the broadcast of these works and collecting nine-figure settlements from SiriusXM and Pandora. In October 2016, SiriusXM paid over $100 million to settle a California class action brought by former members of The Turtles.
The recording owners’ strategy has hit a brick wall. CBS Radio was sued in New York and California by owners of iconic R&B recordings from the 1960s, such as Al Green’s Tired of Being Alone. Instead of settling the putative class actions, CBS moved immediately for summary judgment on the grounds that it was broadcasting post-1972, remastered and acoustically improved versions of the recordings that were registered for federal copyright and therefore not subject to state law. Judge Percy Anderson in the Central District of California agreed, and spared CBS from any liability or need to settle.
Irell & Manella partners Bobby Schwartz and Victor Jih will discuss their work for CBS. They will explain how a technical expert identified meaningful differences in plaintiffs’ remastered sound recordings, and how an old sound recording makes it from a vault in New Jersey to be streamed on a radio station’s website. They will also cover the state of the law around the country, including the important decision in December from the New York Court of Appeals in the Flo & Eddie v. SiriusXM case in which the court held that New York common law does not recognize a right of public performance for sound recordings.
Bobby Schwartz | Irell & Manella LLP
Bobby Schwartz is a Litigation Partner of Irell & Manella and a nationally recognized leader in large-stakes disputes, particularly in the media and entertainment industry. Bobby has successfully represented some of the country’s most influential companies in matters of far-reaching significance in a range of subject areas. Most recently, he delivered a huge victory to CBS in a California class action lawsuit over the broadcaster’s airing of music recorded before 1972. Bobby is currently defending video game publisher Take-Two Interactive, which is facing a class action alleging violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act over its series of NBA 2K basketball video games. In 2016, he was named a “Power Lawyer” by The Hollywood Reporter, a “Leading IP Litigator” by the Daily Journal and ranked among the leading entertainment litigators by Chambers USA. In addition to his practice, Bobby serves on the Board of Directors of Bet Tzedek Legal Services.
Victor Jih | Irell & Manella LLP
Victor Jih is a Litigation Partner of Irell & Manella. He has significant experience in a broad selection of complex litigation matters, at both the trial and appellate levels. Victor’s areas of practice include entertainment, copyright and trademark, First Amendment, unfair competition, consumer privacy, class action defense, contract and other commercial disputes in forums across the nation. His major clients in recent years include computer software companies and hardware manufacturers, major
motion picture studios, and other large companies in the Internet, entertainment and retail industries. Victor’s recent victories include defeating a putative class action filed against Hulu alleging violations of the Video Privacy Act, and defeating a consumer class action filed against Sega of America involving the Aliens: Colonial Marines video game. A long time avid debater, Victor also holds the position of debate coach at Brentwood School in Los Angeles. You may also recognize him as a contestant and winner of the 14th season of The Amazing Race, which he completed with his sister.
Monday, February 13, 2017
DOMA Beverly Hills (Downstairs)
362 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Check-In: 6:30 PM
Dinner: 7:00 PM
Program: 8:00 PM
The price for the dinner will be $75.00 for members and $85.00 for guests of members, associates, and members who miss the noon deadline.