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EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS: Intellectual Property — Protecting Music (and Other Creative Works) with Copyrights

In this episode of the EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS: Intellectual Property podcast, Mintz Intellectual Property attorneys Andrew Skale and Daniel Weinger explore copyright protections for music and other creative works. This episode was triggered by Dan’s interest in music copyrights generally and by recent high-profile cases filed by Marvin Gaye’s estate. Dan asks Andrew what musicians, artists, and authors should be aware of when it comes to copyright protection and how to prevent problems from arising in the future. Andrew provides an overview of these issues and digs into other copyright topics, including:

  • The multipart requirements to prove ownership and infringement of a copyright
  • Some famous copyright cases involving music, and what we can learn from them
  • If the reputations of people like George Harrison, Ed Sheeran, and Robin Thicke are damaged by the filing (or subsequent loss) of lawsuits accusing them of infringement
  • The difference between being inspired by a musician or song, and copying the inspiring work
  • The necessity of a written agreement to transfer ownership of copyrights on a creative work you commission for your business (logo, photo for website, jingle, etc.)
  • Why it matters that one can never “unsee” Smaug the dragon from the film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Daniel Weinger

Andrew D. Skale is an IP attorney and commercial litigator at Mintz. He litigates patent, trademark, and copyright disputes, and prosecutes patents and trademarks before the US Patent and Trademark Office. Andrew counsels clients in diverse sectors, including technology and consumer products.