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18 Mar 2014

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Film spool

Often in films we see characters wearing, eating, drinking and driving branded or recognisable products.

Think Michael J. Fox running around in Nike trainers and guzzling down Pepsi in the Back to the Future trilogy or Tom Cruise and his navy colleagues donning Ray Ban Aviators in Top Gun. While films in the 80’s were especially infamous for blatant product placement, today’s product placement tends (in most cases!) to be more subtle.

17 Feb 2014

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Drum Kit

As a member of a band, it is often easy to think of yourself as being part of one entity, and not a group of individuals performing together. 

However the strict position at law can lead to some important practical considerations to be aware of.  

15 Jan 2014

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Video game remote

Candy Crush game developer King.com recently filed a lawsuit against mobile developer 6Waves for allegedly cloning two of its leading games.

The lawsuit once again emphasises the importance of ensuring that you own and control all the materials that are incorporated into your video game or app.

09 Dec 2013

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Man playing piano

We all love the stories of the musicians or the app developers who have shot from creating on a shoestring in their bedrooms or the family garage to international fame and fortune.

This raises the important issue however, of at what point you start to plan for your worldwide domination. If what you do is truly just a passion and a hobby then some of the below issues, although still important may not be as necessarily pressing.

02 Dec 2013

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Man filming band

Marvel Comics, the publisher of popular comic books such as Spider Man, X-Men and the Hulk have recently joined forces with Netflix, one of the world’s leading internet TV networks.

Marvel and Netflix announced that Marvel will bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to Netflix followed by a mini-series beginning in 2015. 

25 Nov 2013

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Record player and LP

Recently the National Music Publishers Association in America (NMPA) issued take-down notices to 50 online lyric sites, including the high-traffic website Rap Genius, that have been identified as not having licences to publish lyrics.

The notices demand that these sites either obtain licences or remove the copyrighted lyrics from their sites. 

18 Nov 2013

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Empty seat and guitars

It’s commonplace in the fast moving entertainment industries that over time, commercial tie ups and relationships come to an end.

A timely example is EA Sports announcing in October that it would be ending its 15 year relationship with golfer Tiger Woods. Sometimes it is commercially just time for the parties to try something else but sometimes there are other legal or reputational issues at play.

11 Nov 2013

Contributed by David McLaughlin

Amplifier

Last year the Beastie Boys filed a copyright lawsuit against Monster Energy Drink for using the group’s songs that were remixed by DJ Z-Trip in a promotional video without the group’s consent.

Monster Energy claimed that they relied on DJ Z-Trip’s false assertion that he had authority to use the songs in the remix and that he granted Monster Energy permission to publish the songs when he responded “dope” in an email.

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