Manatt Partner Speaks to Daily Journal on DMCA Court Ruling

Manatt Partner Speaks to Daily Journal on DMCA Court Ruling

"DMCA Ruling Could Stop the Music for Grooveshark, Other Services"
Daily Journal

April 29, 2013 - Manatt's Eric Custer, a partner in the firm's Entertainment & Media Practice, spoke to the Daily Journal about the effects that an appellate court's strict interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act could have on user-generated content-sharing sites. 

As reported by the Daily Journal, a New York state appellate court recently ruled that online music streaming service Grooveshark violated copyright laws by allowing users to upload songs recorded before 1972 that are owned by Universal Music Group. If the ruling is upheld, lawyers told the publication that it could put severe strains on and even threaten the existence of sites like Grooveshark. Online service providers will have to either get a license or be very vigilant in their policing of uploaded content, monitoring every song uploaded to the site.

Currently, there is no quick way to determine whether or not a song was recorded before 1972, judging by its title. For example, Led Zeppelin's studio version of "Dazed and Confused" was recorded in 1968, so would thus violate the law. However, it was also recorded live in 1972 and 2007, and those versions would be allowed.

"It would literally be at the point that a human being would have to look at it and research it," said Custer. "It would take them back to the pre-DMCA days, where they have to check everything before it went onto their system."



pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

© 2024 Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.

All rights reserved