In Landmark Case, Manatt Obtains Appellate Win, Affirming Court’s Summary Judgment in Favor of Client Marshmello

In April 2021, members of Manatt’s Entertainment Litigation team, led by Robert Jacobs, obtained summary judgment on behalf of their clients, defendants Marshmello, Dan Smith (lead singer of Bastille), U.K. producer and songwriter Steve Mac, Polygram, Kobalt Music, and others, defeating a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Russian electronic DJ Artem Stoliarov p/k/a Arty, alleging that Marshmello’s hit song “Happier” infringes Stoliarov’s copyright in the song “I Lived (Arty Remix).” The case, which raised unique copyright ownership issues with respect to remixes of preexisting songs, unusual questions concerning causation and damages from live performances of allegedly infringing songs, and jurisdictional issues testing the reach of the Copyright Act to non-U.S. defendants, ended in complete victory before the trial court for Manatt and its clients.

Shortly thereafter, Stoliarov appealed the loss to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Just ten days after the March 7, 2022, oral argument on the appeal, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming the trial court’s summary judgment orders, giving Manatt and its clients another significant win in this closely watched case.

Manatt’s team also included Entertainment Litigation Partners Emil Petrossian and Prana Topper, Appellate Partner Benjamin Shatz, Associate Noro Mejlumyan, and Music Assistant/Clearance Specialist Veronica Hartling.

To learn more about the original decisions, read the announcements from VarietyReutersThe Hollywood ReporterDaily JournalBloomberg LawYour EDM and RepublicWorld.

For more information about Manatt’s Entertainment Litigation practice, click here.

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