Re: IP Law
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Posted by M. Arthur Auslander on March 29, 2003 at 22:16:44:
In Reply to: IP Law posted by Harris on March 28, 2003 at 01:53:40:
: I am a student at Univ. of Aberdeen in U.K., Like to know what U.S law says about following case-study:
: You are the chief executive of Virgin Records. You’ve just signed Britney
: Spears to a five-year, fifty-million pound contract. That is a lot of money,
: and you need a hit song from Britney right away. Britney doesn’t write her own
: music, so you need to find a really catchy song for her: something that will go
: to number one, to the top of the music charts. To find this song, you call in
: you best song writer, Fritz. “Fritz,” you say, “write for me a really catchy
: song for Britney to record.”
: Fritz goes home and tries to write a song but the melody and lyrics don’t come
: to him immediately. He goes to the local pub looking for inspiration. Nothing
: comes to him there. He goes for a walk around the neighbourhood. While he is
: walking around, he passes by an open bathroom window. In the bathroom in the
: shower is Suzanna, singing away. The song she is singing is really catchy.
: Fritz thinks, “This is the song I need.” He listens to Suzanna and memorizes
: the melody and some of the lyrics. Then he goes home and writes down the melody
: of the song in a musical score and writes down about half of the lyrics, all
: that he could remember, and then composes a couple more verses on his own.
: Britney records the song and the single is a big success. You sell millions of
: copies and the song is played on every radio station. Just as you lean back in
: your chair to light up a cigar in celebration, Suzanna comes into your office.
: She says, “You stole my song. I made up that song in the shower. I never wrote
: it down anywhere, and I never recorded it, but that is my shower song. I’ve
: been singing it in the shower every day for months. If you don’t pay me a
: million pounds, I’m going to sue you.”
: Are you worried about Suzanna suing you over the song? Why or why not?
: Specifically answer:
: · What rights, if any, are there in the song?
: · If there are any rights in the song, how did those rights come about?
: · What protection do those rights afford their owner?
: Who owns them and how did they come by them?
The answer looks simple, following the question look like a pain.
M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
3008 Johnson Ave., New York, NY 10463
E arly L egal A dvice I s N ot E xpensive™
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