@NMPAOrg: NMPA Members Win on Wolfgang’s Vault

PRESS RELEASE  
For Immediate Release: April 10, 2018
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer

NMPA MEMBERS SECURE CRITICAL VICTORY OVER WOLFGANG’S VAULT 

Washington, D.C. – After nearly three years of litigation, NMPA publisher members Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell, ABKCO, peermusic, Spirit Music, and Imagem Music, have secured an important win in their ongoing efforts against Wolfgang’s Vault, a prolific online distributor of unlicensed recordings. The copyrights in the suit include songs written by members of bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Talking Heads, R.E.M. and Green Day.

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite released the following statement on the victory: “Judge Ramos’ opinion is a dramatic vindication for our members Sony/ATV & EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell, ABKCO, peermusic, Spirit Music, and Imagem Music whose works have been willfully infringed by Wolfgang’s Vault for years. NMPA is pleased to fully support its members in bringing their case and we look forward to the next phase where damages will be determined.”

Israelite added, “We wholeheartedly encourage fans being able to access the footage they want to watch, however the provider of that footage must obtain proper licenses and pay those who created and own it. We will continue to support this effort to ensure that copyright holders and songwriters rights’ are upheld.”

In a 54-page Opinion issued on March 30, 2018 (and made public on April 9), Judge Ramos of the Southern District of New York found all Wolfgang’s Vault defendants had infringed all copyrighted works at issue. Significantly, the Court found that Wolfgang’s Vault had willfully infringed all works which they had exploited in audio/visual format and certain other works for which they had failed to demonstrate the necessary consents required under the Copyright Act.

While the Summary Judgment determination only addresses the liability of the Wolfgang’s Vault defendants, the finding of willful infringement carries with it the possibility for an award of statutory damages under the Copyright Act of up to $150,000 for each infringement in the action. The case will next turn to assess Wolfgang’s Vault’s monetary liability for their infringement.

NMPA CEO @davidisraelite: DOJ Decision a Disastrous Blow to Songwriters

PRESS RELEASE  
For Immediate Release: August 4, 2016
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer

Washington, D.C. – NMPA President & CEO David Israelite today released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s decision regarding the ASCAP and BMI consent decree review.

“The Department of Justice (DoJ) has dealt a massive blow to America’s songwriters. After a two year review of the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI, career lawyers who were never elected nor confirmed to their positions, led by a lawyer who previously represented Google, determined that songwriters should have even fewer rights, less control over their intellectual property and be treated more unfairly than they already are. The Department ignored the voices of copyright experts, members of Congress and thousands of songwriters and delivered a huge gift to tech companies who already benefit from egregiously low rates.

“The interpretation that the consent decrees demand that all works must be licensed on a 100 percent basis is both unprecedented and disastrous to the songwriting community.  The decision represents a misunderstanding of copyright law and directly violates the legal guidance given by the Register of Copyright.  The defiance displayed by these career antitrust lawyers in ignoring the legal opinion of the Register of Copyright is shocking.

“Washington bureaucrats should not be in the business of regulating music as they are neither capable of understanding or fixing the problems they’ve created. We are hopeful that through the legal process, conversations with those in Congress who understand copyright law, and ultimately the voices of those most affected, the creators themselves, we can find a path forward.”

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About the NMPA: Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at www.nmpa.org.