Don Henley Suit Against Clothing Company Survives Dismissal

Henley v. Duluth Holdings, No. CV 14-7827 DSF (C.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2015).

Don Henley's lawsuit concerning an advertisements for Henley-style shirts that urged customers to “Don a henley, take it easy,” survives defendant's motion to dismiss.  The defendant apparel company had argued that the promotion was a joke.  The Court found that Defendant has not established that its use of Plaintiff’s name – and the name of one of his band’s most famous songs – in its advertisement was sufficiently transformative on its face that a motion to dismiss should be granted.

Radio Station Not Liable On Claims Based On Number Of Podcast Downloads

Cmty. Music Ctrs. of Atlanta, LLC v. JW Broad., Inc., 2013 ILRC 2580, 2013 WL 4516739 (Ga. Ct. App. 2013).

Plaintiff advertised its music education services on defendant's radio station, but failed to pay.  The radio station sued for "open account", and the plaintiff counter-claimed for breach of contract and fraud.  The crux of plaintiff's claims was that the radio station misrepresented the exposure it would provide through podcast downloads.  According to plaintiff, the radio station failed to fulfill its promise that there would be “hundreds of thousands of downloads” of the program plaintiff sponsored and, as a result, plaintiff did not receive the advertising exposure it had bargained for.

The court found that the radio station was not liable on the breach of contract claim because the plaintiff failed to present any evidence to show that the radio station promised that there would be a certain number of future downloads of the program.  Instead, the radio station "promoted the program's national popularity by stating that it 'has received hundreds of thousands of downloads,' in other words, in the past".  The fraud claim similarly failed because the plaintiff sought, not a certain number of downloads, but, rather, to sponsor a radio show for a specific time period.  Any prediction regarding future download statistics would be conjecture, falling short of fraud.

Public Performance Of Sound Recordings - Ad

Glenn Peoples, NAB Calls Performance Right 'Bad for Artists, Bad for Listeners', Billboard (Mar. 27, 2013) (link):

The National Association of Broadcasters has called a performance right for sound recordings “bad for radio, bad for artists and bad for listeners” in two newspaper advertisements thanking two new co-sponsors of the Congressional resolutions supporting the Local Radio Free Act.

Black Keys Sue For Unauthorized Use Of "Howlin'" In Casino Ads

Carney et al. v. Chesky Records, Inc., No. 13-cv-0405 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 17, 2013) (Batts, J.)

The Black Keys sued in New York federal court  "to put an immediate stop to, and to obtain redress for, Defendant's blatant and purposeful infringement of the copyright in Plaintiffs' musical composition entitled 'Howlin' For You'."  (Complaint, para. 1).  Defendants allegedly created and publicized commercial advertisements for casinos which prominently feature significant portions of the composition without authorization.  Plaintiffs' claims are for copyright infringement, false designation of origin (under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act), and common law unfair competition.

McCain Sued For Use of Song

Singer/songwriter Jackson Browne is suing Republican presidential nominee John McCain and the Republican party for using his song "Running on Empty" in a recent TV commercial (Billboard.)

Jackson Browne v. John McCain et al, No. 2:08-cv-05334-RKG (C.D. Cal. complaint filed Aug. 14, 2008).

Smashing Pumpkins Sue Label

Tipsters, where are you?

The Smashing Pumpkins are suing Virgin Records, saying the record label has illegally used their name and music in promotional deals that hurt the band's credibility with fans

The AP:
Virgin put out the Smashing Pumpkins' music for more than 17 years, but the only active agreement between the two parties, the lawsuit claimed, is a deal granting Virgin permission to sell digital downloads of the band's songs. The agreement does not give Virgin the right to use the band in promotional campaigns to sell outside products, the lawsuit said.

UPDATE (3/26/08) -- Billy Corgan speaks out: "I'm sure they indicated to Pepsi that they had a right to do this, full well knowing they do not have the right,"

[breach-of-contract lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday, 3/24/08]