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On Sept. 18, 2019, Assembly Bill Number 5 (AB5) became law in California, paving the way for dramatic changes in California’s gig economy. AB5 was designed to provide labor protections for “misclassified independent contractors,” including the application of minimum wage laws, overtime, sick leave requirements, and unemployment and worker’s compensation. Once put into practice, however, AB5’s negative impacts on industries that rely substantially on an independent contractor workforce quickly became illuminated. After over a year-and-a-half of lobbying efforts by the music industry and negotiations with lawmakers, it was recently announced that AB5 would be amended to accommodate musicians’ unique niche in the California economy.
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By Stan Soocher
In the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress inserted a termination right for authors or their successors for pre-January 1, 1978, assignments of copyrighted works. However, the legislators didn’t directly address a key issue: how to determine termination rights for what are known as “gap grant” works — that is, those created post-1977 under copyright assignments made before then.
By Neil J. Rosini and Michael I. Rudell
The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc on the entertainment industry. Productions have been halted and distribution channels disrupted. In the midst of this pandemic, one big question for contracting parties is whether force majeure will excuse or postpone a party’s obligations without liability.
By Raychel Lean
Federal Judge Kathleen Williams recently analyzed the hit song “Despacito” in a copyright lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, when she found its writers had not copied an earlier Spanish song with the same name.
By Mark A. Salky and Jessica Johnson Fishfeld
During a time when online marketing, virtual shopping and electronic communication are more widely used than ever, it is critically important for entertainment industry businesses to be highly aware of how they are using trademarks, the scope of a trademark owner’s rights and the consequences of infringing them.