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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of internationally successful hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in a music sampling suit brought against them by New Orleans jazz musician Paul Batiste. Batiste v. Lewis, 19-30400 (5th Cir. 2020). The decision is notable for the Fifth Circuit’s use of the “widespread dissemination” and “chain of events” tests to determine whether the defendants had access to Batiste’s works, neither which approach it said it had previously expressly adopted. In the opinion, the 5th Circuit also weighed in on the controversial Sixth Circuit opinion in Bridgeport Music Inc. v. Dimension Films, 383 F.3d 390 (6th Cir. 2004), which held that any sampling — even if digitally altered — from a pre-existing sound recording is automatic copyright infringement.
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By Gwendolyn Seale
Part One of a Two Part Article
While the livestreaming of music performances is not an entirely new phenomenon, the COVID crisis has transformed the live performance landscape, compelling artists from around the world to reach their fanbase by producing “quarantine streams,” in which they livestream their sets on social media platforms. Unsurprisingly many questions have arisen.
By Linda A. Thompson
The DSA is intended to reset the rules around online content moderation and to reframe the responsibility of platforms for illegal content uploaded to their websites.
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