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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 Stan Soocher
In December 2018, China-based titan Tencent Music Entertainment launched a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). But the IPO resulted in an investor’s class action suit alleging TME violated federal securities laws. This is part of a trend of increasing such securities suits against foreign companies, though the U.S.
By Michael A. Mora and Alaina Lancaster
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By Scott Graham
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By Tom McParland
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued decisions in two closely watched copyright fair use cases involving photographs. In the…