Tresóna loses big copyright case


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For reference, the 9th circuit also ruled on the Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams/Marvin Gaye Estate case over Blurred Lines that basically says you can sue and win simply because the feel and style of a song is similar.

 

Comparing those 2 decisions seems like an interesting gray area on musical copyright.

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I'm no lawyer--just a bored self-quarantiner. Thought this might be of interest to the people here who deal with this subject. https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2020/03/24/17-56006.pdf

Wow, interesting read...I’m no lawyer either, but it appears to be a swift kick in the stomach to Tresona. I imagine DCI has its eyes on this as “fair use” and “education” is mentioned quite a bi

what a refreshing post - finally someone who isn't an expert on law, contagious disease, global warming/weather AND drum corps!

On 3/26/2020 at 5:01 PM, TwoValves said:

Of course they can only overturn the ones they hear, and when they do they are overturned at a high rate.  You are correct.  Perhaps I didn't state it clearly enough.  

The POINT was that the only way this ruling could be applied as a nation-wide precedent would be IF the SCOTUS were to hear and and affirm it, which is statistically unlikely.  

But thanks for your usual ridiculously windy response to a simple clarification provde your stable genious-ness. 

One thing my friend N.E. Brigand NEVER FORGETS is source material.  I can confirm that he rarely, if ever, doesn't have impeccable reference data.

It's how he weaves that data into a narrative that's a little whacked in the noodle.

But he's well-sourced, that's for sure.

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8 hours ago, gbass598 said:

For reference, the 9th circuit also ruled on the Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams/Marvin Gaye Estate case over Blurred Lines that basically says you can sue and win simply because the feel and style of a song is similar.

 

Comparing those 2 decisions seems like an interesting gray area on musical copyright.

Not really.  Blurred Lines was a strictly commercial production intended for no other purpose than to enrich the performers, distributors, and others.  The Tresona case made numerous examples of the nature of the non-profit and education benefits involved in the case, and the agreesive tactics to litigate against those who have no true financial interest in "infringing" on any copyright.  Not gray at all.  Clearly black and white. 

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One factor that may work against the majority of bands and corps is that the Tresona ruling was about pop tunes with many different hands in the pot.

I'd venture the majority of music performed by corps and competitive bands is from the concert band or symphonic realm. Only one composer.

How many symphonic and concert band works have the layers of rights holders that a pop tune might? There is probably one publisher for that composition.

This ruling may work in favor of bands who play pop music to the detriment of those who play symphonic or concert band literature.

One way around this may be to shoehorn a show concept having nothing to do with the source material (commonplace these days) and cite fair use, but if a band wanted to do a show of Shostakovich 5th with no underlying unrelated theme, I'm not certain if they could claim fair use. Thoughts?

Edited by wolfgang
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18 minutes ago, wolfgang said:

One factor that may work against the majority of bands and corps is that the Tresona ruling was about pop tunes with many different hands in the pot.

I'd venture the majority of music performed by corps and competitive bands is from the concert band or symphonic realm. Only one composer.

How many symphonic and concert band works have the layers of rights holders that a pop tune might? There is probably one publisher for that composition.

This ruling may work in favor of bands who play pop music to the detriment of those who play symphonic or concert band literature.

One way around this may be to shoehorn a show concept having nothing to do with the source material (commonplace these days) and cite fair use, but if a band wanted to do a show of Shostakovich 5th with no underlying unrelated theme, I'm not certain if they could claim fair use. Thoughts?

When was the last time you saw a drum corps show with a theme based on a single piece of music, or using entire longform versions of a single song?  That is specifically what the ruling said makes it fair use:  It is a new idea and the melody of the song enhances that original idea.  No one could reasonably at "The Bluecoats" and not agree that it was an original interpretation of the source material telling a unique, new story that is not simply a rehash of the original song. Same with the Hamilton song as part of "Gladiator."

Compare it, to say Jim Ott's arrangement of Let it Be Me which was almost note for note from the original source.  Harder to argue back then.  In today's world of theme shows with smaller excerpts much easier to claim fair use given this ruling's definitions.

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30 minutes ago, wolfgang said:

One factor that may work against the majority of bands and corps is that the Tresona ruling was about pop tunes with many different hands in the pot.

I'd venture the majority of music performed by corps and competitive bands is from the concert band or symphonic realm. Only one composer.

How many symphonic and concert band works have the layers of rights holders that a pop tune might? There is probably one publisher for that composition.

This ruling may work in favor of bands who play pop music to the detriment of those who play symphonic or concert band literature.

One way around this may be to shoehorn a show concept having nothing to do with the source material (commonplace these days) and cite fair use, but if a band wanted to do a show of Shostakovich 5th with no underlying unrelated theme, I'm not certain if they could claim fair use. Thoughts?

I agree with 100% of what you said.

Here are some other thoughts:

1) Lots of HBCU bands play current music almost the week it comes out. I love it!

2) The Bernstein Foundation stopped giving rights after a few drum corps "mashed up" and "snipped and clipped" West Side Story back in 2008 and 2009. A group I was associated in 2010 was denied to play Age of Anxiety because we didn't have Eb tubas in our instrumentation. The foundation also wanted to hear/see the score to make sure we were playing longer thoughts. 

3) I don't think Tresona is going to go away. I think they will get better at getting 100% of the rights for the music from all parties and they will develop a new strategy how they go after people not legally obtaining rights. 

4) The cheerleading world goes through the same thing with their mixed and mashed up musical shows. They also go through the process of obtaining rights. 

 

Edited by njthundrrd
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23 hours ago, RetiredMusTeach said:

Just saw this excellent opinion piece on Stephen Riley's Law Blog.  "The End of Tresona"

https://srileylawblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-end-of-tresona.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR3iIQJSKWW-JAOiuDxrH3Pb2tusnQ9A3d3jqBe61P0Wr3JVhO-MOU4jNGo

 

Thank you for this post: It is very well written and it fully explains the case and ruling. Just for fun went to Tresona's webpage and right there at the top, it says it all:

Smart Solutions for Licensing, Distribution and Monetized Display of Your Musical Performances

I am not a fan of Tresona and their licensing policies for any school, band, or group who performs music for the enjoyment of others and does so for non-profit.

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19 minutes ago, Rich Cline said:

Thank you for this post: It is very well written and it fully explains the case and ruling. Just for fun went to Tresona's webpage and right there at the top, it says it all:

Smart Solutions for Licensing, Distribution and Monetized Display of Your Musical Performances

I am not a fan of Tresona and their licensing policies for any school, band, or group who performs music for the enjoyment of others and does so for non-profit.

I would just like to understand the credentials and credibility of the article. It is the only blog entry and the author doesn't hav a bio other than stating they are an attorney and a show choir arranger.

 

I would prefer to hear an unbiased opinion with no skin in the game. I'm pretty skeptical on all of this when it comes down to it. I'm a fan of indoor drumlines, marching band and drum corps but I find the whole show choir activity odd and cult like where I live. I also find that show choirs were/still are the last to bother with even caring about music copyright since there is no governing body that actually cared enough to require it.

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36 minutes ago, gbass598 said:

I would just like to understand the credentials and credibility of the article. It is the only blog entry and the author doesn't hav a bio other than stating they are an attorney and a show choir arranger.

 

I would prefer to hear an unbiased opinion with no skin in the game. I'm pretty skeptical on all of this when it comes down to it. I'm a fan of indoor drumlines, marching band and drum corps but I find the whole show choir activity odd and cult like where I live. I also find that show choirs were/still are the last to bother with even caring about music copyright since there is no governing body that actually cared enough to require it.

In the blog post by Steve Riley, he states that he is a California Licensed Attorney, Show Choir Arranger and Former Combo Drummer.

He also states "Disclaimer: This article is an opinion piece. It is not to be construed as legal advice. If any reader has questions, feel free to email me at stephen.riley.law@gmail.com"

Did a Google Search for Steve Riley, and the following info came up about Steve Riley.

Steven Daniel Riley #277243. License Status: Active. Address: Riley & Associates, 2608 Victor Ave Ste C, Redding, CA 96002-1447. County: Shasta County.

Since this could be a different Riley because he is located in Northern California and the case involved defendants from Southern California, I searched further and found the full 31 page brief (Filename: 17-5006 in PDF) which you can download and read from the following link:

united states court of appeals for the ninth circuitcdn.ca9.uscourts.gov › datastore › opinions › 2020/03/24 PDF
5 days ago - Tresóna Multimedia, LLC, a licensing company, claimed that the ... But that does not end our inquiry because the preamble's. “text employs the ...

united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit
https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2020/03/24/17-56006.pdf

 

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