Farmboy

Tresóna loses big copyright case

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here is the most interesting interpretation of the opinion:

Quote

The Court was very interested in whether the use of a copyrighted song in a show choir set – and the distribution of custom arranged sheet music to teach that song – are considered fair uses under U.S. Copyright law. This goes beyond the question of whether Tresona has the right to sue for infringement. It answers the question of whether anyone can sue for infringement for a show choir’s use of a song in its artistic programming.
 

The Court determined that the use of copyrighted songs in show choir sets is, in fact, fair use and thus totally exempt from many typical Copyright law requirements. Licenses to perform the songs are not required; licenses to create and distribute custom arranged sheet music based on the songs are not required. Under typical show choir circumstances, no one can charge a license fee or even require a free license for the use of popular songs. Not Tresona, not Disney, not Taylor Swift…no one. Show choirs can do as they please in this regard and do not to need to pay anyone or ask permission, within certain guidelines to be discussed a bit later.
 

The Court based its decision on the fair use issue on two main factors: (1) the inherent educational value in having students learn, perform and compete with these custom arranged songs, and (2) the “transformation” of the original song in the show choir context.
 

As for educational value, the Court noted that “this use was not of a traditional commercial nature, but rather for the nonprofit education of the students in the music program. [VMA Director] Carroll distributed the sheet music arranged by [arranger] Greene at no charge to the students.”
 

The school was not trying to profit off the use of the song. They were merely intent on performing it in a not-for-profit manner, mostly for parents and other show choir enthusiasts. That is a big deal to the Court in determining fair use. Courts do not like when people or companies make profit off of someone else’s work. But since there is no profit motive here, only targeted fundraising efforts and a very limited audience, the Court felt that the use was mainly for educational and cultural enrichment purposes.

This could be something DCI, DCA, BOA, WGI units can use to expand what they can use and how much they spend on licensing. It will be interesting if the activity can use this new precedence to "renegotiate" any agreements with Tresona...maybe capitalize on this decision...assuming it holds up upon appeal if Tresona appeals. 

 

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2 hours ago, The Observer said:

Here is another link with an explanation.“The End of Tresona”

This link was already posted by RetiredMusTeach
DCP Veteran
Posted Saturday at 07:29 PM
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

If you want to read the entire 31 page summary and judgement of the case; I posted on Sunday at 08:41 PM

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

It details the entire claim and judegement from the UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT between:
Plaintiff-Appellant/Appellee:
TRESÓNA MULTIMEDIA, LLC, an
 Arizona limited liability company.

 V.

Defendants-Appellees/Appellants:
BURBANK HIGH SCHOOL VOCAL MUSIC ASSOCIATION; BRETT CARROLL; JOHN DOE CARROLL, a married couple; ELLIE STOCKWELL; JOHN DOE STOCKWELL, a married couple;
MARIANNE WINTERS; JOHN DOE WINTERS, a married couple; GENEVA TARANDEK; JOHN DOE TARANDEK, a married couple; LORNA CONSOLI; JOHN DOE CONSOLI, a married couple; CHARLES RODRIGUEZ; JOHN DOE RODRIGUEZ, a married couple.

This is a 31 page document in "PDF" which can be downloaded and if you wish, you can convert the PDF to TEXT using any of the the Free on-line converting services.

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2 hours ago, Tony Flores said:

The school was not trying to profit off the use of the song. They were merely intent on performing it in a not-for-profit manner, mostly for parents and other show choir enthusiasts. That is a big deal to the Court in determining fair use. Courts do not like when people or companies make profit off of someone else’s work. But since there is no profit motive here, only targeted fundraising efforts and a very limited audience, the Court felt that the use was mainly for educational and cultural enrichment purposes.

This could be something DCI, DCA, BOA, WGI units can use to expand what they can use and how much they spend on licensing. It will be interesting if the activity can use this new precedence to "renegotiate" any agreements with Tresona...maybe capitalize on this decision...assuming it holds up upon appeal if Tresona appeals. 

 

Well said.

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On 3/24/2020 at 3:22 PM, MadisonBandMan1 said:

This bodes well for educational music performance groups?

I like you profile title! Welcome to DCP!

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And lest we all forget, Larry Mills, the Co-President of Tresona is now on the board of directors at YEA (Cadets). Strange bedfellows indeed. 

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Thank God! Tresona loses to a freaking high school ... surely DCI could grow some cajones and stand up to them.

This part stood out to me:

Quote

Tresóna’s arguments were objectively unreasonable, and an award of fees would further the purposes of the Copyright Act.

 

Edited by jasgre2000

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On 3/24/2020 at 10:21 PM, Jeff Ream said:

i guarantee Tresona will appeal

It was a 9th Circuit decision. That's gold in the world of copyright infringement. Very unlikely that the Supreme Court would accept an appeal of this, IMO.

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On 3/26/2020 at 3:01 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. 

That't technically true, but on copyright issues the Ninth and Second circuits are considered the gold standard. Their opinions come close to holding the weight of a Supreme Court decision, as many other circuits put a lot of weight on opinions from the Ninth and Second circuits when it comes to copyright law.

The Supreme Court usually only takes cases like this if there is disagreement between the circuits on a particular legal question (a "circuit split"). This case is unlikely to be taken up by the Supreme Court since, as far as I can tell, there is no circuit split. If, over time, other circuits come out with contrary decisions, then the Supreme Court may take up the issues presented by this case.

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