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UF CGS 3065 - Copyright Ramifications of La Cienega Music Co. v. ZZ Top

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Copyright Ramifications of La Cienega Music Co. v. ZZ TopOne of the “Songs of the Century” ¹ (Introduction)…And Herein Lies Our Tale…OverviewWhite-Smith v. Apollo and the Copyright Act of 1909 ³La Cienega Music Co. v. ZZ Top Decision ³Impact on Music Business, Copyright Laws, and You ²DiscussionConclusionCopyright Ramifications ofLa Cienega Music Co. v. ZZ Top Created by Chris WalkerCGS3065One of the “Songs of the Century” ¹ (Introduction)Three versions of “Boogie Chillen” recorded (1948, 1950, 1970)–Most famous version recorded with Canned Heat on the album “Hooker ‘N Heat”–Considered one of the most important recordings in rock and roll (especially Electric blues)¹ - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1119897 (audio file)…And Herein Lies Our Tale…“La Grange”–Released on “Tres Hombres” in 1973–“Bears more than a passing resemblance” to our previous song ²Distinctive bass/guitar riffLurching, haw-haw-haw-haw barking sound ² - http://www.bluesaccess.com/No_34/catfish.htmlOverviewWhite-Smith v. Apollo and the Copyright Act of 1909La Cienega Music Co. v. ZZ Top DecisionImpact on Music Business, Copyright Laws, and YouDiscussion: Strengthen copyright restrictions or encourage “free culture”?ConclusionWhite-Smith v. Apollo and the Copyright Act of 1909 ³Ruled in 1908 that copyright only applied to readable music (i.e., scores or sheet music)–Conflict?Congress responded shortly after by extending protection to “first mechanical reproduction” (piano rolls and phonorecords)–Did not establish that a sound recording is a copy and constitutes a first publication (starting the common-law copyright timer)³ - http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/law/library/cases/case_lacienegazztop.htmlLa Cienega Music Co. v. ZZ Top Decision ³La Cienega Music registered the three versions of “Boogie Chillen” in 1967, 1970, and 1992, respectively (basis for their case)ZZ Top claimed the three versions were actually published when the vinyl recordings were released (1948, 1950, 1970)The appeals court in 1995 (53 F.3d 950 - 9th Cir. 1995) ruled that the copyright registrations were not completed in a timely fashion, thus releasing the three versions in the public domainImpact on Music Business, Copyright Laws, and You ²Any music recorded before January 1, 1978 that did not attach a © on each copy distributed and/or registered within 28 years became public domainCongress responded in 1997 by passing, among others, an amendment to the Copyright Act of 1908 stating “The distribution before January 1, 1978, of phonorecords shall not constitute publication of the musical work embodied therein for purposes of the Copyright Act of 1909,” reversing La Cienega–What about the distribution of music files, especially those through peer to peer networks?DiscussionShould we strengthen copyright restrictions and make sure the author gets fair compensation, orShould we encourage “free culture” and relax these restrictions?ConclusionMy Take:–Artists deserve to be fairly compensated–People will (and perhaps should) continue to share creative works across the internet, including new creative works, without fear of infringement or plagiarism from others, respectively–(Side Note) With respect to file sharing, any solution to this should minimize government intervention in favor of market forcesFind The Happy Medium–Creative Commons? Collective


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