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IP, media and privacy law are constantly moving. Its boundaries are challenged daily. What's allowed and what's not. Herein lies the core of our work. Work that keeps challenging and inspiring us.

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  • Updates/ Posted

    Plagiarism or just coincidence?

    Plagiarism or just coincidence?

    The British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is accused of copyright infringement. Songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard - who wrote the song 'Amazing' - claim that Sheeran's song 'Photograph' is similar to 'Amazing' (which is sang by Matt Cardle). According to the songwriters, it is abundantly clear that it was copied.


    The similarities would include the following:
    - identical tunes and an identical rhythm (mainly in the refrain);
    - identical lyrics; and:
    - a similar style.


    How would a Dutch judge assess such a case? Is there any similarity? Moreover, are the described elements copyright protected?

  • Updates/ Posted

    No copyright on 'Happy Birthday'

    No copyright on 'Happy Birthday'

    It is official: the song 'Happy Birthday' is not copyright protected. This is the judgment of an American judge on 22 September 2015. Warner/Chappell Music was claiming copyright on the birthday classic. According to calculations Warner/Chappell would annually receive up to 2 million dollar based on copyright of the song.

     

    The discussion about the copyright of Happy Birthday started a while ago by documentary maker Jennifer Nelson. She was producing a film about the song and received an invoice from Warner/Chappell for the use of the song in her film. She was not sure if Warner/Chappell's claim was justified and initiated legal proceedings.

  • Updates/ Posted

    Contract Check: your contracts up-to-date

    Contract Check: your contracts up-to-date

    On 1 July 2015 the new copyright contract rules went into force. As mentioned in our latest update the amendments in the Dutch Copyright Act have consequences for makers and publishers of copyright works. The new rules are therefore important for the contract practice of all media sectors. Are your contracts already up-to-date?

     

    The team of Van Kaam advocaten offers you the opportunity for a Contract Check for both existing and new contracts and/or terms and conditions regarding exploitation, licensing and/or publishing of copyright works.

  • Updates/ Posted

    Blurred Lines result of plagiarism?

    Blurred Lines result of plagiarism?

    ‘’Blurred Lines’’, the successful pop song of Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, is a copy of ''Got to Give it up'' by Marvin Gaye from 1977. So reads the verdict of an American jury trial started by the heirs of Marvin Gaye. Williams and Thicke must pay the heirs about $7,3 million in damages. The artists themselves earned about $16,5 million on ''Blurred Lines''. Thicke indicated he didn’t compose any of the chords related to the song. During the proceedings Williams acknowledged he composed the entire song in one night and said the music of Gaye is ''the soundtrack of his youth''.

     

    The jury compared both songs in full detail. It furthermore acknowledged the text and vocal lines of Blurred Lines are completely different compared to those of Got to give it up, but eventually they ruled the beat of both songs fitted seamlessly. The similarity in rhytm was decisive.