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Billboard reports “Typically, when someone gets sued for misappropriating someone else’s piece of authorship, the defendant goes out of the way to show the work isn’t worthy of the broadly claimed protection. But in the topsy-turvy case of ABS Entertainment v. CBS Corporation, the defendant is the one theorizing the broad reach of copyright law. ABS, which owns the recordings of Al Green and others, is suing CBS over the public performance of its pre-1972 sound recordings. For decades, radio operators have assumed no need to pay anything to broadcast tunes because of copyright limitations, but the fact that such recordings are not covered by federal copyright law has become a sticky legal issue. That’s because such recordings then fall under state laws, recently interpreted by judges in California and New York to protect public performance.” Read More

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