TLDR: The hidden price of Instagram’s terms of use

By | Copywrite, Legal, Photography, Social Media, Terms of Use

TLDR. Let’s be real, most of us did not read the terms of use before we downloaded Instagram. Or probably any other social media platform, for that matter.

For emerging artists, photographers, and influencers, deciding to opt out of social media because of its terms of use is impossible. Social media has become a routine part of our daily lives – an essential service if you will. It’s how we consume information, share our work, gain exposure to new audiences, make a living, and keep in touch. But for some, the “price” you pay to be online may be much greater than you anticipated. And then what? What are we to do? Read More

Drake Prevails In Copyright Case Against Jimmy Smith’s Estate

Drake Prevails In Copyright Case Against Jimmy Smith’s Estate

By | Copywrite, Hip Hop, Jazz, Legal, Music

This month, Drake and his producers won a key battle in the fight for fair use. But what exactly is fair use? And what does it mean for artists and producers moving forward?

As artists and creators, we constantly take inspiration from our peers and our idols. But do you ever wonder, where is the line? How much is too much? Samples and mashups are commonplace in music and especially in hip-hop. Chuck D. once said: “We thought sampling was just a way of arranging sounds […] to blend sound. Just as visual artists take yellow and blue to come up with green, we wanted to be able to do that with sound.” The art of sampling is woven into the founding story of hip-hop along with the legal challenges that came with its commercial success. Read More

The Evolution of Artist Ownership

The Evolution of Artist Ownership

By | Hip Hop, Intellectual Property, Music, Music Business

When industry recognition finally knocks, it doesn’t come bearing a manual on how a musician should make smart choices. But for artists, making smart choices and deals early is critical to ensuring the integrity of their work and securing future earnings.

This past week, rapper Mase took to social media to call out his former label head, Diddy. His concerns centered around ownership of his masters — the recordings from which all licensing and royalty agreements flow: “You bought it (Mase’ master publishings) for about 20k & I offered you 2m in cash. This is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us. If it’s about us owning, it can’t be about us owning each other.” Read More

Queen and Slim Pickings

Queen and Slim Pickings

By | Antitrust, Diversity in Film, DOJ, Independent Film, Movies

Before we return to work slightly hungover from too much turkey and sweet potato pie, let us give thanks for the visual feast, powerful perspective, and beautiful blackness of “Queen & Slim.” A story that is equally glorious as it is defiant, reminded us of the importance of black autonomy in creative expression.

But as moviegoers rushed to see “Queen & Slim,” the Department of Justice took actions that could undo the diversity in storytelling we now celebrate. This past week, the Justice Department filed a motion in federal court to terminate the Paramount consent decrees, the agreements that have governed the theatrical business for 70 years. Often referred to as the Paramount decrees, they were the result of 10 years of antitrust litigation, which ended with a Supreme Court decision in the government’s favor in 1948. Read More