Broadcast Music, Inc. v. McDade & Sons, Inc., 928 F.Supp.2d 1120 (2013), United States District Court for Arizona

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Broadcast Music, Inc. v. McDade & Sons, Inc., 928 F.Supp.2d 1120 (2013), United States District Court for Arizona
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Norton’s Country Corner (Norton’s) is a cowboy bar located in Queen Creek, Arizona. The bar is owned by McDade & Sons, Inc., which is solely owned by Nancy McDade. Live bands play country-and-western music at Norton’s on various nights of the week. Certain copyright owners of music have authorized Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), to license the use of their copyright songs to broadcasters and to owners of concert halls, restaurants, and nightclubs for live performances of the copyrighted music. BMI attends public performances of music to determine whether any copyrights it is authorized to license are being performed without the license.
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One night, a BMI representative attended a live band performance at Norton’s bar and recorded the songs played by the band that night. The audio recording showed that 13 copyrighted songs that BMI was authorized to license were played by the band at Norton’s without the required license. The songs included classics originally sung by famous artists, such as “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” (George Strait), “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me” (Mac Brown), “Brown Eyed Girl” (Van Morrison), and “Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash). BMI sued McDade & Sons, Inc., and Nancy McDade in U.S. District Court for copyright infringement. The defendants argued they had not committed copyright infringement and that copyright law did not apply to owners of small establishments.
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Answer the following questions in complete sentences:
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Who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant in this case?
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What arguments does the plaintiff have in support of its copyright infringement claim?
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What arguments does the defendant have in support of their claim that they did not infringe on BMI’s copyright?
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Do you think the defendants are liable for copyright infringement? Why or why not?
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Part 2:
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Copyright infringement is a major concern for musicians and record labels. Napster disrupted the music industry by providing a controversial platform for music sharing. Watch this video to learn more. Then, answer the questions.
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https://youtu.be/CKrdsGdLVQ8
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1. The U.S. Copyright Office provides a number of resources on copyright law: https://www.copyright.gov/what-is-copyright/ The United States Patent and Trademark Office provides resources on trademarks: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/what-trademark Explain the difference between a copyright and a trademark.
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2. Napster and other file sharing platforms have been sued for copyright infringement. Do you agree that Napster, in particular, should have been liable for infringing the copyrights of the music producers and artists? Why or why not?
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3. Should these platforms be able to avoid liability if they include a disclaimer on their websites that states that users should only upload material of which they own the copyright? Why or why not? See YouTube’s disclaimer for an example: https://www.youtube.com/howyoutubeworks/policies/copyright/

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