Arsenal Bears the Brunt of Mesut Özil’s Comments, Jason Mraz Sues Coors Lights, Taylor Swift Cancels Licensing of Her Music Catalogue, Netflix’s New Original: Spotify’s Story and more

Petition Signed to Remove Netflix Comedy “First Temptation of Christ”; Arsenal Bears the Brunt of Mesut Özil’s Comments on Uighur Muslims; Copyright Infringement Suit Against Vampire Facial Doctor; Jason Mraz Sues Coors Lights; Heirs to Tom Petty Resolve their Legal Disputes; Taylor Swift Shuts Down Licensing of Her Music Catalogue; Netflix’s New Original Series: Spotify Startup Story; Youtube’s App Becomes Most Frequently Used Music App in India; US Reaches 1 Trillion Milestone for Music and Video Streams and more.

Entertainment Law News

Petition Signed to Remove Netflix Comedy “First Temptation of Christ”

The New Christmas Netflix Special has outraged hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the world, who have signed a petition demanding its immediate withdrawal. The depiction portrays Jesus as a homosexual as well as Mary being a Marijuana user. The film was considered to be blasphemous, vulgar and disrespectful by many, while others reacted by posting screenshots of them cancelling their Netflix memberships. As of right now, 1.1 million people have signed the petition to have this short film axed from the platform. Many have further demanded a public apology from the streaming giant.

Arsenal Bears the Brunt of Mesut Özil’s Comments on Uighur Muslims

Mesut Özil’s comments that Muslims remain silent over the burning of Qurans, closed Mosques and banning of schools has led to immediate backlash, with China’s CCTV pulling the live telecast of the Arsenal- Manchester City game, relaying highlights of the Tottenham Hotspur – Wolverhampton Wanderers game instead. This incident elucidates upon the likely consequences of running afoul China’s political sensitivities.
Although the club instantly dissociated itself from the comments made by the midfielder, fans still felt that further action must be taken against the player. This situation screams familiarity, as in the past, China have blocked out certain Houston Rockets games for comments made by their General Manager, Daryl Morey in support of the Hong Kong protests. Arsenal own a sports bar in China and restaurant for the promotion of the club and the expansion of the same now faces many hurdles.

Copyright Infringement Suit Against Vampire Facial Doctor

Star of the reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian is suing the vampire facial doctor for using her photos on his site without his permission. The doctor implements procedures to enhance facial features by drawing out the patient’s blood and then puncturing the facial tissue of the patient with a needle which is supposed to tighten the skin and collagen in the facial region.
Though Kim received this treatment, she has further gone on to state that she regrets the same and is now suing the doctor for using her pictures to endorse a procedure that she does not wish to. Sources state that she tried to reach out to the doctor to not use her picture, but he refused and demanded monetary compensation for the same. The slightly problematic situation turns even more sour, taking into consideration that a few of the patients tested positive for HIV after the procedure.

Jason Mraz Sues Coors Lights

The latest ad of the Beer brewing company has used 13 seconds of Jason Mraz performing his iconic hit ‘I’m yours’ live in California. The Pop icon informed the company of the infringement as they had failed to take his permission. The Company have not responded or owned up to the allegations and has failed to acknowledge the wrongful usage of the video footage.

Heirs to Tom Petty Resolve their Legal Disputes

In may this year, Tom Petty’s two daughters from previous marriages, Adria Petty and Anakim Violette had filed a USD 5 Million suit against Dana Petty, the widow of Tom Petty for misappropriating his assets and failing to honour his will to divide his estate into three equal parts, for his daughters and his wife. This not only impacted the family of the late music sensation but also the fans, as it postponed the release of ‘An American Treasure’, a posthumous collection of his songs, as well as a box set to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of the release of Petty’s album Wildflowers.
However, sources report that the heirs have resolved the matter through an out of court settlement. The settlement details however, as of this time are unknown. Furthermore, there has been no comment from either of his daughters or his widow to the public.

Licensing news

Taylor Swift Shuts Down Licensing of Her Music Catalogue

It is now unlikely that you will hear a Taylor Swift song on a commercial, movie or TV show as the pop sensation is attempting to sabotage the USD 300 Million sale of her catalogue by the label Big Machine by shutting down all synchronisation licensing, which she still has full power over. The specific license covers a vast number of uses such as in TV shows, Movies, online videos, commercials etc. As Taylor swift is credited in her catalogue she can simply choose to deny any application, which seems to be the case in the current scenario.
This could cause losses worth millions to the Music icon, but this has not fazed her in the least, citing that her music living on is her ultimate goal. She also plans to re-record her music next year, which would cause many issues in terms of the copyright ownership of her music, mainly affecting the previous owners, Carlyle group who had invested in the same.

Netflix’s New Original Series: Spotify Startup Story

The Series is set to be based on the book Spotify Untold and will be produced by Berna Levin, whose prior credits include Young Wallander, Hidden and The Girl in the Spider’s Web.  She went on to say that the story had its appeal in the nature of how a small group of tech insiders in Sweden revolutionised the way we listen to music today. The Story will follow the two founders, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorenzton, the pioneers who changed the face of music streaming at a time when music piracy was ever rampant. Yellow Bird UK, a leading television production company in the UK had announced that they had optioned the book Spotify Untold and intended to adapt the same into a dramatic television series.

Youtube’s App Becomes Most Frequently Used Music App in India

With Youtube Music in its nascent stages in the Indian market, having been available from March of this year, it is indeed surprising that around a quarter of the population have said that Youtube is the top choice for streaming music. Availability of the latest tracks, depth of quantitative content and easier music sharing have been cited as a few reasons why the Video Streaming Giant is also excelling in the music streaming industry. It should be noted however, only 11% of these users use the paid model of the service whereas 89% use the free version. This trend is apparent for everyone to see in other apps as well such as play music, Jio Saavn and Gaana. Amazon music however reports the greatest numbers in this facet, reporting 7 out of 10 users subscribing to the paid service.

US Reaches 1 Trillion Milestone for Music and Video Streams

Stats from Market tracker, Nielsen reported that the United States has reached a milestone of 1 Trillion for on demand music and video streams in a calendar year with still some time left this year. This number represents a growth of around 31% in comparison to the previous year’s 765 Billion streams. Around 90% of millennials and teens stream music from such services causing this tremendous increase. In addition to this, easily accessible and affordable technology, cheaper premium services on streaming platforms and proliferation of connected devices can be touted as reasons for this growth and will continue to increase the growth in the future. With music revenue growth growing 16% in the first half of 2019, the consumption growth is nearly double of the industrial revenue growth if the first half of the year can be mirrored to the second half.
Authored and compiled by  Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Shashank Venkat (Legal Intern)
The Entertainment Law and Licensing News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the E-Commerce Law, Entertainment Law and Consulting/Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected]  with the subject: Licensing News.
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected]  for corrections and take down.

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