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Aimee Mann v. MediaNet Digital - opinion on motion to dismiss

Aimee Mann v. MediaNet Digital - opinion on motion to dismiss

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Published by Mark H. Jaffe
Aimee Mann's copyright claims against MediaNet survive a motion to dismiss. Mann alleges that her agreement with MediaNet had terminated, and that MediaNet did not have a proper statutory mechanical license. Thus, MediaNet's distribution of her songs are unauthorized and infringing.

This decision is a good example of how state laws, in this case New York's contract law and General Obligations Law, are sometimes applied in copyright cases.
Aimee Mann's copyright claims against MediaNet survive a motion to dismiss. Mann alleges that her agreement with MediaNet had terminated, and that MediaNet did not have a proper statutory mechanical license. Thus, MediaNet's distribution of her songs are unauthorized and infringing.

This decision is a good example of how state laws, in this case New York's contract law and General Obligations Law, are sometimes applied in copyright cases.

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Published by: Mark H. Jaffe on Dec 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/06/2014

 
F-Egifm VLG]FM X]@]FX MGX]ZGH] HBVZ]HFL]Z@I MGX]ZGH] BE H@IGEBZLG@
HGUGI CGLV]FX - KFLFZ@I
H`sf Lb.HU 08-6:57-KNA (EECx)M`tfLbvfcjfr :;, :408]gtif
 @gcff C`ll v. Cfmg`Lft Mgkgt`i, Glh., ft `i.
Trfsgmglk? ]nf Nblbr`jifKFBZKF N. AGLK, HNGFE V.X. MGX]ZGH] OVMKF
Jf`trghf Nfrrfr`L/@L/@Mfputy HifraHburt Zfpbrtfr / Zfhbrmfr]`pf Lb.@ttbrlfys Trfsflt ebr Ti`gltgees?@ttbrlfys Trfsflt ebr Mfeflm`lt? LblfLblf
Trbhffmglks? (Gl Hn`cjfrs) Brmfr rf?
 Mfeflm`lt‗s Cbtgbl tb Mgscgss QMat. Lb. :4S]ngs c`ttfr gs jfebrf us bl Mfeflm`lt‗s Cbtgbl tb Mgscgss Ti`gltgee‗s Egrst @cflmfm Hbcpi`glt(’E@H–). [f n`vf hblsgmfrfm tnf p`pfrs egifm gl suppbrt be `lm gl bppbsgtgbl tb tnf Cbtgbl `lm mffctngs c`ttfr `pprbprg`tf ebr rfsbiutgbl wgtnbut br`i `rkucflt. I.Z. ;-06. @s tnf T`rtgfs `rf e`cgig`r wgtntnf e`hts, wf wgii rfpf`t tnfc bliy `s lfhfss`ry. @hhbrmglkiy, wf ruif `s ebiibws?
G. J`hakrbulm
Ti`gltgee @gcff C`ll (’C`ll–), ` sblkwrgtfr `lm rfhbrmglk `rtgst, jrbuknt tngs hbpyrgkntglerglkfcflt `htgbl `k`glst Mfeflm`lt Cfmg`Lft Mgkgt`i, Glh. (’Cfmg`Lft–), e/a/` CusghLft, `mgstrgjutbr be strf`cglk cusgh, bliglf r`mgb, `lm cusgh mbwlib`ms tb hbcp`lgfs igaf Xblkz`, Xtuj Nuj,Xbulmtr`hafr, C]U, W`nbb Cusgh, `lm ]gcf [`rlfr H`jif (`cblk btnfrs). Cfmg`Lft `isb `iibwshblsucfrs tb `hqugrf cusgh mgrfhtiy erbc gts wfjsgtf, www.clmgkgt`i.hbc. C`ll‗s E@H
0
 `iifkfs tnf ebiibwglk? C`ll bwls tnf hbpyrgknt tb bvfr 044 cusgh`ihbcpbsgtgbls.
:
 (E@H µ 0;, Fx. @). Bl Mfhfcjfr 6, :448, C`ll fltfrfm gltb `l `krffcflt wgtnCfmg`Lft tn`t kr`ltfm tnf hbcp`ly ’` lblfxhiusgvf ighflsf tb usf, tr`lscgt, pfrebrc, rfprbmuhf, `lm mfigvfr– nfr hbcpbsgtgbls tb gts `utnbrgzfm mgstrgjutbrs `lm flm usfrs vg` gts strf`cglk `lm mbwlib`m sfrvghfs (’Ighflsf @krffcflt–).
8
 (E@H µ 0>1 E@H Fx. J, Ighflsf @krffcflt µ :.0). Ebr f`hn strf`c
0
 C`ll `cflmfm nfr brgkgl`i hbcpi`glt tb hi`rgey tn`t snf mgm lbt gltflm tb `iifkf tn`t Cfmg`Lftn`m glerglkfm nfr pujigh pfrebrc`lhf rgknts tn`t wfrf ighflsfm tb Cfmg`Lft jy tnf @cfrgh`l Xbhgfty be Hbcpbsfrs, @utnbrs, `lm Tujigsnfrs (’@XH@T–).
:
 @ cusgh rfhbrmglk hrf`tfs ` hbpyrgknt gl jbtn tnf cusgh`i hbcpbsgtgbl (`utnbrfm jy tnfhbcpbsfr `lm iyrghgst) `lm tnf sbulm rfhbrmglk (`utnbrfm jy tnf pfrebrcfr, tnf rfhbrm prbmuhfr, br  jbtn). ]nf hbpyrgknts tb C`ll‗s sbulm rfhbrmglks `rf fxhiusgvfiy bwlfm `lm hbltrbiifm jy [n`tfvfr Trbmuhtgbls, Glh. m/j/` XupfrFkb Zfhbrms `lm n`vf jffl ighflsfm tb Cfmg`Lft. (Ti. Bpp. `t ;).
8
 @mmgtgbl`iiy, ebr C`ll‗s sblks tn`t snf ’egrst c`mf `v`gi`jif . . . murglk tnf ]frc be QtnfS@krffcflt,– tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt kr`ltfm Cfmg`Lft ’`ii rgknts `lm bjigk`tgbls be ` st`tutbry
HU-74 (45/4=)
HGUGI CGLV]FX - KFLFZ@I
T`kf 0 be 7
H`sf :?08-hv-46:57-KNA-EEC Mbhucflt :5 Egifm 00/:;/08 T`kf 0 be 7 T`kf GM #?845
 
F-Egifm VLG]FM X]@]FX MGX]ZGH] HBVZ]HFL]Z@I MGX]ZGH] BE H@IGEBZLG@
HGUGI CGLV]FX - KFLFZ@I
H`sf Lb.HU 08-6:57-KNA (EECx)M`tfLbvfcjfr :;, :408]gtif
 @gcff C`ll v. Cfmg`Lft Mgkgt`i, Glh., ft `i.
br mbwlib`m be C`ll‗s sblks, Cfmg`Lft `krffm tb p`y C`ll ` cfhn`lgh`i rby`ity `t tnf st`tutbry r`tf.
=
 (E@H Fx. J, Ighflsf @krffcflt µµ =.0, =.:, 5.0). ]nfsf p`ycflts wfrf tb jf c`mf wgtngl =6 m`ys `etfr tnf flm be f`hn h`iflm`r qu`rtfr. (
 Gm.
). @iblk wgtn tnf eff p`ycflts, Cfmg`Lft `isb `krffm tb eurlgsn`l `hhbultglk rfpbrt sfttglk ebrtn tnf lucjfr be tgcfs C`ll‗s sblks wfrf strf`cfm br mbwlib`mfm vg`Cfmg`Lft‗s sfrvghf murglk tnf eff pfrgbm (`s wfii `s tnf tbt`i lucjfr be btnfr strf`cs `lm mbwlib`msc`mf vg` Cfmg`Lft‗s sfrvghf murglk tnf eff pfrgbm). (E@H Fx. J, Ighflsf @krffcflt µ 5.:).]nf Ighflsf @krffcflt n`m `l glgtg`i tnrff-yf`r tfrc wgtn `utbc`tgh twb-yf`r fxtflsgbls,’ulifss tfrcgl`tfm jy fgtnfr T`rty upbl wrgttfl lbtghf be gltfltgbl tb tfrcgl`tf `t if`st lglfty m`ys prgbr tb tnf flm be tnf ]frc br `ly Zflfw`i Tfrgbm, wnfrfupbl QtnfS @krffcflt QwbuimS tfrcgl`tf `t tnf flm be suhn ]frc br Zflfw`i Tfrgbm.– (E@H Fx. J, Ighflsf @krffcflt µ 6). J`sfm bl tnf Mfhfcjfr 6,:448 feefhtgvf m`tf, tnf glgtg`i tfrc w`s sft tb flm bl Mfhfcjfr =, :445. (E@H µ :4). C`ll hi`gcs tn`t bl Efjru`ry 04, :446, nfr rfprfsflt`tgvf, Ifsigf [`ii`af, sflt Cfmg`Lft `lfc`gi gl wnghn snf glmgh`tfm C`ll wgsnfm tb tfrcgl`tf tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt. (E@H µ :0). ]nf fc`giw`s sflt gl rfspblsf tb `l glqugry erbc Obnl Oblfs, UT be Trbkr`ccglk, @rtgst, `lm I`jfi Zfi`tgbls `tCfmg`Lft. (E@H, Fx. H). Gl tnf jrgfe fc`gi, [`ii`af glebrcfm Oblfs tn`t C`ll ’n`s `mvgsfm tn`t QsnfSmbfs lbt w`lt tb pursuf `l `krffcflt wgtn CusghLft `t tngs tgcf.– (
 Gm.
). C`ll hbltflms tn`t, pursu`lttb p`r`kr`pn 6 be tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt, tngs fc`gi h`usfm tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt tb tfrcgl`tf `t tnfflm be tnf glgtg`i tfrc, bl Mfhfcjfr =, :445. (E@H µ ::). Gl `mmgtgbl, glmfpflmflt be nfr purpbrtfm tfrcgl`tgbl lbtghf, C`ll `iifkfs tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt flmfm bl Mfhfcjfr =, :445 jfh`usf gts `utb-rflfw`i prbvgsgbl gs ulflebrhf`jif ulmfr Lfw Wbra Kflfr`i Bjigk`tgbls I`w § 6-748.
6
 (E@H µ :8).  Lbtwgtnst`lmglk tnf tfrcgl`tgbl be tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt bl Mfhfcjfr =, :445, Cfmg`Lfthbltglufm tb tr`lscgt, rfprbmuhf, `lm mgstrgjutf C`ll‗s sblks `etfr tnf glgtg`i tfrc n`m flmfm. (E@H µ:=). Mfspgtf tngs hbltglufm usf be nfr sblks, Cfmg`Lft `iifkfmiy mgm lbt sflm C`ll `ly rby`itgfs br `hhbultglk rfpbrts `etfr O`lu`ry =, :445. (E@H µ 56). ]ngs i`st p`ycflt w`s ebr tnf qu`rtfr-`llu`i pfrgbm flmglk bl Xfptfcjfr 84, :446. (
 Gm.
). ]nf bliy p`ycflt C`ll rfhfgvfm erbc Cfmg`Lft `etfr O`lu`ry =, :445 w`s ` $:4 hnfha gl C`rhn :408. (E@H µ 55). C`ll prbcptiy rfturlfm tngs hnfha tbCfmg`Lft jfh`usf gt ’jbrf lb rfi`tgblsngp tb tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt br Xfhtgbl 006 be tnf Hbpyrgknt@ht.– (
 Gm.
). @mmgtgbl`iiy, jfebrf, murglk, `lm `etfr tnf tfrc be tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt, Cfmg`Lftbeefrfm btnfr pujigsnfrs cbrf e`vbr`jif tfrcs tn`l tnbsf beefrfm tb C`ll, fvfl tnbukn tnf Ighflsf@krffcflt hblt`glfm ` prbvgsgbl gl wnghn Cfmg`Lft prbcgsfm tb trf`t C`ll bl ` ’cbst e`vbrfm ighflsff . . . ebr tnf euii tfrc be tnf hbpyrgknt ebr tnf Cusgh`i [bras.– (E@H Fx. J, Ighflsf @krffcflt µ :.8). Cfmg`Lft w`s kr`ltfm tngs st`tutbry ighflsf ebr tnfsf wbras wgtnbut ’n`vglk tb eurtnfr sfrvf br egif ` lbtghf be gltfltgbl tb bjt`gl ` hbcpuisbry ighflsf– (
gm.
), fvfl tnbukn suhn lbtghf gs lbrc`iiy ` prfrfqugsgtf tb bjt`glglk ` st`tutbry ighflsf.
Xff
 0; V.X.H. § 006(j).
=
 ]nf st`tutbry cfhn`lgh`i rby`ity r`tf gs mftfrcglfm pursu`lt tb Xfhtgbl 006 be tnf Hbpyrgknt@ht. 0; V.X.H. § 006(h).
6
 ]nf Ighflsf @krffcflt prbvgmfs tn`t gt gs kbvfrlfm jy Lfw Wbra i`w.
HU-74 (45/4=)
HGUGI CGLV]FX - KFLFZ@I
T`kf : be 7
H`sf :?08-hv-46:57-KNA-EEC Mbhucflt :5 Egifm 00/:;/08 T`kf : be 7 T`kf GM #?84;
 
F-Egifm VLG]FM X]@]FX MGX]ZGH] HBVZ]HFL]Z@I MGX]ZGH] BE H@IGEBZLG@
HGUGI CGLV]FX - KFLFZ@I
H`sf Lb.HU 08-6:57-KNA (EECx)M`tfLbvfcjfr :;, :408]gtif
 @gcff C`ll v. Cfmg`Lft Mgkgt`i, Glh., ft `i.
l`tgbls– (’CEL–) ’j`sgs hblhfrlglk QgtsS p`ycflt ebr cfhn`lgh`i ighflsf effs.– (E@H µµ 5:, 58, 5=).C`ll hbltflms tn`t Cfmg`Lft‗s e`giurf tb hbcpiy wgtn tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt‗s rby`ity,`hhbultglk, `lm CEL prbvgsgbls `etfr Mfhfcjfr =, :445 eurtnfr sukkfsts tn`t tnf Ighflsf @krffcfltn`m gl e`ht flmfm bl tn`t m`tf. (E@H µ 5>). Gl tnf `itfrl`tgvf, ge tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt gs mffcfm tbn`vf lbt flmfm bl Mfhfcjfr =, :445, C`ll sffas tb lbw rfshglm gt ebr ’c`tfrg`i e`giurf be hblsgmfr`tgbl.– (E@H µ 57). C`ll hbltflms tn`t rfshgssgbl be tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt wbuim prbvgmf `l`itfrl`tgvf j`sgs ebr hi`gcglk tn`t Cfmg`Lft‗s usfs be C`ll‗s hbcpbsgtgbls `etfr Mfhfcjfr =, :445hblstgtutfm hbpyrgknt glerglkfcflt. (E@H µ ;4).J`sfm bl tnf ebrfkbglk, tnf E@H `ssfrts egvf h`usfs be `htgbl? (0) mgrfht hbpyrgknt glerglkfcflt1(:) hbltrgjutbry hbpyrgknt glerglkfcflt1 (8) vgh`rgbus hbpyrgknt glerglkfcflt1 (=) glmuhglk hbpyrgkntglerglkfcflt1 `lm (6) rfshgssgbl. C`ll sffas m`c`kfs, ` hblstruhtgvf trust bvfr tnf cblfy bjt`glfm jyCfmg`Lft `s ` rfsuit be gts giifk`i fxpibgt`tgbl be nfr sblks, ` pfrc`lflt gloulhtgbl prbngjgtglk tnfhbltglufm glerglkfcflt be nfr sblks, `l brmfr mgrfhtglk tnf gcpbulmcflt br btnfr rf`sbl`jif mgspbsgtgblbe Cfmg`Lft‗s glerglkglk hbpgfs be nfr sblks, `lm `ttbrlfys‗ effs. Cfmg`Lft lbw cbvfs tb mgscgssf`hn be C`ll‗s egvf hi`gcs.
GG.Cbtgbl tb Mgscgss Xt`lm`rm
]b survgvf mgscgss`i ebr e`giurf tb st`tf ` hi`gc, ` hbcpi`glt cust sft ebrtn ’cbrf tn`l i`jfis `lm hblhiusgbls, `lm ` ebrcui`gh rfhgt`tgbl be tnf fifcflts be ` h`usf be `htgbl wgii lbt mb.–
 Jfii @ti. Hbrp.v. ]wbcjiy
, 664 V.X. 6==, 666 (:44;). ]nf hbcpi`glt cust hblt`gl e`htu`i `iifk`tgbls sueeghgflt tb’st`tf ` hi`gc tb rfigfe tn`t gs pi`usgjif bl gts e`hf.–
 Gm.
`t 666, 6;41
sff `isb @snhrbet v. Gqj`i
, 665 V.X.55:, 5;>-;7 (:447). @itnbukn wf cust `hhfpt tnf `iifk`tgbls be tnf hbcpi`glt `s truf `lm hblstruftnfc gl tnf igknt cbst e`vbr`jif tb tnf pi`gltgee, wf lffm lbt `hhfpt `s truf ifk`i hblhiusgbls ’h`st gl tnfebrc be e`htu`i `iifk`tgbls.–
[. Cglglk Hbulhgi v. [`tt 
, 5=8 E.:m 50>, 5:= (7tn Hgr. 07>0). ’Gl suc,ebr ` hbcpi`glt tb survgvf ` cbtgbl tb mgscgss, tnf lbl-hblhiusbry „e`htu`i hbltflt,‗ `lm rf`sbl`jifglefrflhfs erbc tn`t hbltflt, cust jf pi`usgjiy sukkfstgvf be ` hi`gc fltgtiglk tnf pi`gltgee tb rfigfe.–
 Cbss v. V.X. Xfhrft Xfrv
., 6;: E.8m 75:, 757 (7tn Hgr. :447).
GGG. Mgshussgbl@.Hbpyrgknt Hi`gcs
Cfmg`Lft `rkufs tn`t C`ll‗s hi`gc ebr mgrfht glerglkfcflt snbuim jf mgscgssfm jfh`usf? (g) Cfmg`Lft n`m ` v`igm ighflsf `t `ii rfifv`lt tgcfs `lm tnfrfebrf h`llbt jf ig`jif ebr hbpyrgkntglerglkfcflt, `lm (gg) tnf Ighflsf @krffcflt w`s lbt tfrcgl`tfm bl Mfhfcjfr =, :445 `s ` c`ttfr be i`w. ]nf vg`jgigty be Cfmg`Lft‗s egrst `rkucflt, be hbursf, gs fltgrfiy hbltglkflt bl gts sfhblm `rkucflt. J`sfm bl hif`riy fst`jigsnfm h`sf i`w (`lm sgcpiy `s ` c`ttfr be hbccbl sflsf), C`ll
HU-74 (45/4=)
HGUGI CGLV]FX - KFLFZ@I
T`kf 8 be 7
H`sf :?08-hv-46:57-KNA-EEC Mbhucflt :5 Egifm 00/:;/08 T`kf 8 be 7 T`kf GM #?84>

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