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In March 2016, the popular music streaming service, Spotify, reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) to cover billions of unlicensed streams from member publishers dating back to the service’s U.S. launch in 2011.[1] Spotify will pay $25 million to publishers and songwriters and $5 million in punitive damages—a sum many are calling an easy break for the billion dollar streaming service.[2] Those who had their mechanical license rights infringed had until June 30, 2016, to opt-in to a settlement agreement between the NMPA and Spotify. The NMPA negotiated the settlement with Spotify on behalf of its members.[3]The pros and cons of opting-in have been hotly debated as class action lawsuits, such as those brought by singer David Lowery and singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick, have been filed.

TattooStephen G. Rickershauser, a law student at Brooklyn Law School, is GSB's spring 2016 legal extern working out of its New York office.

What rights based in copyright law does a tattoo artist have in a tattoo itself, and to what extent can an artist use those rights to restrict the rights of others, including the people whose skin has been inked?

In February, Solid Oak Sketches LLC, a company holding the copyrights to eight NBA players’ tattoos, sued the videogame makers of NBA 2K16 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.   The Complaint alleged that the videogame makers, Take Two Interactive Software Inc., infringed on the company’s right to license its copyrights in the tattoo designs when the videogame maker depicted the tattoos in its recent game without the company’s permission.[1]

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The Sports, Arts and Entertainment Group at Garvey Schubert Barer provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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