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My Copyrights Are Being Infringed

Blue Springs, MO |

Roughly 5 years ago a well known artist used 10 of my beats for online releases without my consent or any agreement being made.They were not being sold on an actual album anywhere just mixtape stuff so I did not think it was a huge deal at the time. Well in the last year I tried to upload one of the instrumentals I made for him to my Youtube and it was flagged for copyright reasons so I immediately contacted who flagged me which was Google Play and let them know I was the owner of that content.I started looking in to it a little further and noticed all the songs i produced for this artist had been published in NOV 2012 and were being sold now on platforms such as itunes, Amazon,Google Play, Spotify ect.I then got an email from a company called IPX who is a distributor/label in Houston TX.They told me that the artist went bankrupt and they purchased all his music but were unaware that I had been unpaid.They at that point told me to write an agreement up which I did.I was only asking for $500 a track as well as my standard % from this point forward.They responded and said that that was no problem and to just give them some time to get the paperwork handled.. Well it has now been a year of hearing the same exact thing "Please wait just one more month"....The deadline on the cease and desist letter I sent all parties involved was set for the 15th of Jan and the head of IPX Harold Blakslee is saying that they are not going to pay and that it will end up costing me more to take them to court then I will get.I feel as though I have an open and shut case I have ALL the copyrights as well as proof of contact with the artist initially.I also have several screen shots of the agreements we made via email regarding them paying me 5k for the records.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Doesn't seem like you are asking a question. Obviously litigation is costly and can be expensive. You should consult with a copyright litigator to closely review your case, facts and provide an assessment.

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Asker

Posted

My question is were can I find one willing to take on my case at an affordable price.Everyone is telling me 5k just to start the claim...

Victor Calvin Johnson

Victor Calvin Johnson

Posted

It is unlikely you will find someone to take a copyright infringment case on a contingency, which means you must pay by the hour. Most attorneys will require a retainer up front. $5,000 (or more) is about what you will find from any IP attorney. A case like this could cost you a lot more to take all the way to trial. You can use the search function to find an IP attorney on here.

Asker

Posted

So basically I am screwed...I do not have 5k and this person is just going to be able to continue to sell my copywriten material online everywhere without my consent for a profit.Seems like we need other options in place in order to make it possible to fix this situation.Thanks for your fast answers they are much appreciated!

Russell William Kinsey

Russell William Kinsey

Posted

Two things. First, if you do have the copyrights registered you are statutorily entitled to attorneys fees so you could take out a loan to cover the litigation expenses until you reach a judgment. And furthermore, you may not have to go through a whole trial so it might be worth it just to have an attorney draft a cease and desist and see if they will respond more favorably to an attorney. Second, if they continue to use the song and make money, you have a potential claim for the new use and its corresponding value. So when the song really makes the big bucks, your case may become more economically feasible for an attorney to handle.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for your response, is there any way i can get itunes, amazon and google play to show me the sales reports on all the albums that are being sold so I have an idea of how many have sold?

Russell William Kinsey

Russell William Kinsey

Posted

Is there a way? Sure but it will likely require you to retain an attorney who will ask them for an accounting but this may be tricky where your rights are currently in dispute.

Posted

"Having the copyrights" is key, but it is not clear what you mean by that. If you mean your beats were registered in the U.S. Copyright office, you may be in a position to recover both infringement damages and attorneys' fees. Nonetheless, there may be defenses they may wish to exploit, for example you "did not think it was a huge deal at the time," so they may argue you acquiesced, or tacitly agreed or that it would be inequitable for you now to pursue the claims. You should consult a copyright lawyer.

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Posted

You wrote that: "Roughly 5 years ago a well known artist used 10 of my beats for online releases without my consent or any agreement being made."

Five years ago you KNEW a "well known artist" copied and published your music and yet you chose not do anything about it. Why do you think you can do something about it now? Have your own copyright attorney review the matter but my take is that the well known artist can easily defend the case by asserting that you've sat on your rights [the "laches" defense]. This likelihood precludes, in my opinion, the possibility that an attorney will take your case on contingency.

The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.

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Asker

Posted

I never aggred or knew the music was published officialy.The music was recorded to but NEVER published for sale until Nov 2012.

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Posted

Your copyrights [assuming they exist] were first infringed when they were copied by the well known artist. Which you knew occurred five years ago. That is outside the three year statute of limitations to enforce your "reproduction" right in your music. Moreover, for the last five years you've been on notice that the artist could publish your music. Your obligation to take some action to protect your "distribution" rights began when you knew, or had reason to know, that you music was published. You had a reason to know five years ago but took no action to investigate whether your rights were infringed.

Asker

Posted

I see what you are saying but my point is that the artist and I never agreed EVER to any form of sales agreement.The artist also never went through the copyright process.I however did copyright each instrumental and registered them.When the songs were recorded to it was fine with me because no one was profiting off my material.Now someone is with no consent from me but that is legally ok now for them to do so?

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Posted

If you have a right but chose not to enforce it for a significant period of time against a person you know is violating that right the law will, generally, permit the violator to continue. After all, you did.

Asker

Posted

So lets say I recorded song to a famous persons music and if they recognized my recording but chose not to care because I was not famous or profiting off it.If I then waited 5 years and released that song for sale everywere I could win the case based on that defense?

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Posted

Quite likely. Every case has its own facts so every case has to be evaluated on its own merits.

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