box1 header1
Entry Detail
Terms of Use The data on this site is for education, insights, and entertainment, and is not to be used for commercial purposes. If you want to use content for noncommercial purposes, be kind and give us due credit. To read the full Terms of Use, click here.
Options Conduct New Search
Copy Permalink to this Item
 
Producer vs. Hi-Tek, Jonnell, and Labels
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2006
Plaintiffs Music Producer(s)
Defendants DJ Hi-Tek
Jonnell
Music Publisher(s)
Priority Records
Record Label(s)
UMG Records
Universal Studios
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description One of the defendants, Cottrell, better known as the Cincinnati-based rapper Hi-Tek, ran a recording studio. He met the Plaintiff, a childhood acquaintance, and allowed him entry into the studio. Cottrell was working in the studio with another Defendant, Showes, on a song called "Raw Game." The Plaintiff heard their take and made some lyrical changes. The song eventually became a minor hit called "Round and Round." The Defendants licensed the song without giving any credit to the Plaintiff. The song was included in the soundtrack to the movie "How High," for which the Plaintiff did receive authorship. The Plaintiff registered the song with ASCAP, receiving over $10,000. This was done without the defendants' permission, as they are members of BMI. The Court noted several issues of fact concerning whether the Plaintiff had granted the Defendant's liberty to change his suggested lyrics and the total amount of his contributions. The Plaintiff, self-represented, claimed breach of fiduciary duty against Cottrell and Showes, misappropriation, and copyright infringement. The Court allowed the copyright claims to proceed. The Count there was no special circumstances in the Plaintiff and Defendants' relationship that gave rise to a fiduciary duty; the Plaintiff's inexperience in the industry is not enough. The Court also found that his state misappropriation claim was preempted by the Federal Copyright Act. The Court liberally examined the Plaintiff's pleadings, finding that there were questions about how he perceived himself in the songwriting process and the degree to which he retained control over the use of his lyrical suggestions. The Court noted his licensing efforts and his attribution in the movie soundtrack. The Court denied the Defendant's later motion for reconsideration. - JMC

Legal Issues
Business Associations Fiduciary Relationships Fiduciary Duties
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General Affirmative Defenses Federal Preemption
Trademarks & Unfair Competition State Statute/Common Law Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Mills v. Cottrell
2006 WL 3635325
S.D. New York , December 08, 2006 ( No. 04 Civ. 5562 PKC )


Errors Do you see something that is not correct?
The Discography is an ongoing project. Some entries in the database are displayed in various stages of completion. If you see spelling or grammar issues, they are likely to be corrected in the near future as they're noticed by editors (they're on the "To Do" list, we promise). But If you notice errors regarding facts, legal conclusions, or other information, please contact us to let us know. We've done our best, but can't assure perfection. Thank you.


Related Searches Parties
DJ Hi-Tek ( Defendant )
Jonnell ( Defendant )
Music Producer(s) ( Plaintiff )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Priority Records ( Defendant )
Record Label(s) ( Defendant )
UMG Records ( Defendant )
Universal Studios ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Business Associations / Fiduciary Relationships / Fiduciary Duties
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General / Affirmative Defenses / Federal Preemption
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)


permalink to this entry