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Davy DMX Wants DMC Royalties
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Music Publisher(s)
Defendants Music Publisher(s)
Warner-Chappell Music
Other Def Jam Records
DMX, Davy
Short Description Plaintiff is a music publisher that was assigned copyright interest in Run DMC's mid-1980s output by the band's early producer, sampling progenitor Davy DMX, who also DJ'd for Kurtis Blow and produced Lovebug Starski. Davy co-authored the eight musical compositions at issue in this suit, for which Rush Groove (the music publisher loosely-associated with Def Jam Records) owed him royalty payments. At some point prior to this suit, Rush transferred its contractual duties and interests to Defendant music publisher. Defendant refused to acknowledge Davy's interest in the compositions, and did not account to Davy for profits as the contract required Rush to do. Plaintiff brought suit, requesting a declaratory judgment of co-ownership and an accounting. Defendants counterclaimed. Unfortunately, when Davy contracted with Rush, he assigned copyright ownership to Rush, and thus only retained a royalty interest. More importantly, the agreement contained a provision releasing Defendant specifically from any lawsuits arising thereunder. In other words, Plaintiff's copyright claims were insufficient, and demands for overdue payments lay not with Defendant, but with Rush, regardless whether Defendant was then obligated to pay Plaintiff's royalties. The court granted Plaintiff leave to amend its complaint to show why the entire cause of action should not be dismissed. - LSW

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Accounting
  Ownership Declaratory Judgment
    Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General Affirmative Defenses Statutes of Limitation

Opinions Reach Music Pub., Inc. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
2010 WL 3023981
S.D. New York , August 03, 2010 ( No. 09 Civ. 5580(LTS) )

Reach Music Pub., Inc. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
2009 WL 3496115
S.D. New York , October 23, 2009 ( No. 09 Civ. 5580(LTS) )

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Related Searches Parties
Def Jam Records ( Other )
DMX, Davy ( Other )
Music Publisher(s) ( Plaintiff )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Run DMC ( Other )
Warner-Chappell Music ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Accounting
Copyrights / Ownership / Declaratory Judgment
Copyrights / Ownership / Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General / Affirmative Defenses / Statutes of Limitation

S.D. New York (highest court)

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