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Oldies Say: "Honor Our Contracts!" (I)
Highest Court Second Circuit
Year Ended 2002
Plaintiffs Artist(s)
Chambers Brothers
Coasters
Drifters
Main Ingredient
Defendants Arista Records
Atlantic Records
Bertelsman Music Group (BMG)
Columbia Records
Elektra Records
MCA Records
MP3.com
Polydor Records
RCA Records
Sony Corporation
Time Warner, Inc.
Universal Music Group
Warner Bros. Records
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Members of the Main Ingredient, the Chambers Brothers, the Coasters, and the Original Drifters sued record companies for copyright and trademark infringement, among numerous other state actions, saying their contracts in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s did not authorize record labels to digitize their analog recordings. The District Court granted judgment for Defendants, dismissing Plaintiffs' complaints, finding the initial contracts assigned to Defendants "the unrestricted right to manufacture, use, distribute and sell sound productions of the performances recorded hereunder made by any method now known, or hereafter to become known." This expansive language was held sufficient to grant rights to digital reproductions. Further, Plaintiffs' efforts to rephrase their complaints alternatively under the Lanham Act were rejected; any association implied by MP3.com's use of Plaintiffs' bands' names on their website was "nominative," merely listing the content provided. On appeal, however, the Second Circuit vacated the lower court's holding. Regarding the licenses easily interpreted below, the appellate court held that the "motion to dismiss" should have been converted to a motion for summary judgment, because the court considered extrinsic evidence (their union's rule code) relating to the intended meaning the word "recording" in the initial contract, which may only have related to phonograph recordings. Regarding these and the Lanham claims, the Court of Appeals told the District Court to consider whether to grant Plaintiffs an opportunity to replead and present sufficient evidence to support their complaints. However, on remand, the District Court held it lacked jurisdiction anyway, dismissing the Lanham claims and finding the copyright-related claims to be issues of contract interpretation. A state case, "Oldies Say: 'Honor Our Contracts!' (II)," was subsequently brought in New York state court, which found similarly to the District Court's original holding here - LSW

Legal Issues
Business Associations Fiduciary Relationships Fiduciary Duties
Constitutional Law First Amendment Fair Use, Parody & Artistic Protection
Contracts Breach Payment & Performance
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Torts Negligence Negligent Supervision, Procedures & Precautions
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
  State Statute/Common Law Right of Publicity
    Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc.
282 F.3d 147
Second Circuit , February 21, 2002 ( No. 01-7010 )


Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc.
123 F. Supp.2d 198
S.D. New York , December 04, 2000 ( No. 00 CIV. 2839(JSR) )


Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc.
55 Fed.R.Serv.3d 324
S.D. New York , March 05, 2003 ( No. 00 Civ. 2839(JSR) )


Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc.
55 Fed.R.Serv.3d 322
S.D. New York , March 12, 2003 ( No. 00 Civ. 2839(JSR) )


In re Bausch & Lomb, Inc. Securities Litigation
2003 WL 23101782
W.D. New York , March 28, 2003 ( No. 01-CV-6190-CJS )


Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc.
279 F.Supp.2d 362
S.D. New York , August 29, 2003 ( No. 00 Civ. 2839(JSR) )


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Related Searches Parties
Arista Records ( Defendant )
Artist(s) ( Plaintiff )
Atlantic Records ( Defendant )
Bertelsman Music Group (BMG) ( Defendant )
Chambers Brothers ( Plaintiff )
Coasters ( Plaintiff )
Columbia Records ( Defendant )
Drifters ( Plaintiff )
Elektra Records ( Defendant )
Main Ingredient ( Plaintiff )
MCA Records ( Defendant )
MP3.com ( Defendant )
Polydor Records ( Defendant )
RCA Records ( Defendant )
Sony Corporation ( Defendant )
Time Warner, Inc. ( Defendant )
Universal Music Group ( Defendant )
Warner Bros. Records ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Business Associations / Fiduciary Relationships / Fiduciary Duties
Constitutional Law / First Amendment / Fair Use, Parody & Artistic Protection
Contracts / Breach / Payment & Performance
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Torts / Negligence / Negligent Supervision, Procedures & Precautions
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Right of Publicity
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
Second Circuit (highest court)
S.D. New York
W.D. New York


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