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Oldies Say: "Honor Our Contracts!" (II)
Highest Court New York Supreme Court
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Artist(s)
Chambers Brothers
Coasters
Drifters
Main Ingredient
Defendants Bertelsman Music Group (BMG)
Sony Music
Time Warner, Inc.
Universal Music Group
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Following the earlier, complex holding in "Oldies Say: 'Honor Our Contracts!' (I)," in which the Court of Appeals remanded the District Court's dismissal on these same facts, the New York trial court and its Appellate Division here found for Defendants. The issue was whether Defendants breached any contractual or fiduciary duties to Plaintiffs (members of the Chambers Brothers, Coasters, Drifters, and Main Ingredient) when they distributed their earlier-recorded songs digitally, through MP3.com and others. In this suit, New York's courts held the initial recording agreements, which granted 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," plainly granted Defendants the rights to distribute the songs digitally. Thus any actions arising from Defendants' digital releases could not survive dismissal. Further, Defendants were indeed allotting Plaintiffs money earned from digital sales (and lawsuits brought against downloading entities). Defendants complied with the plain language of the contract, and breached no other duties to Plaintiffs, so other state claims, such as breach of good faith/fair dealing and negligence, were dismissed as well. Despite numerous holdings, the initial District Court holding and the final ruling in state court were in agreement. That's a lot of wasted time, money, and paper. - LSW

Legal Issues
Business Associations Fiduciary Relationships Fiduciary Duties
Conflicts of Law Jurisdiction & Forum Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Contracts Breach Good Faith & Fair Dealing
    Payment & Performance
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
General Affirmative Defenses Statutes of Limitation
Torts Negligence Negligent Supervision, Procedures & Precautions


Opinions Silvester v. Time Warner, Inc.
787 N.Y.S.2d 870
New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division , January 25, 2005 ( _ )


Silvester v. Time Warner, Inc.
763 N.Y.S.2d 912
New York Supreme Court , June 20, 2003 ( _ )


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Related Searches Parties
Artist(s) ( Plaintiff )
Bertelsman Music Group (BMG) ( Defendant )
Chambers Brothers ( Plaintiff )
Coasters ( Plaintiff )
Drifters ( Plaintiff )
Main Ingredient ( Plaintiff )
Sony Music ( Defendant )
Time Warner, Inc. ( Defendant )
Universal Music Group ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Business Associations / Fiduciary Relationships / Fiduciary Duties
Conflicts of Law / Jurisdiction & Forum / Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Contracts / Breach / Good Faith & Fair Dealing
Contracts / Breach / Payment & Performance
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
General / Affirmative Defenses / Statutes of Limitation
Torts / Negligence / Negligent Supervision, Procedures & Precautions

Courts
New York Supreme Court (highest court)
New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division


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