Nashville Songwriters, Frost Specialty Offer Copyright Infringement Insurance

July 16, 2009

  • July 16, 2009 at 1:02 am
    matt says:
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    This seems like a strange coverage to carry?

    So when does it respond — does it respond to private infringement not for any monetary gain (i.e. a 13 year old kid uploads someone’s album onto KaZaa, and then the insurer tries to get a settlement out of the kid’s family)?

    Or is this commercial infringement for monetary gain only (i.e. someone is selling unauthorized copies of a CD on the street corner)?

    What happens when someone does a mashup that has a couple of seconds of an old track from the 70’s? Is that even “infringement” or is it fair use? And if it is infringement would the insurance respond?

    What about a not-for-profit organization that uploads videos of campfire sing-a-longs? Is that infringement covered by the insurance? What is the payout?

    How can you “indemnify” someone for the loss of an infinite good? Intellectual property is not a “scarce good”. My car could get stolen, and my carrier would indemnify my tangible loss. But if someone posted an essay I wrote on a news site w/o giving me credit or compensation, what is my recourse? What is an appropriate measure of “indemnification” of my intangible loss which cannot be quantified?

    What about legal precedents? Take the Jammie Thomas case– does that precedent mean the insurance has to value a single instance of infringement at $80,000?

    What about unauthorized performances? Maybe an auto repair shop has a radio in the shop area that customers might be able to hear– isn’t that considered an “unauthorized performance” by organizations such as ASCAP — after all, just last month ASCAP demanded licensing fees from wireless providers since people might hear copyrighted songs via cellphone ringtones!

  • July 16, 2009 at 3:05 am
    gharr says:
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    I don’t think this is designed to cover suits related to people downloading songs or anything like that. If a songwriter inadvertently (presumably) creates a song that bears too much resemblance to another song the author or copyright owner of the other song can sue for royalties lost or for a portion of revenues earned on the song. An example of this type of litigation is the case against George Harrison re: My Sweet Lord.

  • July 16, 2009 at 4:00 am
    Josh says:
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    The coverages intent seems to be for intellectual property vs. performance rights…really a different matter. Regarding the camp fire sing alongs most of those songs are now “public domain”.

    I do agree it could be a tough case to prove copyright infringement, that said it would have to be copywrighted or have a very strong paper trail e.g. written/physical proof and have the ability to prove the “thief” intentionally “stole” the music and/or lryics.

    Looks like a really interesting new offering.

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