In what songwriter David Frazier referred to as the modern David and Goliath, a black owned law firm, now based in Atlanta, GA, settled with Sony Music over claims that the label persuaded artists to use other means of representation. The details of the settlement, which was filed a decade ago, were not released, but James L. Walker Jr., leader of the firm, alleges that Verity Gospel Division, a division of Sony BMG, often threatened clients who used his firm. Additionally, Walker claimed the label defamed the firm and intentionally omitted the company from album credits.
“For decades black lawyers have been treated with second class treatment and constantly having to prove that they can do quality legal work. It is very harmful when representatives from Sony, a major player, encourages and fosters these false stereotypes…knowing we work twice as hard as everyone,” said Walker. “Often labels want artists to use attorneys that the labels can control –this avoids paying the artists their worth and saves the labels millions of dollars and is clearly a conflict of interest. When you decide to lie about a firm and threaten artists, you have crossed the line,” he added.
Walker insists that despite the label’s tactics, he has prevailed because of hard work and a good track record. His firm has worked with artists like Hezekiah Walker, Jamie Foxx, Freddie Jackson, Rick James, DMX, and Shirley Caesar.
- Jewel Wicker
Since its founding in 2008 Roc Nation has become a popular and powerful brand. The company serves as a label, and management group for artists and, now, athletes.
Yesterday Roc Nation’s founder Jay-Z announced a partnership with Universal Music Group. The deal will make Roc Nation a small label under the major label, giving artists both the intimacy and the power they need.
A few weeks ago we did a post on Prince’s long copyright battle, but the fight is long from over. The singer makes no apologies when it comes to protecting his material, and that’s why his label NPG Records sent a complaint to Twitter’s Vine asking that they remove eight clips that contained “unauthorized records.” The clips have since been removed from the social media site that allows users to upload short clips.
It won’t be the last time someone attempts to post the singer’s music online, but for now Prince wins again.
What would you tell your 21 year old self?
A few months ago we posted an article about the ongoing copyright disputes surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech and today the King estate is fighting a new copyright battle.
In 2011 President Obama and Dr. King’s family unveiled a monument dedicated to the civil rights leader in Washington, D.C. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, the organization behind the monument, has now been forced to change their name, as Dr. King’s children decided to no longer grant the organization a license to use their father’s name.
The organization payed $2.7 million to use King’s name and copyrighted material at the monument, but it seems the organization and King’s estate have long disagreed on who would receive the profits earned in the memorial’s bookstore.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the restrictions on King’s legacy.
“King’s legacy has a reduced visibility and less substantive visibility because of the family’s demands,” said historian David Garrow.
Despite the fact that many believe the King estate’s strict regulation of Dr. King’s image could end up damaging his name in the end, King’s family still makes all final decisions when it comes to his copyrighted material, allowing them to retain indefinite control over their father’s brand.
Source: Roland Martin Reports