Universal starts lawsuit in California against VH1

| Sep 3, 2014 | Copyright Law

A show on VH1, known as “Masters of the Mix,” is the subject of a new lawsuit that was recently filed in California. The show has already had a number of different seasons, but this lawsuit focuses only on the third season, one that people watched back in 2013.

The basic idea of the show is that DJs enter a competition on television, pitting them against each other. The top DJ, the one who wins the entire competition, is given the title of the official DJ for Smirnoff, a company that produces vodka. The winning DJ also takes home a cash prize of a quarter of a million dollars.

The lawsuit comes from Universal Music, while claims that a lot of the music used on the show was copyrighted by them and their artists. They say that the producers of the show did not have permission to use the songs, which the DJs used while performing. They say this constitutes copyright infringement since the show was then used as a product.

Interestingly, they do note that the proper steps were followed the first two seasons of the show, and all of the music was licensed properly before being used and broadcast. After that, however, they say that the third season did not get all of the licensing that it needed.

Artists whose music was used include Daft Punk, Nirvana, Kanye West and many more.

Copyright law can be somewhat complicated in the modern day, with the ease of access to artistic works, but it is important for people to know exactly what rights they have and what steps they can take if those rights have been violated.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Universal Music Sues Over VH1 DJ Competition Series” Eriq Gardner, Aug. 26, 2014

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