Case Study : Syco Music And Copyright Infringement

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To: Clive Gooding, Partner
From: Marcus Watson, Junior Solicitor
RE: Syco Music – Copyright Infringement
Date: 23 March 2015

Syco Entertainment (Syco) should respond to the claim by Sony Music Entertainment (Sony) denying any copyright infringement, thus prepare for legal action.

On 14 March 2015, Sony approached Syco regarding a claim of copyright infringement. It stated the song ‘Live While We’re Young’ (infringing work) by ‘One Direction’ used a substantial part of ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ (original work) by ‘The Clash’.

It outlined that 5 per cent of all royalties earned should be granted to Sony. The part of the original work alleged to be used was the first two bars. Additionally, Sony threatened to take the matter to court if it was not resolved in negotiation.

‘One Direction’s’ song ‘Live While We’re Young’ was written by Carl Falk, Nicholas Headon, Mick Jones, Savan Kotecha, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer and Rami Ycoub.

Nicholas Headon, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer wrote ‘The Clash’s’ song ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’.

The co-authors of the works were performers from ‘The Clash’.

Epic Records (owned by Sony) agreed with The Clash that their studios were to be used for the sole purpose of recording musical works. Epic Records did not employ The Clash by contract.

Legal issues to be considered are:

1. Should Sony receive a remedy from the sale of the infringing work?

1.1. Does ‘Live While We’re Young’ infringe the
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