Fashion Law: Musician SUES Over Unauthorized Use of Song on America’s Next Top Model #fashionlaw

In Entertainment Law, Fashion Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

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Designers, fashion television producers, this is a case you all should pay attention to. When you use music that does not belong to you, you need to obtain clearance for that work. If you are wondering why, revisit my discussions on Copyright Infringement here. You should consult with your lawyers who will help you obtain the rights and usage you need. The case below illustrates this important point to note.

“According to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in California, at least 15 of Richardson’s recordings have been broadcast on multiple occasions without license or payment. Richardson and Zion Records are looking for an injunction and damages.
A CBS spokesperson says “this is a claim that is very much off key and has absolutely no merit”

Music on television typically requires both a sync license and a performance license from the copyright holder. But it’s the producer’s job to keep track of the music used. To do this, producers use an honor-code system of “cue sheets” to denote what music is used on a show. The cue sheets are then turned into performance rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI, which use the information to split up royalty collection.
It’s not a perfect system, and it’s been subject to much grumbling among artists, as well as a few lawsuits.

In this particular case, when Richardson watched America’s Next Top Model, he heard music that sounded very familiar. To prevail in a copyright case, he’ll have to beat the tough test that judges impose for infringement. But Richardson also saw something else on Top Model that he doesn’t find attractive.

He alleges that there are artists and artist administrators who are receiving money out of the show’s music budget — just not always the ones whose songs are being played.”

-THR, Esq. has the full story.

If you have questions about the legal issue raised here, you may contact me at (



WHAT IS Fashionentlaw™: It is a law blog discussing hot topics in pop culture that arise primarily out of the fashion industry and intersects/ collides with the law. WHAT I DO: My name is Uduak Oduok and I am a California licensed attorney who helps creatives and business owners sleep better at night by protecting their creativity and reputation, securing their rights, and helping them with the monetization of their intellectual assets. WHO I WORK WITH: I have counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors, actresses, and designers, to diverse business owners in numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark, and intellectual property law. I bring over two decades of first-hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries (modeling, retail, production, public relations, journalism, and publishing). I am an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries. INTERESTED IN TALKING TO ME ABOUT LEGAL REPRESENTATION? To arrange a consultation to discuss your case, contact me today at 916-361-6506 or email me directly at ( Full bio: Ms. Uduak Bio/ Twitter @uduaklaw

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