Your Rights

LoudTrax Interview + Music Law Advice

November 7, 2012

Strengthened by Cheryl Hodgson’s extensive network in the music industry, Hodgson Legal has a strong history as a leader in Music Law. 

When artists form a band they need to ensure that the band name is legally clear of trademark conflicts, that they can copyright their music and protect their logo. Should the band become the next Beatles, the iconic music “brand” needs to be enforceable.

Cheryl Hodgson participated in a conversation with rock-n-roll website Loud Trax to offer some free advice on how bands can protect their name and brand. For any artist hoping to make it big, it’s an informative read. 

Click here to view the LoudTrax Interview on Brandaide, a website filled with expert brand-building advice.

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Vote NO to GMO

November 5, 2012

Proposition 37, a California initiative that would mandate the labeling of genetically modified foods (GMO) will be on the November 6th ballot. Affecting many clients in the Conscious Lifestyle and Natural Foods industries, it’s a subject that is important to this firm and its clients.

In short, the initiative requires manufacturers to label food that has been made from genetically modified plants or animals and prohibits them from advertising those foods as “natural.”

California Right to Know, the organization fueling the initiative, submitted 971,126 signatures to get the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot. According to the organization, the initiative will increase consumer awareness “because consumers have the right to know what’s in our food.”

Cheryl Hodgson has written this open letter expressing her viewpoint on GMOs and Prop 37.

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Musicians: Double Your Royalty Income

October 11, 2012

By Cheryl L. Hodgson

ROYALTIES:  usage-based payments made by one party (the “licensee”) to another (the “licensor”) for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property (IP).

Authors routinely transfer ownership of the copyright in creative works to music publishers, record companies, book publishers, and other distributors of copyrighted works.  

Recapture of valuable income producing copyrights will often double income from future U.S exploitation.

Artists say “Give us back our songs and masters!”

Here are three possible ways to recapture rights:

  • Statutory- “It’s been nice, pay me what’s fair or I’m out of here.”
  • Judicial- “You forgot to pay me so I’m taking my work and going home.”
  • Contractual- “I had a great lawyer the first time around”

In this article, we explore the statutory, copyright termination right, found in the U.S. Copyright Act.  (Our next article explores the judicial and contractual means of recapture, in which we examine the precedent setting case of the “Louie Louie” master in which our firm recaptured rights to the Kingsmen masters, and a more recent jury verdict involving Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds. Read the judge’s decision in that Hodgson Legal precedent-setting case.

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Protect Your Intellectual Property

October 11, 2012

Knowing the answers to questions like these will put you on the path to protecting your brands, copyrights, and other valuable intellectual property.

  1. Does your business model require disclosing confidential information to third parties, such as investors, suppliers, vendors or potential strategic partners?
  2. Are you introducing potential buyers and sellers of a business or other assets to each other in anticipation of a transaction?
  3. Are you involved in the purchase or sale of a business and preparing for due diligence to review the legal standing of intangible assets involved in the transaction?
  4. Do you have a novel invention or business method that may quality for patent protection?
  5. Do you have proprietary software to operate a site or systems in your company, or software which you license to others?
  6. Do you know your competitors and what they are up to in their advertising?
  7. Have you hired third parties to create content such as logos, copy, graphic design, or other artistic material? If so, do you have written agreements as to ownership ?
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