Skip to content

It looks like we may have content for your preferred language. Would you like to view this page in English?

Copyright Licensing: John Waite v. UMG Recordings, Inc.

Plaintiffs, a group of musicians and recording artists, brought a putative class action against Universal Music Group (UMG) for copyright infringement and injunctive and declaratory relief, claiming UMG continued to exploit the artists’ sound recordings despite their having served notices of termination of their grants of rights in the recordings to UMG or its predecessors under Section 203 of the Copyright Act.

Plaintiffs moved for class certification and the appointment of class representatives—Leonard Graves Phillips and Stan Sobol of the punk rock band The Dickies; Steve Wynn, Dennis Mehaffey, and David Pellish of the alternative rock band Dream Syndicate; and rock singer-songwriter Susan Straw Harris. The district court denied the motion, ruling that the individualized and fact-intensive nature of UMG’s copyright defenses precluded certification and rendered aggregate adjudication inappropriate.

In this The Licensing Journal Vol. 43 No. 4 article written by Litigation partner Tal Dickstein and associate Jordan Meddy the authors discuss the putative class action case John Waite v. UMG Recordings, Inc. involving recording artists’ attempts to terminate their grants of rights to record labels.