Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lady and the Lawsuit, technology and copyright -- post on Cartoon Brew

Peggy Lee was a famous singer and songwriter who became part Disney animation history with her contributions to "Lady and the Tramp." She co-wrote songs for the film and voiced four characters: Peg the peke; both Siamese cats; and "Darling," the female half of the couple who owned Lady.

When Disney released "Lady and the Tramp" on VHS in the 1980s, Peggy Lee ended up in a lawsuit with Disney ...

Here's a link to the terrific Sept 2015 article by Brian Gabriel, legal analyst for Cartoon Brew, about the lawsuit and its impact.

An excerpt:

"Lee was vindicated. She proved Disney, and its army of lawyers, could be beaten. “I’m not being a saint, saying I don’t want the money — I want it,’ Lee told the NY Times. “I think it’s shameful that artists can’t share financially from the success of their work. That’s the only way we can make our living.”
For its part, Disney also learned something quite well. Now, its standard contractual language requires that artists surrender rights to their work for exploitation in “all media, now known or hereafter devised.”
This article is a reminder that new technology brings new issues for copyright law. Artists today continue the fight to conserve vital creative in the face of new uses for their creative work.

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