Three Simple Ways Katy Perry Could Have Avoided Creative Copyright Infringement

The lawsuit against Katy Perry’s copyright infringement for her smash hit, “Dark Horse”, has come to a close. The singer was found guilty for copyright infringement in August 2019, and it cost her a whopping $2.78 million.

While the defense team argued Perry used basic pop music building blocks for the song, the jury found otherwise. The lesson to be learned is that one can never be too careful.

So what steps can creatives take to avoid getting sued for copyright infringement?

Be inspired, but don’t copy.

There’s a blurred line between saying one was inspired by a creative piece, and actually “taking” a part of it for your original idea. Even if Perry had admitted to using another artist’s song as inspiration for “Dark Horse”, the verdict shows that she was inspired a bit too much. The lesson here: admire others, but stay 100% original. If you question whether it may violate copyright laws, it probably does.

If you really love something, ask permission.

So let’s say you really, really love a song (or photograph or painting, etc.) and want to use some of it in your music (or artwork, etc.), you’re better off just asking and getting written permission. Find out who the owner is and ask if you could use it or have a license to use it. It’ll be a hit or miss (and may even cost you some — or a lot — of money), but it’s better than getting sued later on.

When in doubt, look it up.

If you have any questions regarding copyright — including how much of a work you can use (and in what manner) — definitely consider talking to a lawyer or doing some research through the U.S. Copyright Office website. Their FAQ page at the Copyright Office site has tons of answers you may be searching for, too.

Going Live with Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang from VidCon!

Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang and Mitch Jackson

I’m excited to be joining Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang on live video this Wednesday (2 pm Pacific) to chat video, live video and my new book. Dr. Ai is at speaking this week at VidCon (10th Anniversary) and I’m honored to be part of her very busy day.

Look for the live show to be broadcasted on Dr. Ai’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope, and YouTube platforms.

Please make sure to join us live! 😉

#vidcon #livevideo

10 TIPS TO HELP CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

Big insurance companies will usually do whatever they can to delay and avoid paying California earthquake claims. I wish this wasn’t the case but, I’m expecting the same thing to happen with victims of the #Ridgecrest earthquake.

While our law firm does not normally handle earthquake claims, we do deal with big insurance companies on a daily basis and with the exception of just a few friends and agents in the insurance business, we generally don’t trust insurance companies as far as we can throw them. If you’re a victim of the recent Ridgecrest earthquake, you may want to use these 10 tips to help protect your rights and process your earthquake claims.

By the way, if you have legal questions or need legal help, we recommend that you contact an experienced law attorney in your home city or county. If you don’t know who to contact, try reaching out to your local Bar Association for a recommendation. If you need help finding a good lawyer in your area, this related video might help: “Three Good Ways To Find a GREAT Lawyer.”

I hope this video helps.

Mitch