Santa Monica, CA asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for California

Q: What are my chances with an Incidental Fair Use Defense? and how much to Defend my rights?

I'm a journalist with a Youtube channel that covers local news at Venice Beach. I did a 30-minute story on the reopening of Venice Skate park and during the story, you can hear 60 seconds of incidental music playing in the background. I received a copyright notice from the music owner. However, I believe my use of the music is covered under Fair Use (Incidental Use). I sent the following letter to the music owner. “ The filming and recording of the song as part of my news report was wholly fortuitous, entirely uncomplicated by any prior intent on my part to film that particular song. The resulting news broadcast in no manner constituted a subterfuge or cover for private or commercial exploitation. The use of the song was incidental to the overall, informative purpose of the newscast." I want to fight this and have 10K reserved for this fight. Just would like to get your thoughts on my chances and maybe find a good attorney too! I live in the Santa Monica Venice area. Thanks

2 Lawyer Answers
Robert P. Cogan
Robert P. Cogan pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the limited set of facts, this appears to be worth looking into. We are not allowed to seek business through the Q&A. You need to look someone up in the Justia Lawyer Directory. However, I would note that I work with LA County and Ventura County.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: You should get a consultation with an attorney

But it is not clear if the business asked for compensation, how much, or anything else.

60 seconds of a song is almost a 1/3 of the whole song.

But it is only 3% of your overall story.

Maybe worth trying to negotiate and resolve this.

Best luck

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