News & Events

March 06, 2023

McLoughlin Authors Article on Right of Publicity and Copyright for Lawyers for the Creative Arts

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP associate Mark J. McLoughlin recently authored an article entitled "You Wouldn't Get This From Any Other Guy" for Lawyers for the Creative Arts. The article breaks down Rick Astley's recent lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against rising star rapper Yung Gravy. Astley alleges that, although Yung Gravy had permission from the songwriters to interpolate Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” into “Betty (Get Money), Yung Gravy did not have permission to hire a singer to imitate Astley’s famous voice. By using a sound-alike, Yung Gravy violated his right of publicity and falsely implied that Astley endorsed the track.

The article addresses the difference and interplay between the right of publicity and copyright, the different types of copyrights in a song, sampling vs. interpolation, possible problems with Rick Astley’s argument, and what this could mean for music creators in the future.

Mark is an associate attorney in the firm's Chicago office. He specializes in Entertainment and Media Law and has experience with a variety of industry-specific contracts, such as recording agreements, producer agreements, and music management agreements. Mark is a volunteer attorney with Lawyers for the Creative Arts' and is an Executive Board At Large Member of the Associate Board. Learn more about Mark and his practice.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to artists and arts communities that are financially unable to retain legal counsel. LCA conducts workshops on not-for-profit incorporation and tax exemption, seminars on the law of music, publishing, film, copyright, and mentors young attorneys. In the past twelve months, LCA has provided services to over 2000 people and organizations in all areas of the arts. Learn more about the Lawyers for the Creative Arts.

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