May 21, 2019

Over The Rainbow composer sues Apple and other tech firms for piracy

The estate of Harold Arlen - who wrote such American songbook classics as Over The Rainbow and Get Happy - is suing some of the world's biggest tech firms. Benny Goodman's 1955 album Get Happy, on the Capitol Records label, is $7.99 on Google Play and Amazon, alongside a Pickwick Group copy which sells for $6.99. "It is hard to imagine that a person walking into Tower Records, off the street, with arms full of CDs and vinyl records and claiming to be the record label for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, could succeed in having that store sell their copies directly next to the same albums released by legendary record labels, Capitol, RCA, and Columbia, and at a lower price," stated Arlen's lawyers. Some of the recordings cited in Arlen's court papers are still protected by copyright in Europe; while the compositions themselves are not in the public domain. The estate is suing dozens of record labels alongside the online retailers, which it claims have "Continued to work with" alleged pirates despite having knowledge of copyright infringement "For several years".

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