Estate of ‘Over the Rainbow’ composer sues tech companies


Estate of ‘Over the Rainbow’ composer sues tech companies

Artspace /

The estate of composer Harold Arlen, who penned songs such as ‘Over The Rainbow’ and ‘Get Happy’, is suing a number of technology companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for copyright infringement.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month at the US District Court for the Central District of California, Arlen’s son claimed the tech companies were engaged in “massive piracy operations”.

In the complaint, filed May 9, Arlen’s estate said that more than 6,000 unauthorised digital copies of his songs have been distributed on platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, and Microsoft’s Groove Music.

The songs are often available on the music streaming services for higher prices than authorised copies sold by the record label, the complaint said.

A number of record companies were also named as defendants in the suit for allegedly distributing the music without a licence.

“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, 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,” the complaint said.

Digital streaming services, however, show a “complete willingness” to source music from illegitimate sources, said the lawsuit.

The estate is seeking statutory damages for wilful infringement of copyright and attorneys’ fees.

Harold Arlen, copyright infringement, music, music streaming, Apple Music, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Google Play, iTunes

Trademarks and Brands Online