JAMES SAINT-AMOUR and ALENA IVLEVA a/k/a JERRRA BLUES, doing business as SATORII v. THE RICHMOND ORGANIZATION, INC. (TRO INC.) and LUDLOW MUSIC, INC.
“THIS SONG BELONGS TO YOU AND ME”
FEDERAL CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED TO FREE
“THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND”
(New York, NY) Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman and Herz LLP, the firm that freed the world’s most famous song (Happy Birthday to You) and has sued on behalf of the We Shall Overcome Foundation to free the country’s most powerful song (We Shall Overcome), has just commenced another federal class action on behalf of the band Satorii to free the country’s most popular folk song (This Land is Your Land).
On Flag Day, Satorii, a Brooklyn-based, four-member rock band including vocalist Alena Ivleva a/k/a Jerrra Blues and drummer James Saint-Amour, filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against The Richmond Organization, Inc. (TRO) and Ludlow Music, Inc., who have claimed to own the copyright to This Land is Your Land since 1956. The complaint alleges that the companies do not own the copyright and the song is in the public domain.
To record their version of the popular folk song (available on iTunes and cdbaby.com/cd/satorii), Satorii was compelled to pay a licensing fee or risk hefty penalties for copyright infringement. Satorii seeks to recover all the licensing fees paid to TRO and Ludlow to use This Land is Your Land since the copyright expired. “As artists, we respect the copyright protections afforded all creative works,” said Jerrra Blues on behalf of Satorii. “However, those protections end at a certain point so that others can create their own new works. That’s one reason we create music, so that someday our work will be in the public domain for all to use. Jim and I are honored to play a role in freeing ‘This Land is Your Land.’”
Mark Rifkin, Senior Partner of Wolf Haldenstein, said, “There’s an imbalance in the Copyright Act. The statute does not protect artists from invalid copyright claims. We’re trying to fill that gap.”
Wolf Haldenstein is one of the oldest and most respected full-service law firms in New York City. The firm’s reputation for integrity, expertise, and results dates back more than 125 years. Wolf Haldenstein has offices in New York, San Diego, and Chicago. Wolf Haldenstein offers a breadth and depth of experience in many practice areas including Entertainment, Media & Intellectual Property; Securities Litigation and Securities Fraud; Antitrust; Business and Commercial; Consumer Fraud; White Collar Defense and Investigations; Civil Rights; Tax; Wage & Hour and class actions generally.