Universal Music Sues VH1’s DJ Competition Show Over Copyright Infringement

Last Friday, Universal Music filed a lawsuit against Je T’Aime Media Group, the producers of VH1’s DJ competition show Masters of the Mix , for alleged copyright infringement. The reality television series is under fire for the use of at least 93 of Universal’s compositions and 115 of its sound recordings. The complaint specifically mentions songs by artists such as Daft Punk, Kanye West and Gwen Stefani. Universal Music complains that while the show properly licensed music in its first two seasons, Masters of the Mix failed to do so for the third season, which aired in 2013.

In the past, live DJ music hasn’t taken much heat in regards to copyright infringement, but it seems the quarter of a million grand prize and an official sponsorship from Smirnoff is at issue with Universal. In addition to $150,000 for each copyright infringement, Universal Music is seeking relief for misappropriation and conversion of tracks recorded before 1972. This is notable because history shows rights holders traditionally excusing use of pre-1972 recordings in television and other media. With the rise of EDM and DJ’s rapidly increasing number of shows and televised gigs, the copyright issues brought up in this case are sure to remain hot, and it should be interesting to see how this case plays out.

H/T The Hollywood Reporter