Deadmau5 Files Lawsuit Against Record Company For Millions In Damages
Last week, the "Big Pimpin" trial between Jay Z and a relative of the Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi put the prevalence of "moral rights" in United States copyright law (or lack there of) into question. And now, Joel Zimmerman, aka deadmau5, is following suit in Canada.
Today, Zimmerman filed a lawsuit against Canadian-based Play Records seeking $10 million in damages for each remix and mashup that was released by his former manager. While he did sign over songs to the label, derivative works in the form of remixes and mashups of these songs were subsequently released without his permission. The famed producer is claiming that these remixes and mashups were not only a breach of contract but are a violation of his moral rights and trademark claims. Moral rights give authors the power to reject or green-light derivative works.
Fans may remember in 2007, the nasty breakup between the producer and Play Records that resulted in Zimmerman handing over a hefty sum of money as well as the ownership of early recordings and compositions including "Faxing Berlin". This settlement inherently granted the company the right to use these but not without authorization, and the company has gone on to release some early works and is also preparing to release remixes and mashups of these works.
"the Settlement Agreement expressly provided that Zimmerman did not waive his moral rights with respect to any so-called future remixes — if any were to be made — because by definition any future remix had not been created yet. Thus, Zimmerman would have no way of knowing in advance whether they were objectionable or whether he would want his name disassociated with them; i.e. in order to protect his right of paternity to remain anonymous and not be associated with them."
You can read the full statement of claim in the filed documents here.