25 March 2020Copyright

‘Over The Rainbow’ writer’s estate drops Apple bootleg suit

The estate of the late “The Wizard of Oz” songwriter Harold Arlen has dropped a lawsuit that claimed  Apple had streamed and sold bootleg copies of songs including “Over The Rainbow”.

Arlen’s estate filed a stipulation on Monday, March 23, at the US District Court for the Central District of California, dropping the case with prejudice against Apple.

Back in May 2019, Arlen’s son filed suit, claiming that more than 6,000 unauthorised digital copies of Arlen’s songs had been distributed on platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Music, and Google Play Music.

At the time, the estate claimed the suit focused on the “massive music piracy operations in the digital music stores and streaming services of some of the largest tech companies in the world”.

The complaint added: “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.”

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

The claims against Amazon and Google were terminated in September last year.

However, the estate  subsequently filed two separate suits against the technology companies in January this year, claiming that they were selling bootleg copies of “virtually every well-known recording artist from the 1930s through the 1960s”.

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