Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris, Jail, Infringement

I flew out here to LA to see if Paris Hilton would be sent back to jail after her dramatic release to home arrest. The LA police are known for their gentleness and compassion, especially toward minorities and protestors (two categories than can and frequently do overlap). Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to hustle Paris out of jail after only a few days due to an unspecified medical condition was thus standard policy, applied to rich and poor alike. But in the middle of the night, the Sheriff was leaned on, and Paris was sent back to the slammer. There will be a hearing of sorts today, but not with Paris and supposedly not even with the Sheriff; a scape goat will no doubt be sent. I am of course doubly disappointed.

Paris' re-incarcertation makes it temporarily more difficult for her to participate in a copyright infringement suit, brought by a British group UB40, and discussed in this posting by

"UB40's record label, the Sparta Florida Music Group, are suing V2 Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, and Paris Hilton's songwriter/producer for $500,000 in damages in London's High Court.

The band claim that their classic song "Kingston Town" features heavily in Paris Hilton's debut single "Stars Are Blind" and are suing her for breaching copyright laws.

The Sparta Music Group are going to use information from the internet and a musicologist, to prove that "Stars Are Blind" used a large amount of the UB40 1990 single.

UB40's "Kingston Town," written by Kendrick Patrick, reached number four in U.K. charts, while "Stars Are Blind" released last year, reached number five.

As Paris Hilton has been dropped from her record label, Warner Bros., she isn't being sued directly. However, she is still in the wrong side of the law as she starts her 23-day sentence in Century Regional Detention Facility in Los Angeles today (June 4)."


Anonymous said...

They seem to be bending over backwards to treat Paris nicely. First they send her home with a nice ankle bracelet. Next, the judge orders her to be driven at county expense to the courthouse. Finding that she was apparently jewelry impaired, the deputies put a nice pair a wrist bracelets on her as well. It is just as well that she is not named in the civil suit. It would be too expensive to extend her the courtesies normally given to copyright defendants.

Meeg said...

I just discovered your blog. Good stuff. I took a class on copyright law in law school, and I find it very interesting.

Have you heard about the copyright infringement case that a Canadian author brought against the makers of the movie "Knocked Up" claiming that they copied her novel? I just wrote a blog post about this and then discovered your blog while looking up Learned Hand's famous "Ode to A Grecian Urn". As an actual copyright lawyer you'll probably get a kick out of my muddled discussion.

Also, I love UB40. I think I might get ahold of both songs and see for myself how similar I think they are.