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Amazing Stories sync dispute settled

By | Published on Friday 2 July 2021


A copyright dispute over the use of a track in the Apple TV+ show ‘Amazing Stories’ has been resolved. Terms of the settlement are not known, but all claims against Apple, the programme’s maker and a music company accused of fraudulently licensing the disputed track are now dropped.

Apple was sued last year over an episode of its 2020 revival of the 1980s US TV show. The lawsuit was filed by JED Productions and its owner Darrell Jackson, who said that the second episode of ‘Amazing Stories’ featured a track his company owns, ‘Side Show’, recorded in 1989 by a hip hop outfit called 415.

The production company behind the programme, NBC Universal, had got a licence to synchronise the track from a company called Nakamiche Muzic Publishing. However, Jackson claimed that he owns both the song and recording rights in ‘Side Show’, and therefore Nakamiche was in no position to provided any such licence.

In his lawsuit, Jackson noted: “Beginning sometime after plaintiff registered the copyrights in ‘Side Show’ [with the US Copyright Office] and continuing thereafter, the Nakamiche defendants falsely represented and continue to falsely represent that they own the copyright in the composition and the sound recording of ‘Side Show’, including by … falsely and publicly registering the composition as their own with [US collecting society] ASCAP”.

Despite Jackson’s real beef being with Nakamiche – and him conceding that Apple and NBC Universal had got a licence from that company – he nevertheless named the tech giant and the media firm as defendants, on the basis that he’d provided both of them with “proof of the registration” for the track, demonstrating that they were using it without licence in their programme. However, they had failed to cease and desist in using the track without permission.

However, the dispute is now at an end. A court in California approved the settlement deal reached by all parties earlier this week. Court papers provide no details about that settlement except that all claims against Apple, NBC Universal and Nakamiche have now been dismissed.