Recently, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry -- two of the biggest acts in pop music -- moved up the release dates of the first singles from their new albums after the tracks were leaked online.
Those moves illustrate just how difficult it is for record labels to combat Internet piracy. Book publishers, movie studios and television networks have had their own challenges, too.
Sharing a song (or movie, book, or television episode) online without the creator's permission is a violation of copyright, of course. Even so, that has not stopped many people from freely and unlawfully distributing entertainment content online.
Lady Gaga responded to the leak of her first single, "Applause," by asking her fans to send the URLs of websites with the song to her music label. Interestingly enough, thousands of her fans responded and reported around 500 URLs to Universal Music, which then sent cease-and-desist letters.
Even so, there is a chance that the leaked single could disrupt the marketing plan for Gaga's new album, "Artpop." The same could be said for Perry's album, "Roar.' (Both are due out this fall.)
As attorneys who regularly work with clients in the entertainment industry, we are familiar with the struggles entertainment professionals and enterprises face when it comes to combatting Internet piracy. If you work in the entertainment industry and are worried about Internet piracy, you might feel better if you discuss your options with an attorney. That conversation may leave you feeling better informed and feeling better prepared to meet the challenges of working in the entertainment industry in the 21st century.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Lady Gaga Releases 'Applause' One Week Early After Leaks, Anti-Piracy Campaign," Hilary Lewis, Aug. 12, 2013