It’s no secret that the Internet has drastically changed the role of record companies. These companies grew wealthy and powerful by controlling the means of production and distribution, but now changes in technology have made recording and distribution available to almost anyone. Record companies have been struggling with how to adapt. According to claims in a recent lawsuit, one label has taken to outright piracy of other labels’ recordings.

Long-running Florida record label Inspired claims that another label, Cleopatra Records, has been selling unauthorized digital downloads of hundreds recordings which are rightfully owned by Inspired.

Inspired’s Peter Pan Records has released children’s music since the 1940s. It accuses Cleopatra and its subsidiaries of copying its records, going so far as to copy the artwork of Inspired’s releases, altering it to remove the company’s logo and then selling the recordings as their own through digital download services. According to the lawsuit, Inspired notified Cleopatra of the problem months ago, but the company has only expanded its efforts since then. Inspired claims infringement of its property rights, deceptive trade and other unfair business practices. News reports did not mention whether Cleopatra had responded to the allegations.

Copyrights and other aspects of music law are famously complex, even at times when the music industry itself is relatively stable. In times such as these, when the foundations of the industry are rocked by changing technology, it can be very difficult to stand up for property rights and make sure that artists and labels receive what they deserve. Florida entertainment law attorneys can help those in the music business to protect their work and livelihood.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Cleopatra Called a Music Pirate,” May 19, 2014