Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Intellectual property law takes center stage in 'Frozen" case

Although Disney's 'Frozen" came out in 2013, a 2017 court case may have some people in California feeling a bit frigid. In the movie, the song 'Let It Go" became a breakout hit and was lauded by critics. Unfortunately, a musician who believes that 'Let It Go" is too similar to his own 2008 song, 'Volar", is suing Disney and the two singers who performed 'Let It Go" for both the movie and radio versions.

In his suit, the artist claims that his intellectual property rights have been infringed upon based on the note combinations, structures, melodies, lyrics and other aspects of both 'Let It Go" and 'Volar". He is seeking a portion of the proceeds from the movie and sales of the recorded version of 'Let It Go".

One of the most commonly misunderstood issues in copyright disputes is the matter of intent. Two people may create similar songs halfway across the globe at the same time, and while there was no intent on either party's behalf to copy the other, the songs are still similar enough that they could be confused for one another. In intellectual property cases, it comes down to proving ownership across a timeline. Essentially, whoever created the property first is the person who is due ownership. This, however, can be difficult to prove and is why an intellectual property attorney is often necessary in order to prove rightful and legal ownership in court.

If a person is a creator of any kind, it's important to understand one's legal rights. With the internet being such a prevalent tool in the sharing and distribution of music, art and film, stealing someone's intellectual property has become easier than ever. Working with an attorney may allow a person to pursue any necessary avenues, including intellectual property litigation if necessary.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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