Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Wins Music Copyright Lawsuit
A federal judge ruled in favor of Lakewood Church last Tuesday in a copyright court case involving Senior Pastor Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria, versus Richard Cupolo and John Emanuele, who perform as indie music duo “American Dollar.”
Cupolo and Emanuele filed the suit against the Osteens and Lakewood Church in Aug. 2011, arguing that Lakewood Church continued to use the duo’s song, “Signaling through the Flames,” after the year-long copyright agreement had expired. The duo sought $3 million in damages.
A 58-second clip of the song was used in advertisements for the DVD “Supernatural,” which features Joel Osteen offering inspirational words on God’s plan for every individual. According to the music duo, their song continued to be featured in advertisements for the DVD after the one-year copyright contract had expired.
According to the case’s documents, as released by the U.S. District Court of Houston, Texas, on Feb. 14, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled that “the licensing agreement unambiguously limits perpetual-use Internet rights to those productions created or revised prior to the agreement’s expiration.”
Jarrett Ellzey, the lawyer for Emanuele and Cupolo, told the Houston Press blog “Hair Balls” in Aug. 2011 that the musical duo does not want to be forever categorized as religious music writers.
“They don’t want to be tied to a global televangelist for the rest of their careers, and a controversial one at that,” Ellzey told Hair Balls. “They have aspirations to market their music to Hollywood productions.”
SOURCE: Christian Post
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