Copyright infringement and Idea Theft

Artists such as musicians and writers enrich our culture when they create public works displaying original expression.  In order to incentivize them, Federal copyright law protects qualifying works by vesting the authors with certain rights preventing others from stealing or misusing them.  At the same time, copyright law permits drawing upon others’ ideas and works (under certain circumstances) so that artists can grow and advance the established culture.  Balancing these competing aims is not always easy.  For example, in the realm of popular music, technical limitations and  cultural standards often steer creators to the same destination.  As John Lennon famously said, “There are only a few notes.  Just variations on a theme.”  

Outside copyright law, California state law provides some protection against the theft of a novel idea when it is shared with another in confidence.

As home to the major players in the entertainment industry, Southern California sees a fair share of copyright and idea theft litigation.  Cases often involve a claimed similarity in commercial songs or the plots of TV shows and movies.  

If you believe another has engaged in prohibited use of your artistic work or idea, or may be facing a lawsuit concerning same, Mr. Mandlekar might be able to assist you.  As an amateur musician himself with a deep knowledge of music theory—the heart of most music copyright infringement cases —Mr. Mandlekar can truly understand music copyright claims that other lawyers would not.