Lawsuit alleges unauthorized use of song in Apple TV+ series 'Amazing Stories'

in General Discussion edited May 2020
Apple and its Apple TV+ production partners have been hit with a lawsuit alleging that the group used a copyrighted song in an original series without first obtaining proper permissions from the rights holder.

E'myri Crutchfield and Hailey Kilgore in
E'myri Crutchfield and Hailey Kilgore in "Amazing Stories" episode "The Heat." Credit: Apple

The complaint, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday, claims that Apple wrongfully used "Side Show" by Richie Rich in the second episode of Apple TV+ anthology show "Amazing Stories."

According to the lawsuit, music producer and distributor Darrell Jackson -- the plaintiff in the case -- owns the copyright to the sound recording and musical composition of "Side Show."

Under the sole proprietorship JED Productions, Jackson produced the album that "Side Show" appeared on, "41Fivin," in 1989. A year later, JED Productions registered the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office in May 1990.

"Side Show" appears prominently in "Amazing Stories" episode "The Heat," though the plaintiff in the case alleges that he did not authorize the use of the song in the episode. The lawsuit also claims that music distribution company Nakamiche Muzic Publishing falsely told Apple and other defendants that it owned the copyrights to "Side Show" and fraudulently licensed its use in "The Heat."

Nakamiche Muzic Publishing is said to be the "doing business as" designation for Daryl and Amber Anderson. Daryl Anderson, as "DJ Daryl," co-produced "41Fivin." Muddying the waters, the company has also allegedly registered "Side Show" with ASCAP as their own property. The lawsuit levies other accusations at the Andersons and Nakamiche, including slander of title and false designation of origin.

After showing Apple and other defendants proof of the copyright and asking them to cease and desist, the complaint alleges that they continue to use the recording unlawfully.

NBC Universal Media and Amblin Entertainment are also named as defendants in the complaint for co-producing "Amazing Stories."

The plaintiff is asking for an end to the alleged copyright infringement on Apple's part and an enjoinment on Nakamiche from claiming that they own the rights to "Side Show," along with damages and legal fees.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    MarcHawkMarcHawk Posts: 13member
    This is why producers purchase E&O insurance on every production.Errors and Omissions protects the distributor and producers from these kind of claims. Amblin had a music supervisor who negotiated a release from a copyright holder of record if the original author had an unknown dispute with a former partner this would be unknown to the producer.  The complainant’s attorney is going after the company with the deepest pockets but that company is protected and this is merely a publicity grab that really has no  effect on Apple and is a nuisance claim.

    It maybe cheaper for the producer to strip out the offending song or songs and replace it with another piece of music. That will be decided with the insurer. End result is the complainI got author will have his song removed and the vast audience will not know or care. Whatever monies he receives will pale to the benefit he would have received from having his work in a popular show leading to additional use of his other work. 
  • Reply 2 of 4
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    If true, this seems like a very amateurish mistake for Apple or the production company to make.

    I did watch the entire series, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I was expecting more from something that was connected to Spielberg.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 629member
    I am wondering if there is more to this story than meets the eye??
    ‘Mistakes were made’ doesn’t reflect Apple’s approach to copyright issues.
    edited May 2020 taugust04_ai
  • Reply 4 of 4
    apple ][ said:
    If true, this seems like a very amateurish mistake for Apple or the production company to make.

    I did watch the entire series, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I was expecting more from something that was connected to Spielberg.
    It sounds like Apple and the production companies did their due diligence in procuring the rights to the song. It sounds like the dispute is who owns the rights. This just illustrates the mess that music publishing industry is, and has been, for many decades. As another posted mentioned, there is more likely more to this copy dispute then is currently being reported.
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