The lawyers are making money... and, according to a new Rolling Stone article, the insurance companies are making money: While some record labels may have the budget to hire on-call musicologists who vet new releases for potential copyright claims, smaller players who can’t afford that luxury are turning toward a tried-and-true form of protection: insurance.
It describes a bunch of these cases, and notes that merely "being influenced" makes you liable for copyright infringement, and how that's causing problems for the very concept of pop music: That is, to put it plainly, bad news for pop stars, and the producers and songwriters who help them craft hits.
It's now become such a fact of life that the NY Times has a giant article on how copyright is basically eating pop music these days.
Almost five years ago, we warned that years of copyright maximalists brainwashing the public about ever expansive copyright and the need for everything to be "owned" had resulted in the crazy Blurred Lines decision that said that merely being inspired by another artist to make a song that has a similar feel, even if it doesn't copy any actual part of the music, was infringing.
Under E&O policies, insurance companies can cover several million dollars of an artist’s costs if they lose a copyright lawsuit.