Apple Quickly Settles Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over ‘Amazing Stories’

Apple Music Indie Royalty Fund
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Apple Music Indie Royalty Fund
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Photo Credit: Zhang Kaiyv

Apple has settled the copyright infringement lawsuit that Oakland-based music-industry professional Darrell Jackson filed against it and other defendants about 14 months ago, over the use of a song entitled “Side Show” in the Apple TV+ anthology series Amazing Stories.

Darrell Jackson – who is the sole owner of music-production company JED Productions and publishing company S&D Music – submitted the straightforward complaint in mid-May of last year. Having largely “focused on developing and recording rap artists from the East Bay,” Jackson, via JED Productions, produced a 1989 album entitled 41Fivin by the group 415, per the suit.

The work’s title and the artist’s name referenced what was then the area code of Oakland and the East Bay, and appropriately, one of the former’s tracks, the Richie Rich-performed “Side Show,” maintained “specific relevance to Oakland and the East Bay’s youth scene” – and particularly the informal sideshow gatherings that began in Oakland during the mid-1970s, the plaintiff explained.

Consequently, the song appeared in the second episode of Amazing Stories, which “tells a story of young people in Oakland,” for about 90 seconds. But Jackson – whose JED Productions “owns the copyrights in both the musical composition and sound recording” for “Side Show” – claimed that he didn’t authorize the sync placement. Furthermore, Jackson didn’t otherwise give the Amazing Stories defendants (Apple, NBCUniversal, and Amblin Entertainment) permission “to reproduce, distribute, perform, create derivative works based on, or otherwise exploit all or any portion” of “Side Show,” according to the action.

It bears mentioning, though, that Apple did in fact license the track – albeit from Nakamiche Muzic Publishing, a defendant in the case along with Daryl and Amber Anderson, who operate the entity, per the initial filing. Nakamiche – which likewise faced a claim for slander of title – “falsely represented” ownership of the IP behind “Side Show,” including by “falsely and publicly registering the composition as their own with ASCAP,” the plaintiff stated. The registration was still live on the ASCAP database at the time of publishing.

Nakamiche then presented this allegedly falsified representation and finalized a sync deal for “Side Show,” the action indicated towards its conclusion, with the defendants having also purportedly collected royalties that “rightfully belong” to the plaintiff and allegedly received a separate payment for a placement in the 2014 film Stop Pepper Palmer.

Now, as initially noted, Apple has quickly settled the suit filed by Darrell Jackson, new legal documents have revealed.

While the terms of the settlement agreement haven’t been publicly disclosed, all the case’s parties – including Apple as well as NBCUniversal, Amblin, and Nakamiche – filed jointly to dismiss the matter with prejudice. Judge Jeffrey S. White lent his signature to an order of dismissal shortly thereafter, and in a stark contrast to more than a few years-long courtroom battles, the lawsuit has promptly been placed in the rearview.