Art, Entertainment & Sports Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.
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The SLANTS Trademark Will Play One More Gig: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment. The dispute affects the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

We have been following the course of In re Tam as it has progressed through the PTO and the courts. To recap, at issue is whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of marks that may disparage...more

U.S. v. Broadcast Music Inc. - USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 16, 2016

District court overrules DOJ’s interpretation of 75-year-old music industry consent decree, finding it neither bars issuance of fractional licenses for music nor requires BMI to issue full licenses. Broadcast Music Inc....more

TUEs for Performance-Enhancing Drugs Raise Ethical Issues

Recently, the files of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) were hacked, revealing previously unknown information about Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), which allow athletes who have medical conditions to use...more

Beyoncé’s copyright case was destined for dismissal

For an entertaining education in how to analyze copyrightable similarity, you can’t do much better than U.S. District Cout Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s decision in Fulks v. Knowles-Carter (which you may wish to think of as Fulks v....more

Will anyone be offended if the Supreme Court finds the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act invalid?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it has granted certiorari in Lee v. Tam, a case closely followed by trademark law gurus. Lee is before the Court after the United States Court of Appeals for...more

“Disparaging” Federal Trademark Registrations: Gearing Up for the Main Event

Today the Supreme Court agreed to decide an ongoing conflict, pitting a trademark registrant’s First Amendment rights against longstanding law precluding trademark registration of “disparaging” marks....more

Sisyphus Touring Inc. v. TMZ Productions Inc. - USDC, Central District of California, September 23, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement suit brought by actor and musician Jared Leto against TMZ.com for posting video of him criticizing Taylor Swift, finding Leto did not own video and videographer validly...more

Continuing to Play Following Concussion Can Prolong Recovery And Expose Athletes to Catastrophic Second Impact Syndrome

A new study published in the September, 2016 issue of Pediatrics provides evidence that returning to play immediately following a sports related concussion, even without a “second impact” nearly doubles, on average, the...more

Supreme Court to Review Whether “Offensive” Names Can Be Trademarked

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review the Federal Circuit’s decision to strike down the Lanham Act’s ban on “disparaging” trademarks. The case, Lee v. Tam, No. 15-1293, involved an Asian American dance-rock band’s...more

CA Governor Signs Bill Allowing Actors to Delete Their Age from Online Profiles

On September 24, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1687 – a measure aimed at preventing age discrimination against film, television, and other professionals in the entertainment industry whose ages could be viewed...more

European Commission Challenges Sports Governing Body’s Non-Compete Rules

The European Commission (“Commission”) this week sent a statement of objections to the International Skating Union (“ISU”) alleging that its rules, which impose severe penalties on skaters who participate in events not...more

Negligent valuation of seaside amusement arcades – Las Vegas comes to the Rolls Building

In a judgment handed down this morning in the Chancery Division, Barclays Bank PLC v. Christie Owen & Davies Limited (trading as Christie Owen & Davies Limited [2016] EWHC 2351 (Ch)), Dentons acted for the bank in its...more

Is Chinese Investment in the U.S. Film and Entertainment Industry the Next Area of CFIUS Scrutiny?

U.S. lawmakers recently submitted a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raising concerns about increased Chinese investments in the U.S. film and entertainment industry and questioning whether the Committee...more

Restitution Claims Resolved in New York and Cologne, New Case Filed Against Germany

Word came this week of two resolutions of claims to Nazi-looted art in museums in New York and Cologne, and a new Nazi-looted claim against Germany filed in Washington. Barely a month after the Neue Galerie (of Austrian and...more

Summary Judgment Horror Story For Stephen King’s Literary Agent

While many breach of contract cases are resolved by motions to dismiss or summary judgment, a recent decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, Kramer v. Greene, (1st Dep’t Aug. 11, 2016), has shown that when it...more

For Wrigley Field Street Vendors, It’s Win or Go Home

The Chicago Cubs are rolling into the playoffs, putting the finishing touches on a historically dominant regular season with over 100 wins. Cubs fans (like me) even dare to dream that the century-plus long championship...more

A new NHL team: The Las Vegas Silver (or Desert) (or Golden) Knights

Have you heard about the NHL’s newest, not-yet-fully-named hockey team, based in Las Vegas? Although the team’s inaugural season will not begin until October 2017, season tickets have already sold out. This exciting news was...more

SB356: Senator Coley Proposes Daily Fantasy Sports Contest Legislation

On September 26, 2016, Senator Bill Coley (R-West Chester) introduced S.B. 356, which if enacted would amend Ohio gambling law to expressly define daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) and e-sports contests that charge a commission...more

To (Dis)Close for Comfort–FTC Workshop Seeks Effective Consumer Disclosures

A goal of providing effective disclosures to consumers is to allow consumers to make informed decisions. But what must be done to make disclosures effective? This was the question the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explored...more

NASCAR’s racing to defend race discrimination lawsuit—is your company ready?

Earlier this week, news broke that NASCAR is being sued for alleged racial discrimination. NASCAR insists the case has no merit, but only time will tell the outcome. When the rubber meets the road, will your business be ready...more

European Court Of Justice: Linking To Playboy Pics May Infringe Copyright

On September 8, 2016, the European Court of Justice rendered a controversial decision in GS Media v. Sanoma Media, which has been acclaimed by copyright holders and heavily criticized by internet companies....more

American Indian Tribes and Canadian First Nations: The Impact of Gaming Law and Policy on the Industry

In the United States, Indian gaming is a $29 billion industry, with some 240 American Indian tribes operating more than 450 gaming operations in 28 states. Alan Meister, Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report (2016). In...more

Construction E-Note - September 2016

Pokémon Go is the newest craze to hit smartphones, finding colossal success in America. Some estimates claim that five percent of all android users had installed the game on their phones within one week of launch. Nintendo’s...more

Federal Court Holds That Casino In Video Game App Is Not A Gambling Device

A Federal court in Illinois dismissed a class action lawsuit against Machine Zone, Inc. Machine Zone is the maker of the popular “Game of War” mobile app. Although the app can be downloaded for free, a portion of the game,...more

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