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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Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Cheerleader Apparel Copyright Case

The issue the Supreme Court has agreed to decide involves how to separate the artistic elements of a product’s design from the useful or “utilitarian” elements. That distinction matters for copyright purposes, because to...more

FBI Returns to House Where it Did Not Find Gardner Museum Art Before, Does Not Find Gardner Museum Art There

Refreshingly, March 18 passed this year without the usual breathless maybe-it’s-about-to-turn-up coverage that has often been manufactured each year on the anniversary of the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist of 1990. That...more

Brady's Benching Gives Lesson in Court Review of Arbitration Decisions

Earlier this week, Bills and Jets fans (and at least one Packer fan) rejoiced as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady based on a finding...more

The Latest Research on Sports-Related Injuries

The latest research on sports-related injuries has shown many new developments. First, the CDC found that ER visits in the U.S. have risen by about 60 percent in the past 10 years. About 170,000 youth sports-related brain...more

Is Social Media Sharing of Sports Clips Copyright Infringement? Recent UK Judicial Clarification and International Implications

In our annual review last year “Sports Industry 2015: A Year of Unprecedented Landmark Change”, we predicted that the battle against media piracy would be a key area for rights holders in 2016, highlighting “social media...more

Fair Use Copyright Ruling Stands For Google Books

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the long-running copyright case involving Google’s Google Books project. The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place the Second...more

Update on China’s New Restrictions on Internet Content

Apple’s iTunes and Disney’s DisneyLife websites have reportedly become early targets of China’s internet regulators who are beginning to enforce new rules restricting the publication of online content. The new rules, the...more

Lack of a Will Could Mean Chaos for Prince's Estate

The famed recording artist Prince died leaving an unknown fortune and possibly no will or estate plan to dictate what to do with that fortune. Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, told the probate court in the Minnesota county where...more

British Columbia Announces Changes to Film and TV Tax Credits

On May 2, 2016 the government of British Columbia announced significant changes to the province’s film, television and digital media tax credit programs. While the changes remain to be approved by the provincial legislature,...more

Russian Box Office: Proposal to Tax Hollywood Films

Death and Russian Taxes - The Russian government has found another way to make 2016 “The Year of Cinema.” Rather than increasing direct support for films, Russian legislators may impose a tax on foreign films. The...more

TVEyes on the Prize: Clarifying the Law of Copyright Fair Use

TVEyes is a media monitoring service, claiming, “to organize the world’s TV and radio broadcasts and make them universally searchable by the spoken word.” Founded in 1999, the service uses innovative “audio mining”...more

Westeros Might Have Benefited From Recent Trends in Paid Family Leave

Game of Thrones, one of my favorite shows, most recently returned for its sixth season. Don’t worry, no spoilers here if you haven’t seen the first couple of episodes of this season. However, if you haven’t noticed, one of...more

Summary Judgment Upheld In Avatar Creators’ Favor After California Appellate Court Determines That Film Is Not Substantially...

James Cameron’s 2009 box-office hit Avatar is the subject of a California idea submission lawsuit that was decided in Cameron’s favor both at the trial and appellate level, in Eric Ryder v. Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., et...more

Massachusetts Gaming Update: Commission Rejects Application for Resort Casino in Brockton

The wait is over and the decision is in. On Thursday, April 28, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 against awarding a commercial license to Mass Gaming & Entertainment, LLC to build a resort casino in Brockton....more

The Supreme Court - May 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States issued one decision on May 2, 2016: Ocasio v. United States, No. 14-361: Petitioner Samuel Ocasio, a former police officer, was tried and convicted under the Hobbs Act for...more

Unions In The Digital Newsroom – Everything Old Is New Again

A recent string of successful organizing drives at several prominent digital news media outlets calls into question all those confident predictions about the inevitable demise of unionism in the information-age economy. ...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the...more

British Columbia film and television tax credit announcement

British Columbia Finance Minister Michael de Jong released a statement this morning regarding proposed changes to BC’s film, television and digital media tax credit programs. Subject to approval of the British Columbia...more

3 Strange Things About Prince’s Estate

There are several unusual factors at play in the drama that is unfolding surrounding Prince’s estate. This blog post discusses them and offers some tips so that you can hopefully avoid a similar situation....more

Italian Game Agency to Issue New Rules for Betting on Virtual Events

The Italian Game Agency is issuing new rules for betting on virtual events. Draft of a new decree (the “Decree”) was notified to the European Commission on March 31, 2016. The EC will verify that the Decree complies with...more

Give me an S-C-O-T-U-S! Supreme Court To Decide Apparel Copyright Case

Straight off the heels of a 2-1 Sixth Circuit decision protecting copyright in design elements of cheerleading uniforms, the U.S. Supreme Court today decided to consider the issue of when a useful article is protectable under...more

Spotlight on Alabama: Sales Tax Held Not to Apply to Tangible Personal Property

The issue of whether photographers, and specifically commercial photographers, must collect and remit Alabama sales tax on charges for their services and the tangible property associated with those services, has been a topic...more

Is Evidence of Confusion Really Necessary to Succeed in a Trademark Infringement Case?

It is not every day that a massive international TV hit show is found to infringe a trade mark. A decision of the English High Court, approved recently by the Court of Appeal, held that the popular 20th Century Fox teenage...more

Legal Lessons from Tom Brady

The state of Massachusetts collectively groaned last week as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflate-Gate” saga. A brief recap of this strange...more

Reason to Cheer – SCOTUS Suits Up to Hear Copyright Clash Over Cheerleading Uniforms

Hold onto your pom-poms, copyright fans. On May 2, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to address a question that has vexed lower courts across the land: What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature...more

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