Art, Entertainment & Sports Business Torts

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.
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Silvero v. Fox Television Studios, Inc., et al. - Los Angeles Superior Court, August 6, 2015

Frank Silvero, an actor who played the character Frankie Carbone in the film “Goodfellas” and other similar mobster characters during his career, filed suit against Fox Television alleging that the writers of the animated...more

Atlanta Rapper Rich Homie Quan Seeks Cancellation or Transfer of Trademarks and Over $2,000,000 in Damages

Think It's A Game Entertainment, LLC ("TIG"), an Atlanta-based production company, Fly Merchandise Enterprises, LLC ("Fly"), and Girvan Henry ("Henry"), have left Atlanta rapper Rich Homie Quan feeling "some type of way."...more

State Law Claims Suffer “Awfully Big Adventure”: New York Court Finds Federal Copyright Preemption in Dispute over Peter Pan...

On June 8, 2015, the New York County Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice eight of twelve state law claims brought by a producer seeking damages for the purportedly unauthorized use of his music in a world-wide production...more

Counts v. Meriwether - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and conversion claims in lawsuit brought by two screenwriters who alleged defendants used script to create television series "New Girl," holding breach of contract claim was...more

SEC Charges Advisory Firm to Sports Figures and Officers With Fraud

The SEC filed two actions centered on an advisory firm that serves on high net worth individuals, primarily current and former professional athletes. The actions are based on the theft of client funds and a failure to...more

Connecticut Court Possesses Personal Jurisdiction Over “Demonologist” Publisher

In the District of Connecticut, an out of state publisher with no alleged direct contacts with Connecticut recently lost its bid to have a case against it dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. Gerald Brittle sued...more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

Update on Athletes’ 75-1.1 Lawsuits Against UNC

Last November, we posted on the putative class action that former UNC football player Michael McAdoo has filed against UNC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. ...more

Celebrity SLAPP’d in Los Angeles: Lawsuit arising from American Idol Negotiations Reinstated

California has an anti-SLAPP law that protects defendants from lawsuits brought to chill their First Amendment rights. When the anti-SLAPP law applies, a defendant can obtain a fast dismissal at the early stage of the...more

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 20, 2015

Following jury verdict on Lanham Act claim in favor of entity owned by Bob Marley’s children, Ninth Circuit affirms denial of defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that trial evidence supported jury’s...more

(Un)licensed to Ill: Three Common Sense Lessons Every Marketing Department Should Learn from Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Co.

As reported by several media outlets in the last few weeks, the Beastie Boys are seeking nearly $2.4 million in attorneys’ fees from Monster Energy Co.—the maker of the eponymous Monster energy drinks—after Monster was found...more

Holy Overreach, Batman! Fictional Software Trademark Row Rejected by Supreme Court

When Fortres Grand Corporation saw sales of its software program drop, it blamed – wait for it – Batman. Fortres’ software, called “Clean Slate,” erases user changes to public computers upon reboot, thus returning the...more

Is It Worth It For Plaintiffs' Counsel To Gamble On Merger Class Actions in North Carolina?

I hadn't written anything yet about the multiple shareholder actions challenging the merger of PokerTek -- a developer and distributor of electronic table (gambling) games -- with Multimedia Games -- another developer and...more

Copyright Alert: Fox v Dish Summary Judgment Rulings

Mixed Outcomes on Copyright and Contract Issues Re: Volition, Time- and Space-Shifting, Intermediate Copying and Commercials-Skipping - In a complex opinion addressing intermingled copyright and contract issues, a...more

Forged artwork case illustrates proportionate liability

In McBride v Christie’s Australia Pty Limited [2014] NSWSC 172, the Plaintiff purchased a painting at an auction held by Christie’s Australia Pty Limited (“Christie’s”) through a bidding agent, Vivienne Sharpe. The vendor of...more

Running Interference: S.D.N.Y. Lays Out Standards for Tortious Interference in Dispute Between Watchmaker and Former Employees

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently cleared the way for a Michigan watchmaker to pursue claims for trade secret misappropriation, among other things, against two former employees who left to...more

Section 75-1.1 Stars in New Putative Class Action Against UNC

Last Thursday, former UNC football player Michael McAdoo filed a putative class action against UNC-Chapel Hill. This federal complaint has already received extensive publicity. The publicity, though, has overlooked the...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014 : District court grants partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on copyright claims against Sirius XM Radio, holding that...more

Gucci / Guess – The Italian Appeal: Gucci’s half victory against Guess on the ground of unfair competition

The Milan Court of Appeal has overturned the first instance decision and partially upheld Gucci’s claims, stating that Guess has committed an act of unfair competition, by parasitically copying a number of products of the...more

SEC Sanctions D&T Auditor For Independence Violations

A now retired Deloitte & Touche LLP partner settled charges that he violated the auditor independence rules, engaged in improper professional conduct and caused a firm audit client to violate Exchange Act Section 13(a). The...more

SEC Names Recidivist, Claimed Country Music Fund Raiser, In Fraud Order

The Commission directed the institution of an administrative proceeding charging recidivist Stanley Jonathan Fortenberry, an unregistered fund adviser, with fraud in connection with the operation of a fund supposedly tied to...more

Queen v. Schultz

Queen v. Schultz - USCA, D.C. Circuit, April 4, 2014 - Defendant Ed Schultz is a radio and television personality currently hosting “The Ed Show” on the MSNBC network. Plaintiff Michael Queen is an NBC employee who...more

Non-Courtside Madness? Resume Fraud Costs Manhattan Coach Steve Masiello From Securing South Florida Coaching Job

Our attention on the NCAA college basketball tournament was temporarily diverted by the non-courtside drama that played out this week when the University of South Florida revoked its head coaching offer to Steve Masiello...more

Legally Compliant Online Promotions - Doing Online Promotions Without Getting Sued

In This Presentation: - User Generated Content ..What, Me Worry? What could go wrong with UGC? - The Communications Decency Act ..Section 230 - The DMCA ..Safe Harbor - Sweepstakes, Contests and...more

Court Rules Houston Astros Cannot Strike Out Fiduciary Duties in Bankruptcy

Introduction - One of the incentives that Delaware law offers founders of business entities is the ability to tinker with the fiduciary duties that the managers of the business owe. While the duties owed by corporate...more

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