Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.
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Braham v. Sony/ATV Music Publishing - USDC, Central District of California, November 10, 2015

In copyright infringement suit targeting Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It Off,” magistrate judge recommends dismissal of pro se plaintiff’s claim, finding plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that Swift’s repeating phrases...more

Franklin v. The Daily Holdings, Inc. - New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Judicial Department

In defamation suit arising from report of nightclub confrontation between rappers, New York appellate court holds that plaintiff adequately alleged that published statements taken out of context from his Twitter post were...more

Header Rules: Class Action Lawsuit Changes Youth Soccer

Recently, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and other youth soccer leagues agreed to issue new guidelines, including recommending the banning of “headers” for players under 10, in settlement of a class action lawsuit...more

A Purr-fect Opinion on Copyright Registrations

Order Granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, Epikhin et al. v. Game Insight N.A., et al., 5:14-cv-4383 (Judge Lucy Koh) - Cat videos are one of the most popular types of user-uploaded Internet videos. It is...more

Google Books and Fair Use: From Implausible to Inevitable?

A for-profit corporation scans millions of in-copyright books and permanently stores their full contents in its database, all without seeking permission or paying the books’ authors or publishers. Over ten years ago, when...more

Stadium Owners Watching Closely To See if Insurer Fumbles Reggie Bush Claim

San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush reportedly intends to sue the city of St. Louis after slipping on a concrete surface behind the St. Louis Rams’ bench during a recent game, injuring his knee and ending his season....more

Donald Sterling Loses Appeal of Clippers Sale: Court of Appeal Rejects Bid To Regain Team’s Ownership

The California Court of Appeal today affirmed the sale in August 2014 of the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-shattering price of $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In a unanimous decision, the three justices...more

Sorry, NY Fantasy Sports Fans. No Play for You!

Daily Fantasy Sports (or DFS) offers daily excitement to millions of US sports fans, and it enjoys tremendous support from its fan base. That support was on display today in NYC, as more than 250 upset fans rallied in front...more

Legally Blind Individual Sues the NBA Over Digital Barriers on Website

On November 6, a legally blind individual filed a complaint against the NBA, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and seeking a permanent injunction requiring the NBA to (i) implement corporate policies...more

Advertising Law - November 2015 #2

It’s a FACT(A): Record Deals Reached Under the Statute - Two record-setting deals were recently reached in Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) cases, where the Laboratory Corporation of America and Spirit...more

Gambling Companies Hit a Triple Bogey

Gambling companies Hillside (UK Sports) LP t/a Bet365 (“Bet365“), Coral Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd (“Coral“) and Petfre (Gibraltar) Ltd (“Totesport”) were recently challenged by the UK advertising regulator, Advertising...more

Why Virtual Gold Can’t Buy Plaintiffs Happiness

A federal court has soundly rejected a plaintiff’s contention that she suffered any real-world harm based on in-game losses of virtual currency. In Mason v. Machine Zone, Inc., plaintiff Mia Mason alleged that she was a...more

Santa Claus Will Leave The Building In 2016 — Author’s Heirs Prevail Over EMI

In Baldwin, et al. v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was tasked with determining when and how the rights to the song “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (the “Song”) would properly terminate. The...more

Authorship Credit for Scholarly and Creative Works: The Elusive American Attribution Right

What if were to tell you that I jointly authored this article with a colleague, but that I’m not going to give her any credit or attribution because I don’t feel like it? Can she sue me for copyright infringement? No, because...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in United States v. Nosal, Part II

On October 20, 2015, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Round II of United States v. David Nosal. Both sides generally stuck with arguments from their briefs, with Nosal’s counsel arguing that...more

Holy Copyright Batman; the Batmobile Still Protected by Copyright Despite “Costume Changes” - DC Comics v. Mark Towle dba Garage...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, recognizing that Batman’s personal crime-fighting vehicle, the Batmobile, is not just a cool car, but a character with “physical as well as conceptual qualities,” concluded...more

The Second Circuit Turns the Page on Plaintiffs’ Google Books Copyright Suit

Another important copyright decision is in—this time from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Plaintiffs—authors of copyright protected books—brought an action for infringement against Google,...more

Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Issuing DMCA Takedown Notification - Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders must consider the fair-use doctrine prior to issuing a takedown notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Lenz v. Universal...more

Keeling v. Hars - USCA, Second Circuit, October 30, 2015

Second Circuit affirms denial of summary judgment on defendant’s counterclaim seeking declaration that plaintiff’s theatrical script parodying 1991 motion picture “Point Break” was not entitled to copyright...more

Fourth Age Limited v. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, October 28, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s holding that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims against estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in action over right to make digital merchandise based on Tolkien’s books, as counterclaims were...more


In appealing the cancellation of six trademarks, the Washington Redskins filed their opening brief in the Fourth Circuit this week. Cancellation of the team’s REDSKINS trademarks was upheld by a federal district court in...more

Parody Writers Take Note: Fair Use Parody + New Elements = Copyright Protection

On October 30, 2015 the Second Circuit held that an unauthorized parody that makes “fair use” of its source material is eligible for copyright protection and that copyright protection may extend to a work that exhibits the...more

Never Say Never to Lone Pine Orders

After our last two posts, we received emails blasting us for being insensitive to the plight of injured plaintiffs. That struck us as unfair, given that the posts pertained to the technical issues of choice of law and choice...more

Garçon to FanDuel: Check please!

What are a veteran NFL player’s name, image, and likeness worth in the burgeoning (but recently beleaguered-by-lawsuits) daily fantasy sports gaming industry? NFL wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s putative class action lawsuit...more

Boston Marathon Can’t Stop MARATHON MONDAY Trademark Registration

In 1897, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) first organized the Boston Marathon and has been running the event ever since. The world famous race has been held on the third Monday of April every year since 1969, and it is...more

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