Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Remedies

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Art, Entertainment & Sports issues written by leading professionals.
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The Layered Look: Copyrights and Visual Arts

People are generally aware that a painting, photograph, sculpture or other works of art are subject to copyright protection but many are less aware that copyright has many layers of possible protection which can present legal...more

July 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

This July was another month where independent contractor compliance and misclassification was a topic that made front page news. Hillary Clinton placed independent contractor misclassification in the national spotlight when...more

Jay Z Awarded Attorneys’ Fees After Routing Plaintiff In Copyright Lawsuit: Now Plaintiff Has $253,409.99 Problems For Bringing...

On July 17, 2015, Judge Schofield sitting in the Southern District of New York awarded defendants Shawn Carter (a/k/a Jay Z), Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc Nation, LLC (collectively, “Roc-A-Fella”) $253,409.99 in attorneys’...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

What’s in a Name? District Court’s Trademark Cancellation Order Casts Further Doubt on “Redskins” Moniker

Taking big hits is quite familiar to professional football teams.  The hit laid down by a federal District Court on July 8, 2015, however, is one that Washington’s professional football franchise will remember for a long...more

16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin - USCA, Second Circuit, June 29, 2015

In matter of first impression, Second Circuit affirms ruling that director does not own copyright interest in film that he directed, because his creative contributions were inseparable from and integrated into...more

Jordan-Benel v. Universal City Studios, Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, June 24, 2015

District Court allows screenwriter’s suit alleging feature film The Purge was based on his screenplay, Settler’s Day, to proceed, denying defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion because acts supporting plaintiff’s implied contract...more

Corporate Espionage: Not Your Typical Sports-“Gate”

Generally when one refers to “competitors” in the context of protecting trade secrets, it is in regard to business competitors, not competing sports teams. And usually when the talking heads on sports radio and television...more

Sirius Wins One in Florida, Florida, Florida!

On June 22, 2015, the Southern District of Florida held that artists have no public performance rights in their pre-1972 sound recordings under Florida law, in contrast to decisions from California and New York in related...more

“Desert Warrior” Vanquished: Google Defeats Cindy Lee Garcia’s Copyright Claims

Cindy Lee Garcia thought she was playing a bit part in “Desert Warrior,” an adventure film being made by an amateur film maker. The film was never completed. Instead, Ms. Garcia’s performance was re-purposed, and her physical...more

Spain: National Court suspends the strike of La Liga

The Spanish National Court has ruled in favour of the Spanish Football League (LFP), and suspended the proposed strike called by the Spanish Football Players’ Union for the final two rounds of the Spanish top-tier football...more

Wisconsin Indian Tribe Prevails – State Cannot Ban Electronic Poker on Reservation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has overturned a federal district court ruling that had permitted the State of Wisconsin to prohibit the Ho Chunk tribe from offering electronic poker on its reservation...more

Performance Rights, Digital Music Services and The Turtles

Intro - In 2013, Flo & Eddie of the 1960s rock band The Turtles filed separate lawsuits in California, Florida and New York, aiming to use state laws to obtain royalties from digital music service providers like...more

Status Updates - April 2015 #5

Photo negative. Daniel Morel, the photojournalist who was awarded $1.2 million in damages from news agencies that distributed his iconic Haiti earthquake pictures without his permission after he posted those pictures on...more

Napoleon Pictures Limited v. Fox - Searchlight Pictures, Inc. California Court of Appeal, 2d Appellate Div., April 9, 2015

Napoleon Pictures Limited v. Fox - Searchlight Pictures, Inc. California Court of Appeal, 2d Appellate Div., April 9, 2015 - Appellate court affirms trial court’s judgment in dispute over royalties for video sales for...more

Even In The UK, Think Twice Before Using Celebrity Endorsements

A recent legal case in the UK between singer Rhianna and fashion retailer Topshop has highlighted differences between publicity rights in the UK and some US jurisdictions. Rhianna sued Topshop for its sale of a t-shirt...more

Australia: Perth Glory suspended, fined and going to Supreme Court

Perth Glory have been fined $269,000 and ejected from the finals series of the A-League after being found guilty of salary cap breaches....more

€ 500 million VLT gaming fee confirmed?

The interim claim on the € 500 million video lottery fee has been rejected by Italian courts raising the question on whether the € 200 million payment due at the end of April shall be paid....more

Jury Sees a Clear Line – Pharrell, Thicke Crossed It

Pharrell Williams, famous for singing about how “Happy” he is, might be changing his tune these days. On March 10, a federal jury found him and fellow pop star Robin Thicke liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s popular song “Got...more

Dutch judge: online operator does not have to refund gambling losses

Through its website, the remote gambling operator gave the opportunity to participate in remote games of chance. Now that it is still not legally permitted to offer remote games of chance targeted to the Dutch market, the...more

Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Inc. v. Cole - USDC, D. Oregon, March 18, 2015

District court holds defendants willfully infringed plaintiff’s copyright in animated film, finding defendants acted recklessly by manufacturing film without searching Copyright Office’s records, and by concluding that film...more

Tempest Publishing, Inc. v. Hacienda Records and Recording Studio, Inc. - USDC, S.D. Tex., March 18, 2015

Texas district court holds that independent recording studio willfully infringed copyright in plaintiff’s musical composition, finding defendant’s four-year delay in seeking post-recording license did not conform with...more

Allocation of Copyright Damages for Co-Owners - In re Isbell Records, Inc.

Addressing for the first time the issue of whether a partial owner of a copyright can be awarded infringement damages for his co-owner’s share, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit determined that a partial...more

The Internship 2: Now Paid? Viacom Pays Record Settlement on Intern Lawsuit

Viacom recently announced a settlement of $7.2 million dollars to end litigation by numerous unpaid interns for the Company’s television networks. In 2013, two former interns sued Viacom claiming that it violated the Fair...more

Lance Armstrong’s Perjured Doping Testimony Earns Him a $10 Million Sanction in Arbitration

Recently, Lance Armstrong attracted national attention when an arbitration panel in Texas ordered him to pay $10 million in sanctions to a promotions company for lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs to win the...more

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