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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Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

One of the best sports photographs in recent history captured a 2016 incident where Texas Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor hit Toronto Blue Jay José Bautista in the face. That memorable image is at the center of a new...more

Art Advisors and Duty of Loyalty in Focus Again Over Sale of Basquiat

We reviewed in December an important decision that addressed the duties of loyalty that art advisors may, or may not, owe to their clients in dealing in the art market. That question—of to what extent advisors and...more

Defendant Wipes Out After Getting Caught in the Riptide and Is Sanctioned for Ill-Conceived Motion to Compel in Surf Tech...

This case presents an example of a district court’s use of the “proportionality” requirement of Rule 26 to limit overbroad discovery. On March 9, 2017, Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major of the District Court for the Southern...more

Federal Court knocks TPM circumvention with significant damages award

In a major victory for Nintendo, the Federal Court of Canada awarded $12.7 million in damages for circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright infringement. This decision (America of America Inc. v...more

Your DMCA Safe Harbor Questions Answered

Do you need the answer right now to one particular question about the DMCA and its (so-called) “Safe Harbors”? Here you go! But be warned: we’re painting with a broad brush, so you will have to go further – including seeking...more

Bieber, Beer, and… Protective Orders

On February 8, 2017, pop star Justin Bieber was scheduled to be deposed in Santa Monica, California. Lawyers traveled from Nashville to California for the deposition, but upon arrival they were informed Bieber was too ill to...more

Actors’ Ages to Remain Available Online (At Least for Now)

A federal court has granted IMDb’s request for a preliminary injunction to allow the entertainment website to keep actors’ ages in their online profiles – despite the enactment of a statute in California prohibiting same....more

The Apple May Not Fall Far from the Fashion Industry

In 2011, Apple sued Samsung alleging among other things that various portions of Samsung smartphone products infringed claims of certain design patents owned by Apple (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.). In 2012,...more

Paul McCartney chants 'Get Back' again – The Future of Copyright Termination

The US Copyright Act of 1976 allows artists, writers, and musicians to “get back” grants of copyrights that had been previously licensed or assigned away. Specifically, artists can “terminate” their copyright arrangements...more

Sixth Circuit Drops the Beat: Social Media Relevant in Determining Likelihood of Confusion

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to find that relevant consumers were likely to confuse the sources of his and the...more

The Yellow Pages Live On

Calling the district court’s action an “abuse of discretion,” the 11th Circuit reversed a decision that cut by more than 90 percent a successful copyright infringement plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Yellow...more

Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction and Permanently Shuts Down Santa Ysabel’s Desert Rose Bingo

On December 12, 2016, Judge Battaglia of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California issued the Court’s long-awaited ruling on the State of California and Federal Government’s motions for summary...more

The Spotify Settlement With NMPA: What It Means for Music Publishers

In March 2016, the popular music streaming service, Spotify, reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) to cover billions of unlicensed streams from member publishers dating back to the...more

Personal and Corporate Reputation: Five Lessons from 2016

On November 19, 2014, Sabrina Erdely’s Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” went viral. The article depicted the violent gang rape of a University of Virginia student...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Online Copyright Enforcement Gone Wrong – How To Get it Right

An elderly grandmother. A first-person shooter video game. The two typically have very little in common. Yet both were recently in the headlines of the national news. The story involved an email sent pursuant to Canada’s...more

Commercial Division Rejects Employers’ Plea For Trade Secret and Trademark Protection

When employees resign, the scope of the trade secret doctrine often defines the relationship between former employers and their employees. Trade secret misappropriation claims frequently overlap with other claims arising out...more

Not Gone with the Wind: IP Rights Despite Public Domain Images

In 2006, Warner Bros. filed suit against A.V.E.L.A., X One X Productions, and ArtNostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) for copyright and trademark infringement under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and state law....more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: John Madden Football, Rhett Butler and the Commerce Clause

Copyright Opinions - Absence of Source Code for Video Games Results in JMOL of Non-Infringement: Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 14-15298 (9th Cir. Nov. 22, 2016). Hurwitz, J. In a suit for royalties on EA's...more

Seventh Circuit Confirms Student-Athletes Not Entitled to Minimum Wage under FLSA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence’s dismissal of the student-athlete litigation against the NCAA and over 120 NCAA Division I member schools alleging that...more

Michael Jordan Wins Back Name In Chinese Trademark Dispute

Former NBA basketball star Michael Jordan has won back the rights to his last name in China, as written in Chinese characters. On December 8th, a Chinese high court determined that Qiaodan Sports, a sportswear company with...more

Heirs of Nazi-Persecuted Art Dealer Alfred Flechtheim Sue Bavarian Museums

Paintings by Beckmann, Gris and Klee Valued at Nearly $20 Million That Once Belonged to Flechtheim Are at Issue in New York Lawsuit - Sullivan & Worcester LLP has filed suit against Bavaria and its state museums in U.S....more

Heirs of Nazi-Persecuted Art Dealer Alfred Flechtheim Sue Bavarian Museums

Paintings by Beckmann, Gris and Klee Valued at Nearly $20 Million That Once Belonged to Flechtheim Are at Issue in New York Lawsuit - Sullivan & Worcester LLP has filed suit against Bavaria and its state museums in U.S....more

Stop the Music: $25 Million Verdict Intact Despite Party’s Intentional Spoliation of Evidence

The court entered final judgment, upholding the jury’s findings and denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial, finding that harsher sanctions for the plaintiff’s intentional spoliation of material evidence were not...more

As American as Football, Apple Pie and Class Actions

Two cert petitions in a football-related class action are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court: Gilchrist v. National Football League, case no. 16-283 and Armstrong v. National Football League. Both are scheduled to be...more

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