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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McRo decision gives software/computer-based patents a big boost

On September 13, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held as patent-eligible patent claims directed to automated lip-synching for animated characters. This holding builds upon the few decisions thus far...more

EEOC Sues Owners of Happy Jack’s Casino For Disability Discrimination

Federal Agency Says Owners Rejected Applicant Because She Took Prescription Drugs For Her Medical Condition - SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - M.G. Oil Company, which operates Happy Jack's Casino in Sioux Falls, South Dakota,...more

Pay Now or Pay Later – Challenges Facing Spotify, Tidal, and Other Media Streaming Services Following a Series of Copyright...

Spotify USA Inc. (“Spotify”), the popular music streaming service with over 100 million active users and 30 million paying subscribers, continues to grow as an industry leader. Spotify launched in 2006 and reached over 20...more

Lohan v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and Gravano v. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. - New York Supreme Court, Appellate...

New York appeals court overturns lower court decision, dismissing claims by actress Lindsay Lohan and former “Mob Wives” star Karen Gravano against “Grand Theft Auto V” video game makers for misappropriating their likenesses,...more

Led Zeppelin Prevails in Copyright Infringement Case: Now on Appeal in Ninth Circuit

In May 2014, the Trust acting on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe (a/k/a Randy California) of the rock group Spirit filed a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin related to the first chords in the band’s most...more

Lessons From Recently Vacated Arbitration Awards

While I was busy blogging out listicles and “think pieces” last month, my stack of unread arbitration cases grew exponentially.  August was apparently a very busy month for publishing arbitration opinions.  Maybe most...more

ITC Declines to File Petition for Certiorari – CAFC Holding that ITC Does Not Have Jurisdiction over Digital Imports Stands

The deadline has come and gone for the ITC and patentee Align to file petitions for certiorari seeking review by the Supreme Court of the Federal Circuit’s decision in ClearCorrect. On November 10, 2015, a panel of the...more

Rams v. Def Jam Recordings Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, August 16, 2016

In action brought by photographer and subject alleging unauthorized use of photo on recording artist Jeremih’s album cover, district court denies motion to dismiss contributory and vicarious copyright infringement claims,...more

Bowen v. Paisley - USDC, M.D. Tennessee, August 25, 2016

District court grants summary judgment dismissing copyright infringement suit against country music stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, and others involved in producing the 2011 hit song “Remind Me,” holding that it was...more

Eighth Circuit Privacy Class Action Fails to Clear Second Hurdle

In Carlsen v. GameStop Inc., plaintiff ­– a paid subscriber to defendant’s online gaming magazine – brought a putative class action lawsuit against defendant for alleged breach of its privacy policy by disclosing plaintiff’s...more

Court Declines to Dismiss Jason Pierre-Paul’s Suit Against ESPN and Adam Schefter

The lawsuit filed by New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul against ESPN and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter for invasion of privacy has survived its first challenge from ESPN. ESPN filed a motion to dismiss...more

Caesars Back in Bankruptcy Court

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc. (“Caesars”) appeared in bankruptcy court for the third time this year to request that creditors be stayed from seeking an $11 billion dollar judgment against the casino operator’s...more

Student Athletes Fight to Keep Fantasy Sports-Related Right of Publicity Claims Alive

Last week, the plaintiff collegiate athletes in a putative class action lawsuit pending in the Southern District Court of Indiana filed their opposition to FanDuel and DraftKings’ respective motions to dismiss. The...more

Friedman v. Live Nation Merchandise, Inc. - USCA Ninth Circuit, August 18, 2016

Ninth Circuit revives photographers claims of willful copyright infringement against Live Nation Merchandise over Run DMC photograph it used without permission, concluding lower court incorrectly dismissed willful copyright...more

Eggleston v. Daniels - USDC, E.D. Michigan, August 16, 2016

District court refused to dismiss infringement claims alleging creators of TV show “Empire” copied Cookie Lyon character from plaintiff’s memoir, concluding, among other things, that stories with female, African-American...more

Making Sense of the Peter Doig Trial and the Authentication Fallout

As was reported in detail by the New York Times and others earlier this week, artist Peter Doig prevailed in what most agree was the strangest art related trial in many years. In a nutshell, Doig was accused by a former...more

All That Glitters is Not Gold For Led Zeppelin’s Claim For Attorneys’ Fees

Legendary rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are probably still flying high over their defense verdict earlier this summer in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright infringement trial. They may be slightly coming down, though,...more

Update: I Swear It’s Not Mine – Artist Sued for Denying He Created Art Piece

Yesterday, August 23, 2016, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman reached a verdict in the authentication case against Peter Doig. He stated that Doig “could not have been the author of the work”, but rather in all likelihood...more

DeVito Artworks LLC v. Legendary Pictures LLC - California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, August 5, 2016

In dispute over pitch for television series about origins of King Kong, Superior Court holds that plaintiff’s implied contract with makers of “Kong: Skull Island” film not to use ideas without compensation was not barred by...more

Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin - USDC, C.D. California, August 8, 2016

District court rejects music publisher’s request for nearly $800,000 in attorney’s fees and costs as prevailing party in copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven,” concluding lawsuit alleging infringement...more

WWE Misclassification Lawsuit Claims Performers’ Status as Independent Contractors Caused Long-Term Brain Injuries

Another major sports organization has been hit on the head with a concussion lawsuit. Most recently, former WWE performers claim that they suffered concussions and other head injuries that have resulted in long-term brain...more

Norton Simon Museum Prevails Against Von Saher Claim to Cranachs Looted by the Nazis

Just as it appeared that the first trial in years would begin next month on a claim of Nazi-looted art, the much publicized Von Saher case has come to an end with a judgment that entered yesterday. The U.S. District Court...more

Northern District of California “Shuts Out” Minor League Ballplayers’ Experts

Minor league baseball players took a swing at class certification, and they missed—badly. In Senne v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., minor league baseball players across the country asserted wage and hour...more

BMI Redux: BMI Seeks To Move To “Clarify” The DOJ Position On Partial Licenses

As we have previously blogged, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) rejected proposed modifications to the existing Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”) consent...more

Solid Oak Sketches LLC v. 2K Games Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, August 2, 2016

In copyright dispute over depictions of NBA players’ tattoos in “NBA 2K” video game series, district court dismisses tattoo licensing company’s claim for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees because copyrighted tattoo...more

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