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First Circuit Clarifies Rights of Co-Author of Joint Derivative Work to Make Further Derivatives

In a squabble between two psychologists over rights to books about “explosive” children, the First Circuit weighed in this summer with an opinion holding that a work of authorship under the Copyright Act can be simultaneously...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to Alleged Horizontal Adoption of Minimum Advertised Prices

In what has been described as the latest opinion on the use of hub and spoke theories to allege conspiracies in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, the plaintiffs took the position that the viability of their claims...more

From Phonograph Records to Musical Sound Recordings: USPTO’s Pilot Program May Bring Life to Outdated Registrations

Own a trademark registration covering goods or services that have become obsolete due to technological advances? Does your trademark registration cover content delivered by floppy discs that are now provided as on-line...more

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For A Little Respect From Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

On September 4, 2015, a long running legal battle over the right to use footage from a 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin took a twist right out of a Hollywood movie when the Queen of Soul sought, and was granted, a temporary...more

Legal v. Illegal Drugs in Event Cancellation Policies

The abuse of illegal drugs continues to claim its victims in the entertainment industry, as the death of Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman shows. The 46-year old actor suddenly passed away on Feb. 2, 2014, due to...more

Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

Death v. Suicide in Event Cancellation Policies

While many Event Cancellation/Non-appearance policies offer effective coverage for financial losses and additional costs when the insured performer dies from natural causes or an accident, they reach their limits if the...more

Supreme Court Corner – Q3 2015

In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, the Supreme Court upheld a long-standing precedent that restricts the ability of a patent holder to charge a royalty beyond the term of a patent. In a 6-3 decision, the Court declined to...more

Shame on You Productions, Inc. v. Banks - USDC, C.D. California, August 14, 2015

Plaintiff Shame on You Productions, Inc., was assigned a screenplay titled “Darci’s Walk of Shame” by its author, Dan Rosen. Shame on You sued defendants, including actress Elizabeth Banks, for copyright infringement and...more

NLRB Punts on College Athlete Unions

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued the long awaited decision in the Northwestern University football union case. 362 NLRB No. 167 (8/17/2015). In a rare display of unanimity, the five members of...more

NFL Deflategate Suit: Paving The Way For Forum Shopping in Federal Court

When a plaintiff decides to bring a lawsuit, one of the most crucial decisions he has to make is which judicial forum the case should be brought in. Many people only distinguish between state and federal courts. However,...more

Ninth Circuit Stays Injunction in O’Bannon v. NCAA Pending Final Decision

The Ninth Circuit issued an order last Friday staying an injunction from U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California in O’Bannon v. NCAA until it reaches a decision on the merits of the appeal....more

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Adopts “Primary Beneficiary Test” and Provides Guidance on the Unpaid Intern Question

On July 2, 2015, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued significant pro-employer decisions in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures (Nos. 13-4478-cv, 13-4481-cv) (“Fox”) and Wang v. Hearst Corp. (No. 13-4480-cv) (“Hearst”)...more

Attorney Fees Awarded In First Impression

In Ryan v. Editions Limited West Inc., 2015 DJDAR 5455, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit decided an important issue of first impression: does the Copyright Act of 1976 preclude enforcement of a contractual...more

Creative Use Of The California Anti-SLAPP Statute To Idea Submission Claims: Stay Tuned

The Purge is a motion picture in which a fictional U.S. government has established an annual twelve hour period called “the purge” in which all crime is legalized and no emergency services are available. And, for the last...more

Music Streaming Rights Are Included in ASCAP’s Licenses - American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers et al. v. Pandora...

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that composers and music publishers cannot partially withdraw from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) licensing...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

Three Point Shot - June 2015

Jockeying for Dollars: Kentucky Downs Faces Two Lawsuits over Betting Machines - And they're off ... to the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. One of the country's premier racetracks,...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

Major League Baseball Is Exempt From The Antitrust Laws – Like It Or Not: The “Unrealistic,” “Inconsistent,” And “Illogical”...

The Athletics baseball team has been located in Oakland, California for many years. Several years ago, the A’s decided they would like to move their franchise to San Jose, which they anticipate would be a more profitable...more

District Court Dismisses Securities Class Action Against Electronic Arts

The US District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice a securities fraud class action against Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and its officers, holding that the plaintiffs’ amended...more

When Does an Email Form a Legally-Binding Agreement? Ask the Canucks.

A recent decision from the British Columbia Court of Appeal provides an important reminder when communicating by email regarding the negotiation of the terms of an agreement: Just because you haven’t signed a contract,...more

Contracts Can Impose High Liquidated Damages in Some Cases

A few volumes ago, we wrote about the scope and enforceability of liquidated damages provisions in contracts, indicating that these provisions may only be enforced by courts where (i) the damages amount is not so unreasonably...more

Morawski v. Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, April 15, 2015

Morawski v. Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, April 15, 2015 - Ninth Circuit panel summarily affirms award of summary judgment in favor of James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, rejecting...more

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