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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

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

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies: YouTube’s Beauty Guru Fights Back Against Ultra Records

Michelle Phan is a YouTube celebrity and beauty guru and has garnered over 7 million subscribers and one billion lifetime views. However, not everyone is a fan of Ms. Phan. On July 16, 2014, Ultra International Music...more

Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 20, 2015

Following jury verdict on Lanham Act claim in favor of entity owned by Bob Marley’s children, Ninth Circuit affirms denial of defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that trial evidence supported jury’s...more

(Un)licensed to Ill: Three Common Sense Lessons Every Marketing Department Should Learn from Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Co.

As reported by several media outlets in the last few weeks, the Beastie Boys are seeking nearly $2.4 million in attorneys’ fees from Monster Energy Co.—the maker of the eponymous Monster energy drinks—after Monster was found...more

Case By Case

Bait-and-Switch Credit Card Offer - In a variation on the typical “bait-and-switch” scheme, a bank made a promotional offer of a “no annual fee” credit card, then changed the terms mid-year to require such a fee. A...more

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Enforce Your Copyrights!)

The Beastie Boys can look back on 2014 as a year of good copyright outcomes. The preceding years had seen their music used without authorization in two promotional videos, by Goldieblox and Monster Energy, despite the...more

Does the Ebola-free Nurse Doll Raise a Right of Publicity Claim?

In general, a right of publicity is a right to control use of your name, likeness, and other aspects of your identity. Right of publicity laws normally give an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their...more

Beastie Boys v. Monster Energy Company - USDC, S.D. New York, December 4, 2014

Following jury verdict in favor of Beastie Boys on copyright infringement and Lanham Act claims, district court denies defendant Monster Energy Company’s motions for judgment as matter of law, for new trial, and for reduction...more

On December 15, 2014, The Ninth Circuit En Banc Will Hear Garcia v. Google, Inc./Actors And Producers Await The Result

On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Ninth Circuit en banc will hear argument in Garcia v. Google, Inc. 766 F3d 929 (9th Cir. 2014), amending 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2014). A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit previously...more

NCAA appeals district court decision in O’Bannon v. NCAA

On November 14, 2014, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit challenging a district court’s injunction on the enforcement of NCAA rules barring college athlete compensation as...more

China Court Ruled Infringement for Ambush Marketing in Film Industry

The term “Ambush Marketing” originally came from inappropriate sport advertisement in western countries. It involves a marketing strategy wherein the advertisers associate themselves with, and therefore capitalize on, a...more

Federal Government Wins Trademark Battle to Shut Down “Voice of America” Website with “Undeniable Governmental Aesthetic”

Since its first broadcast on February 1, 1942, the Voice of America radio service (VOA) has aired countless hours of programming in dozens of languages to what is currently an estimated global audience of over 100 million...more

Judge Posner Orders Sherlock Holmes Estate to Pay Attorneys’ Fees for “Form of Extortion”

Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. - In another scathing opinion against the Sherlock Holmes estate, Judge Richard A. Posner ordered the estate to pay attorneys’ fees for bringing “nonexistent copyright claims” as a...more

Personal Brand Management for Retirees (…of the NFL)

Dozens of former NFL players lit up the federal court docket here in Minnesota with filings on Monday targeted at Defendants including the National Football League, NFL Films, Inc., and NFL Productions, LLC....more

Garcia v. Google, Inc.

Garcia v. Google, Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 11, 2014: Ninth Circuit amends earlier opinion in which it reversed district court’s denial of injunction requiring removal from YouTube.com of anti-Islamic video,...more

Copyright Litigation and the Risk of Double Costs

An American photojournalist, Ms. Leuthold, was on the scene in New York City on September 11, 2001. She licensed a number of still photographs to the CBC for use in a documentary about the 9/11 attacks. The photos were...more

Protecting High Profile Reputations - Brownstein's $19 Million Verdict Stands After Appeal

In the modern age of the Internet where “news”—whether or not it’s true—spreads worldwide in an instant, high-profile corporate and individual reputations are under attack every day from business adversaries, disgruntled...more

Supreme Court Rules That Aereo’s TV Transmissions Infringe Copyrights as an Illegal Public Performance

In a 6-3 decision earlier today, the United States Supreme Court held that Aereo infringes broadcasters’ copyrights by providing the means for subscribers to view programs through individually-assigned antennas at about the...more

Copyright Alert: ABC v. Aereo: What the Supreme Court Decided - And What It Did Not

On June 25, 2014, a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court held that Aereo’s service that allows customers to view over-the-air TV broadcasts via the internet violated the public performance right under the Copyright Act. Applying...more

Boston Copyright Round Table on Policy, Creativity and Innovation

The Department of Commerce is holding a round table at Harvard Law School on June 25, 2014 to discuss the Internet Policy Task Force’s Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy,...more

And You Thought Your Teenager’s Cell Phone Bill Was High…NFL Team’s Texts Cost $3 Million

Fans everywhere like to complain about their team’s picks in the NFL draft. Maybe their team drafted a quarterback instead of a cornerback, or maybe it fell for that highly overrated prospect. Most such complaints stay safely...more

World IP Day “Movie – A Global Passion” / Tackling online piracy

As part of the series of posts dedicated to movies and intellectual property for celebrating the upcoming World IP Day, we blogged about the recent Sky-SIAE case on fair compensation for authors of movies who have assigned...more

Tarantino’s “Hateful” Revenge: Director Pursues Copyright Claim Over Hyperlink To Leaked Script

Quentin Tarantino probably wasn’t offended when the Hollywood gossip website Defamer, owned by Gawker Media LLC, compared him to a petulant child and accused him of throwing a “temper tantrum.” After all, the colorful...more

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