General Business Civil Procedure Art, Entertainment & Sports

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Stadium Owners Watching Closely To See if Insurer Fumbles Reggie Bush Claim

San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush reportedly intends to sue the city of St. Louis after slipping on a concrete surface behind the St. Louis Rams’ bench during a recent game, injuring his knee and ending his season....more

Donald Sterling Loses Appeal of Clippers Sale: Court of Appeal Rejects Bid To Regain Team’s Ownership

The California Court of Appeal today affirmed the sale in August 2014 of the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-shattering price of $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In a unanimous decision, the three justices...more

Fourth Age Limited v. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, October 28, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s holding that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims against estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in action over right to make digital merchandise based on Tolkien’s books, as counterclaims were...more

Baldwin v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc. - USCA, Second Circuit, October 8, 2015

Second Circuit overturns district court ruling and holds that notice of termination sent to EMI for song “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” successfully terminated 1981 grant of rights because, despite the lack of recordation of...more

Royalty Allocations for Royalty Pools Must Be Well Reasoned and Based on a Record - Settling Devotional Claimants v. Copyright...

Addressing the reasonableness of the Copyright Royalty Board’s (Board) decision allocating a pool of royalties among several parties for the retransmission of copyrighted material by cable system operators, the U.S. Court of...more

Licensing Agent Has Standing to Bring Copyright Infringement Suit - Minden Pictures, Inc. v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Addressing the issue of whether a photograph licensing agent has standing to bring an infringement suit under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision, concluding...more

The Complications of Copyrighted Images in the Yellow Pages - Yellow Pages Photos, Inc. v. Ziplocal, LP

Reviewing a spectrum of copyright-related issues following the conclusion of a jury trial, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court, concluding that willful copyright infringement...more

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

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