Communications & Media Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

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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

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014

Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. - USDC, N.D. California, November 24, 2014: District court grants summary judgment in favor of publisher of military-action video game Call of Duty: Ghosts on trademark...more

The Sum of All Parts: Second and Ninth Circuits Poised to Address Movie “Authorship”

“There are no small parts, only small actors.” So says the film and theater maxim most frequently attributed to Russian actor and director Constantin Stanislavski. But how small a contribution is enough for an actor or...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

Music Publishers Bring Contributory Copyright Claims Against ISP for Infringing Activities of Subscribers

In a novel lawsuit that tests the bounds of service provider liability, two music publishers brought suit against an ISP for contributory copyright infringement for allegedly facilitating infringement by failing to terminate...more

Business Round Up: The News and the Views

Thomas Pink Ltd v Victoria’s Secret UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 2631 (Ch) Two particular points for brand owners to take away from the decision: 1. If faced with an invalidity challenge on the grounds of s3(1)(b) or (c)...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

Ninth Circuit to Reconsider the Curious Copyright Case Requiring YouTube to Take Down All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film

Earlier this year, Socially Aware noted a peculiar decision out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that an actress owns a copyright interest in her five-second performance in a film and thus could demand the...more

Use of Porn Star Images in “Romance Fraud” Dating Profiles Fails to Support Trademark and False Advertising Claims

The plaintiff in Avalos v. IAC/Interactive Corp. called it “one of the biggest conspiracies ever executed on the internet” — the unauthorized use of images of adult film stars in fake online dating profiles. But in an opinion...more

Aereo Loses Bid to Resume Operations

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Aereo, Inc., an online streaming service, was violating copyrights by retransmitting television broadcasts without the networks’ permission. The Court’s decision was based upon its...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

Advertising Law - October 2014 #4

Red Bull’s $13M False Ad Deal Crashes Site - Red Bull may claim to give you wings, but a false advertising settlement with the company apparently couldn’t stop its servers from crashing....more

Gibson Guitar Facing 15 Trademark Opposers

A brand owner’s non-traditional trademark application will sometimes gain the critical attention of multiple direct competitors. Gibson Guitar’s unlucky number is apparently fifteen....more

Rossi v. Photoglou - California Court of Appeals, 4th Appellate Div., September 29, 2014

Rossi v. Photoglou - California Court of Appeals, 4th Appellate Div., September 29, 2014: California appellate court reverses summary judgment in favor of Real Housewife of Orange County Gretchen Rossi against "friend"...more

September 2014: Entertainment Litigation Update

ABC v. Aereo: Supreme Court Holds that Aereo’s System of Streaming Television Broadcasts via the Internet Infringes Copyrights in Programs Broadcast. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the...more

No Harm, No Foul in Apple E-Book Notice Screw Up

In mid-September, class notices went out in the ongoing Apple E-books class action lawsuit that might have momentarily had Apple’s attorneys a little concerned. Over three million potential members of the class received...more

Executing Noriega?

As some of you may recall, I posted about a lawsuit Manuel Noriega brought against purveyors of the Call of Duty video game franchise arising from his depiction in the game. In essence, I suggested that Noriega’s lawsuit was...more

Dean v. Cameron -- USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 17, 2014

Dean v. Cameron - USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 17, 2014: Court dismisses artist’s copyright infringement suit against defendants, including James Cameron, involved in production and distribution of blockbuster feature...more

Recent Developments In Information Technology Law – Third Quarter 2014

The 2013-14 term of the Supreme Court ended with multiple decisions on intellectual property issues. Over the past few months, the Court issued a number of patent law related opinions covering ground from claim...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

Supreme Court Decision Threatens Internet Television, But There Is Hope

When Congress last completely overhauled the Copyright Act in 1976, disco topped the charts, Charlie’s Angels was making its television debut, and fax machines were revolutionizing how people communicated. But it was this...more

Cheeky Monkey: Wikipedia claims copyright comes down to the press of a button

In my childhood, come summer, the UK Parliament would go into recess, and because that seemed to signal the end of lots of newsworthy items—political scandals, Government and opposition taunting each other, etc.—the period...more

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - USCA, Seventh Circuit, August 14, 2014 - Seventh Circuit affirms district court’s dismissal of software company’s reverse-confusion trademark suit, where...more

District Court Denies Summary Judgment in Broadcast Rights Class Action

On Friday, August 8, 2014, the Southern District of New York denied motions for summary judgment filed by the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Comcast Corp. and DirecTV LLC in suits alleging that these...more

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