Communications & Media Personal Injury Intellectual Property

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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

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Video Game Makers Strike Out In College Athlete Cases – Coaching Tips For The Virtual World

Over the past several years, I have written about a series of decisions in suits brought by former collegiate athletes against EA Sports and the NCAA, seeking compensation for the use of their likenesses and those of...more

How far can companies leverage the name and image of celebrities when promoting their brand?

It is common to see celebrities, which have captivated the public for decades, photographed using a company product or wearing a branded garment. Using such photos for promoting a company’s brand can be problematic especially...more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2014

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie - “Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the...more

The CFAA Does Not Apply To Facebook Photo Theft

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1030 et seq, is a criminal statute that forbids, among other things, "intentionally access[ing] a protected computer, without authorization" when the access...more

Advertising Law

NAD Decision Offers Reminder About Use of Before and After Pictures - “Before” and “after” photos can provide powerful imagery for advertisers. But a recent decision from the National Advertising Division emphasizes...more

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Those Rights of Publicity

Earlier this month, Katherine Heigl sued Duane Reade for $6,000,000 for tweeting a paparazzi photo of her leaving a Duane Reade drugstore, together with the caption “Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even KatieHeigle can’t resist...more

MarkIt to Market - April 2014

The April issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter contains a cautionary tale regarding use of social media, a clarified test for false advertising standing, updates to Canada's Trade-marks Act, and an updated...more

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie

“Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the shot using his Samsung smartphone during a visit to the...more

Capturing Tiger Woods at The Masters

My second favorite golf major, The Masters, starts tomorrow in Augusta, Georgia. And as much as I dislike its history of racism, misogyny, and banning an announcer because he used the terms “bikini-waxed” and “body bags”...more

Can Private Photos Be Used In Political Ads Without Permission? Colorado Court Rejects Gay Couple’s Misappropriation Claim;...

When we upload family pictures to the internet, we understand that, in theory, anyone in the world might download them and use them for some nefarious purpose. However, we usually take comfort in the fact that most of us...more

The Supreme Court Redefines Standing Requirements for False Advertising Claims

On March 25, 2014, Justice Antonin Scalia authored an opinion for a unanimous United States Supreme Court in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., case number 12-873, setting forth a bright-line test...more

District Court Allows Claims to Proceed Against Ripoffreport.com For Copyright Infringement And “Unfair or Deceptive” Acts In...

We previously reported on the unique cyber dilemma faced by Richard Goren, a Massachusetts attorney. Back in 2012, a disgruntled former client of Goren’s logged onto the consumer review site, and posted an outlandish – and...more

Cyberlaw: Of Athletes And Video Games

Can a video game company use an athlete’s likeness in a game without his or her permission? The answer is maybe. The Ninth Circuit recently rejected Jim Brown’s Lanham Act Section 43 claim against Electronic Arts, Inc....more

Liability Insurer May Have to Cover Knockoff Jewelry Site for Allegedly Violating Reese Witherspoon’s Right of Publicity

Have you always wanted to own “The One Ring to Rule Them All” of Lord of the Rings fame? Do you dream of an engagement ring just like Kate Middleton’s? Your dreams can come true with a visit to Emitations.com, a website...more

Back From The Dead? Senator Wants To Resuscitate Legislation To Create A Federal Right Of Action For Trade Secret Theft

There are stirrings in the U.S. Senate of yet another bid to establish a federal right of civil action for trade secret misappropriation. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) has quietly circulated a draft bill to IP lawyers and...more

Family of Jack Gibson, founder of the National Association of Radio Announcers for Black Radio DJs, enforces famous mark “Jack the...

Judge Thrash issued a ruling granting in part and denying in part the motion for summary judgment of plaintiffs (Jill Gibson Bell, et. al., hereinafter “Gibson Family”) against Billy Darren Foster (“Foster”) for trade mark...more

Top questions fashion brands should consider before conducting social media marketing

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…the list of social media tools for the promotion of your fashion brand is ever increasing. While social media is an effective and immediate way to reach your customers, there are some...more

Keeping Privates Private: The Legal Landscape of Revenge Porn

Mark Zuckerberg famously stated that the purpose of Facebook is “to make the world more open and connected,” and indeed Facebook, other social media outlets and the Internet in general have brought worldwide openness and...more

Advertising Law -- Dec 16, 2013

SPECIAL FOCUS: FTC Workshop on Native Advertising – The “Blurred Lines” Remain Fuzzy - The increased prevalence of online native advertising – commercial content designed with the look and feel of editorial comment –...more

When Does the Right of Publicity Trump a Video Game Maker’s First Amendment Rights?

On September 24, 2013, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”) reached a $40 million dollar settlement of lawsuits over the use of college athletes’ likenesses in EA’s popular college football video game series NCAA Football. EA also...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Fall 2013

This is the inaugural edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that will provide analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings...more

Top fashion legal topics – #4 Be fashion, be social!

After having debated about wearable technologies, special rules for foreign franchisors in Italy and 3D Printers à la mode, in this fourth post of the fashion-dedicated series, celebrating the Milan fashion week, we will...more

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