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Does The First Amendment Allow Journalists To Lie To Their Subjects? U.S. Senator Accuses Documentary Film Makers Of Fraud

On April 1, 2014, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin issued a press release accusing Adroit Films of fraud. Manchin had agreed to be interviewed by the media company for a documentary about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster,...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks - January 27, 2014

Moore v. Lightstorm Entertainment, USDC, D. Maryland, January 17, 2014 - District court grants summary judgment dismissing screenwriter’s copyright infringement claims against producers of motion picture Avatar,...more

Leggo My Likeness Part V: Grand Theft Right of Publicity?

This year, several important video game lawsuits helped clarify the parameters for using a celebrity’s likeness in video games. Generally speaking, courts have found that, unless you get permission, you can’t put a celebrity...more

NCAA’s Battle Continues in the Fight Over Who Should Pay for the Use of Student-Athlete Likenesses

Since 2009, former student-athletes have been litigating the issue of whether the apparent commodification of student-athlete likenesses in video games entitles the athletes to compensation. Defendants in these lawsuits...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

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- October 24, 2013

Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, USDC, N.D. Cal, October 17, 2013 - District court grants summary judgment against former employee “game master” of defendant videogame company, finding that sound recordings of employee...more

Balancing Freedom Of Expression And The Right Of Publicity: Implications For The Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Freedom of expression bowed to the right of publicity on July 31, 2013, when a divided panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled that college athletes could proceed in litigation against Electronic Arts (“EA”) for making sports-based...more

District Court Reaffirms that Service Provider will be Granted Immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Via Section 230, the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides broad immunity for service providers, hosts and website operators for claims stemming from their publication of information created by third parties....more

October 2013: Sports Litigation Update - Athletes Prevail in Right of Publicity Suits Against Video Game Designer

Two federal appellate courts held this summer that the First Amendment does not insulate video game maker Electronic Arts (“EA”) from right of publicity suits brought by football players whose likenesses it used as part of...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- September 27, 2013

Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC, USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 18, 2013 - District court grants in part and denies in part video-sharing website’s summary judgment motion for safe harbor protection under the DMCA for...more

Ninth Circuit Fumbles The Ball In Videogame Likeness Cases

Creating a new rule that gives videogames much more limited protection than other expressive works, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that realistically depicting college athletes in videogames showing them doing what they became...more

The right of publicity in college sports

The sports-media industry has recently experienced a proliferation of litigation involving right-of-publicity claims asserted by student-athletes for the unauthorized use of their names, images and likenesses. The most highly...more

The Anatomy Of A Defamation Claim – Scottie Pippen’s Case Is Dismissed

I think Scottie Pippen is one of the most overrated players in the history of the NBA. My opinion may be soured because I am a Houston Rockets fan and the experiment with him, Olajuwon and Charles Barkley did not end well....more

Litigation Alert: Seventh Circuit Provides an Assist to Internet Content Providers in Pippen v. NBCUniversal

On August 21, 2013, the Seventh Circuit in Pippen v. NBCUniversal Media, LLC, et al. (Case No. 12-3294) affirmed the Northern District of Illinois’ dismissal of Scottie Pippen’s defamation lawsuit against a number of media...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- August 9, 2013

Brown v. Electronic Arts, Inc., USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 31, 2013 - Ninth Circuit affirms dismissal of NFL great Jim Brown’s Lanham Act claim against video game developer Electronic Arts, Inc., concluding that Rogers...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Assesses Use of Player Likenesses in Video Games

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the Ninth Circuit issued two opinions assessing the parameters of use of individual player likenesses in video games in two highly watched cases...more

Jim Brown's Right Of Publicity Claim Revived By Keller Victory On Appeal

A Ninth Circuit panel decision issued on July 31, 2013, has revived NFL legend Jim Brown's state law right of publicity claims against video game maker Electronic Arts, Inc. ("EA"). Back in March 2009, Brown filed an action...more

Football & Free Speech: Third Circuit Vidgame Decision Has Broader Implications for Reality-Based Works

42, 127 Hours, Act of Valor, Argo, Dolphin Tale, Fair Game, Green Zone, I Love You Philip Morris, Moneyball, People Like Us, Sanctum, Secretariat, Soul Surfer, The Bling Ring, The Fighter, The Runaways, The Whistleblower,...more

Leggo My Likeness, Part Four

There are so many fun things you can do with celebrities. In addition to the traditional things like writing books about them, you can also use their catchphrases to make greeting cards; make movies about them using puppets;...more

Electronic Arts Takes One In The Kisser

For some time now, Electronic Arts–purveyor of sports video games–has been embroiled in disputes relating to using the likenesses of former college athletes without providing them appropriate remuneration. There has been the...more

Third Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment In Favor of Video Game Maker In Important Right of Publicity Case

In a much-anticipated opinion, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday reversed a New Jersey lower court decision granting summary judgment in favor of video game giant Electronic Arts against putative class...more

Athletes’ Rights of Publicity Trump First Amendment in Video Game Context

In a recent 62-page decision by the Third Circuit, obviously intended to give guidance in an unclear area of the law, the rights of publicity of a college athlete in a video game trumped the First Amendment arguments of the...more

Donald Trump Sues Bill Maher for Monkeying Around on Late-Night Talk Show

Here at Law Law Land, there are a few pearls of wisdom we like to repeat — perhaps to a fault — just because they are so helpful and right. Copyright law doesn’t protect ideas, only the expressions of ideas. Being legally...more

Rights of Publicity: Contradictions in the Courts

The legal controversies over athletes' rights-of-publicity rage on. Two pending appellate decisions offer some hope that a rational conclusion might be in sight. The head of Manatt's Sports Law Practice Group, Ron Katz, had...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks - November 7, 2012

Table of Contents: ..Washington v. Take-two Interactive Software, Inc., et al. California appellate court affirms anti-SLAPP dismissal of misappropriation claim brought against Grand Theft Auto developers....more

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