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Goodfellas Actor Files Suit Over a Character from The Simpsons: The Limitations on Rights of Publicity Claims

On October 21, 2014, Frank Sivero, an actor who played Frankie Carbone in Goodfellas, filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox and Abram Groening, the co-creator of The Simpsons, claiming that the wiseguy “Louie” character on...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

Can broadcast organisations forbid newspapers to publish full data on a weekly basis?

The decision in Football Dataco by the European Court of Justice ended the possibility by broadcasters of appealing to the so called Dutch Geschriftenbescherming (kleine Munze). In the commented case, the Amsterdam Court...more

Frozen - An IP Fairy Tale

On this especially cold day in the Northeast, my thoughts are on the coming winter. And winter reminds me of the cold, and of feeling frozen. And the word frozen reminds me of Disney’s Frozen, the highest-grossing animated...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

Managing Your Online Content and Website

A SURVEY OF PRIVACY, COPYRIGHT, AND TRADEMARK ISSUES - Today, even Elvis has a Facebook page, Instagram2 and Google+ accounts, a Twitter handle, a Pinterest board, and a mobile app. The Internet and the mobile...more

An Update On The Legal Implications Of User-Generated Content: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, And Instagram

Traditionally, media companies (as well as non-media companies) almost exclusively utilized their own content. However, because of the exponential growth in the public’s desire and ability to interconnect through social media...more

Trademark Misperceptions Revealed By Reaction to Redskins Decision

I can’t define disparagement, but I know it when I see it… On Wednesday, June 18, 2014 the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the judicial body that provides review to all Federal trademark filings and disputes relating...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - November 2014 (Global)

China: Guidelines for developing sports into a RMB 5 trillion-per-annum sector released - China's Cabinet, the State Council, has issued new guidelines which, amongst other things, aims to grow output of China’s...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

Litigation Alert: California Superior Court Finds Use of Likeness of Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in Video Game...

Manuel Noriega v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. BC 551747 (Cal Super. Ct. filed October 27, 2014) - In recent years, federal and state courts have wrestled with how to assess right of publicity claims in the video...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

Holy Non-Infringement, Batman!

Fortres Grand Corporation v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - The U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a trademark infringement claim, finding that a real computer software product...more

All-In@EiG 2014 Co-ordinated Advice on a Global Scale

In This Issue: 1. Welcome to EiG 2014 2. Europe: Gaming in the Cloud 3. Risk – What’s Your Appetite? 4. Japan: Current Status of Casino Legalization 5. Poland: Overview of Expected Changes 6. Patents on...more

Aggie-ravating Trademark Issues with College Mascots

Colleges serve an important role in American society, providing education, experience and leadership to each new generation. Also, sports. And did I mention SPORTS? Regardless of the reason (cable?), college sports have...more

Don’t Be Confused: The Washington Football Team Still Owns Rights in the REDSKINS Trademark

The Washington Redskins football team (“Washington”) recently appealed the cancellation of its federal registrations for its REDSKINS trademarks to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. When the...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

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014 : District court grants partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on copyright claims against Sirius XM Radio, holding that...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

A Clarifying Development – “Canadian Content” Tax Credit Regulations Amended

The October 4, 2014 Canada Gazette (being vol. 148, no. 40), contained something of note for Canadian film and TV lawyers: amendments to the Income Tax Act regulations which govern the “Canadian content” tax credits for...more

Freelancers’ Articles Are Not Free

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a victory to freelance authors of newspaper and magazine articles, and a defeat to some major publishers of their work. The publishers hired the authors as independent contractors who would...more

SiriusXM and Pre-1972 Recordings Not So Happy Together

Debate over the most influential band from the 1960s will generally include names like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin, but a lesser-known act from one of music’s greatest eras, the Turtles, may have just...more

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