IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update For Motion Picture Studios And Television Networks - June 16, 2011


Table of Contents

•Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC

•Armstrong v. NBC Universal, Inc.

Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC, USDC ND Ohio, June 6, 2011

•District Court refuses to dismiss copyright owner’s claims for (1) wrongful assertion of copyright, (2) tortious interference with contract and (3) defamation, arising from defendant’s “take down” notices that allegedly falsely assert a copyright interest in plaintiff’s song.

Plaintiff Matthew Smith, a professional singer also known as Matt Heart, asserted copyright and wrongful assertion of copyright claims, as well as state law claims for fraud/misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference in contractual relationship, intentional interference with business relationships and defamation against defendant for defendant’s allegedly false representation of a copyright interest in plaintiff’s copyrighted song in “take down” notices to various websites, which resulted in plaintiff’s song being removed from the websites.

Armstrong v. NBC Universal, Inc., USDC WD Kentucky, June 6, 2011

•District court declines to dismiss claims for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence against television network brought by man featured on television series To Catch a Predator.

Plaintiff, a prison inmate, filed a pro se lawsuit against NBC Universal, asserting a variety of state-law tort claims and a federal civil rights claim relating to his appearance on the NBC show To Catch a Predator.

According to Plaintiff, he struck up an online conversation with someone he thought to be an underage girl, who invited him to a house in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Plaintiff initially declined the invitation, but eventually agreed to meet “her.” When Plaintiff arrived at the house, police placed him under arrest. NBC was waiting at the sting house along with the police, and aired video of the arrest on To Catch a Predator, and – according to Plaintiff – also posted to the Internet conversations Plaintiff had with the “underage girl.”

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