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Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Inc. v. Cole - USDC, D. Oregon, March 18, 2015

District court holds defendants willfully infringed plaintiff’s copyright in animated film, finding defendants acted recklessly by manufacturing film without searching Copyright Office’s records, and by concluding that film...more

Spain: Mr. Grey or Mr. Koldo - Profiling Spain’s cinema-goers

One year ago a modest, soft romantic comedy with a great dose of humour and references to countryside life and open mock of controversial political issues (“Ocho Apellidos Vascos“) saw its theatrical release in Spain. It...more

And the Lawsuit Goes to . . . An Oscar-Time Guide to “Best Picture” Intellectual Property Litigation

The film that wins the Best Picture Oscar this year is certain to attract more viewers and more box office receipts than it had before receiving the award. But Best Picture winners also tend to attract more lawsuits,...more

Gerritsen v. Warner Bros. Entertainment - USDC, C.D. California, January 30, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and breach of guaranty claims against Warner Bros. based on Oscar-winning motion picture Gravity, holding that plaintiff Terry Gerritsen, author of novel by same name, failed to...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 130, The Oscars and Compliance, Part IV with Jay Rosen [Video]

In this Part IV of my continued exploration of the Oscars and compliance with Jay Rosen, we look at the touchpoint which Hollywood and the movie industry has which might subject it to FCPA liability. ...more

Does ‘Raging Bull’ Deliver Knockout to Patent Laches Defense?

Under Federal Circuit case law, patent-infringement defendants may assert the laches defense – an equitable defense barring claims brought after an unreasonable delay. But the doctrine will soon square off in the Federal...more

Rhoads v. Margolis - Cal. App. 2d, January 26, 2015

In lawsuit brought by family of guitarist Randy Rhoads against writer and publisher of his biography, California appellate court affirms lower court denial of anti-SLAPP motion as it relates to family's breach of contract...more

Joint Inventorship at the Movies: Stick Around for the Credits

Determining a list of inventors can be one of the messier parts of finalizing a patent application. Telling a colleague who put in late nights refining another’s idea that he is not a joint inventor can lead to tension,...more

Key Issues Facing Places of Public Accommodation at the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

With all of the presents, decorations, and champagne now firmly in the rearview mirror, January is a time customarily spent reflecting on the year that was and planning for the year ahead. For places of public accommodation,...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 124, The Oscars and Compliance, Part I with Jay Rosen [Video]

In this episode I begin a five-part series on the Oscars and Compliance with recovering Hollywood screenwriter Jay Rosen. In this Part I, we review the process by which films are nominated for the Oscars and the campaigns...more

Valencia v. Universal City Studios LLC

USDC, N.D. Georgia, December 18, 2014 - District court dismisses all claims of hip-hop dancer Honey Rockwell, who alleged that films Honey and Honey 2 violated her privacy rights and trademark rights, holding that some...more

Employee Class Actions Mounting against Sony after “The Interview” Hacking Attack

Since December 15, 2014, six putative class actions have been filed against Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., asserting claims by current and former employees whose personal information was allegedly stolen during the...more

Sony vs. N. Korea – Let Capitalism Fight Totalitarianism!

Cyber terrorism, North Korea, Sony, extortion, free speech, The Interview, international relations, journalistic ethics, cyber security… can it get any better than this?...more

Plot Thickens for Screenplay Infringement Cases

INTRODUCTION - For more than three decades no type of lawsuit has been more likely to fail than those asserting that the latest hit movie or television series infringes the copyright in a screenplay or other literary...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

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

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

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 5, Issue 11 - November 2014

In This Issue: - Court Orders Department of Finance to Release Corporate Tax Return Records to City Comptroller - ALJ Upholds State Tax Department Policy on Personal Liability of LLC Members for Sales...more

FAA Clears the Drone Runway for Hollywood; California Governor Grounds AB-1327

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on September 25, 2014, that it approved exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies to use unmanned aircraft systems - or drones, as they are otherwise...more

Briggs v. Blomkamp - USDC, N.D. Cal., October 3, 2014

Briggs v. Blomkamp - USDC, N.D. Cal., October 3, 2014 : District court grants summary judgment for screenwriter and film companies in copyright infringement case, finding that plaintiff author lacked any evidence of...more

Star Wars: Redefining Trademark and Copyright Law Since A Long Time Ago

The Star Wars series is truly an exceptional franchise, having broken box office records, creating legions of fans, and bringing the idea of collateral merchandise licensing to an unprecedented level. Also, how many other...more

Music videos have been a grey area when it comes to certification and age ratings. The Lines have been Blurred, if you will…

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has been certifying theatrical films since 1912 (though in actual fact the ultimate power over a film’s classification in any particular cinema lies with the local authority who...more

Drone on Drones: FAA Authorizes Drone Use Over Some Hollywood Sets

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved the requests of six movie and TV production companies to use drones for filming on certain sets. This decision marks the first time the FAA has permitted commercial drone...more

Drones: The FAA Grants Hollywood the First Regulatory Exemptions Permitting the Commercial Use of UAS

Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted six aerial photo and video companies exemptions from FAA regulations that—before now—wholesale banned the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial...more

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