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News & Analysis as of

Manatt Digital Media - July 2015

In this edition, we reflect upon the key digital media events of the first half of 2015 and present the major deals, developments and trends across video, music, gaming and virtual reality....more

Consultation on Europe's audiovisual media framework

One of the stated aims of the European Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy is to bring the EU audiovisual media sector into line with the "digital age". As part of this goal, the Commission has launched a...more

Influential Business Group Requests Legislative Rejection of Proposed Rental Tax Regulation; Legislative Council Hearing Set for...

As previously reported, the Alabama Department of Revenue proposed a regulation imposing a rental tax on digital transmissions, broadly defined as “on demand movies, television programs, streaming video, streaming audio, and...more

Advertising Law - July 2015

Try, Try Again: Lawmakers Reintroduce Do Not Track Kids Act - A group of federal lawmakers reintroduced the Do Not Track Kids Act, a bill to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), with some changes...more

District Court Stays Patent Infringement Action Pending Inter Partes Review Prior to Institution of Review by Patent Trial and...

The plaintiff CRFD Research, Inc. ("CRFD") filed a patent infringement action defendants Dish Network Corporation, Dish DBS Corporation, Dish Network L.L.C., Echostar Corporation, and Echostar Technologies L.L.C....more

Anonymous Information Actionable under the VPPA?

Technology has allowed consumers to use Apps and devices to stream their favorite content at the touch of a button. The popularity of these streaming Apps and devices has raised legal issues with regard to privacy....more

Department of Revenue Issues Proposed Regulation Taxing Digital Streaming Services

The Alabama Department of Revenue has issued a proposed regulation that, if finalized in its present form, would substantially expand the scope of the state and local rental tax applied to video-on-demand and other digital...more

The Who and What of Net Neutrality in Two Minutes or Less

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted 3-2 to treat the internet like a public utility, embracing the concept of “net neutrality.” Has the FCC struck a blow for consumer rights? The jury is still out....more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Netflix Antitrust Suit

Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a multidistrict class action brought by Netflix subscribers who claimed the company conspired with Walmart to dominate the online DVD sales and rental markets. In 2005,...more

Deck Stacked Against HOUSE OF CARDS

No spoilers here, I promise.  Like many Americans since it was released on Friday, I’ve been binge-watching Season 3 of House of Cards.  If you haven’t watched the program, available only on Netflix, it’s a riveting drama of...more

FCC Proposes to Regulate Internet-Based Video Programmers

With the expansion of “over-the-top” (OTT) video programming options such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku and Apple TV, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking a fresh look at its definition of a multi-channel...more

Likelihood of Confusion and/or Dilution?

Let’s suppose you’re a non-profit like the NRA, you sell stuff on your NRAstore.com, and you’d like to promote the fact that your website has over 30 product demonstration videos available that can easily be viewed online by...more

HUB FOCUS: Recent TV trends in Sweden

Our global Media, Sport & Entertainment Hub provides insights into various legal and commercial issues impacting on this space. In this, our first “HUB FOCUS”, we provide an extract, focussing on recent trends in the...more

Netflix’s Apparent Crackdown on Geoblock Circumventers

Recent reports indicate that Netflix may be cracking down on the use of virtual private networks (VPN) and similar mechanisms to log into Netflix. While VPNs provide enhanced network security, they are commonly used by...more

District Court Declines to Hear Early Motion for Summary Judgment on Section 101 and Postpones Hearing until Claim Construction

In the pending patent infringement action between Netflix and Rovi, Netflix filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking a ruling that Rovi's patents are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. After the motion was filed, the district...more

The Next Frontier in ADA Litigation: Website and App Access for the Disabled

For the last several years, consumers have increasingly turned to online shopping as an alternative to traditional "brick and mortar" stores. Some reports showed that "Cyber Monday" sales figures beat out those for "Black...more

Manatt Digital Media - November 2014

Cutting of the Cable Bundle, NOT the Cord—Welcome to “The Great Unbundling” - 2014 is a transformative year for the media business. We will look back several years from now and fully realize this. First, anyone...more

Status Updates - September 2014 #10

Hooray for Hollywood. According to a new study by KPMG, television and movie viewers have never had it better. A report by the consulting company found that the overwhelming majority of well-known movies and television shows...more

Google/Viacom Win Video Privacy Protection Act Case – Common Sense Finally Emerges

In an important decision in a federal court case in New Jersey, In Re Nickelodeon Privacy Litigation, Google and Viacom obtained a dismissal of a claim against them under the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”). The...more

Film Tax Incentives in Latin America

Distribution of audiovisual content is blooming at a very fast pace, and while the consumer is still demanding for more new content, producers are struggling with this new competitive era. While appetite for content is at its...more

FCC Warns ISPs May be Regulated as Utilities

On April 30, 2014, Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") warned major players in the broadband cable and telecommunications industry that the FCC is willing to resort to reclassifying...more

Williams v. Black Entertainment Television, Inc. - USDC E.D. New York, February 14, 2014

Pro se plaintiff Charles Williams brought an action for copyright infringement against defendants Viacom, Inc.; Black Entertainment Television LLC s/h/a BET Networks; A&E Television Networks, LLC; Apple, Inc.; Netflix, Inc.;...more

SEC Gives Guidance on Use of Social Media under Regulation FD

Over the last several months, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has provided the public with two new interpretive guides regarding the use of social media by public companies, investment companies and their...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: Regulation FD and Social Media

As we discussed in our February Bulletin, late last year Netflix and its CEO, Reed Hastings, each received a notice from the SEC Staff indicating that the Staff intended to recommend to the SEC that it institute proceedings...more

8-K’s Announcing Reg FD Social Media Channels Begin; NYSE Weighs In

The SEC opened the barn doors on use of social media, or merely reaffirmed existing guidance, depending on your point of view, in a recent Section 21(a) report....more

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