Cher Sues Mary Bono for $1 Million Over Missing Royalties

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  • Cher filed a lawsuit against her late musical partner and ex-husband Sonny Bono’s widow over the rights to many of their cherished Sonny & Cher songs. She asked the court to block the trust which handles Sonny’s estate, the Bono Collection Trust, from terminating her rights that granted her 50 percent of the royalties under their divorce settlement. Under the Copyright Act, artists can cancel distributions of their copyrights and reclaim them after 35 years. This provision has been in the spotlight given the recent heated disputes involving Marvel and Disney. Will this case be monumental in shedding light on a gloomy area of copyright law that intersects family law? Let’s see if the “Beat Goes On” for Cher.
  • Fast food and A-list-celebrities – is there any combo more alluring? Over the years, an increasing amount of major global food names have partnered with top talent to entice the public to eat at their establishment. McDonalds has recruited Travis Scott, Burger King has Nelly, Taco Bell has Lil Nas X, and most recently Megan Thee Stallion has signed a new deal with Popeyes. Her new business venture includes multiple franchise locations, a six-figure donation to Houston Acts of Kindness, her own personal branded Popeyes hot sauce, and an exclusive merch drop including bikinis, shirts, tumblers, and even plush dog toys shaped like chicken tenders. What other mouthwatering partnerships can we expect to see next?

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Celebrity Crypto Endorsers Like Kim Kardashian Spark Concern for Unwary Investors
October 20, 2021 via Phys.org - Tech News
Celebrities, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian West and Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, are touting cryptocurrency products, leading to worries that such endorsements could harm vulnerable investors.

Former NBA Star Dwyane Wade Joins UC Davis Wine Program's Leadership Board
October 20, 2021 via Biz Journal - Southwest News (subscription may be required)
Former NBA star Dwyane Wade is among the new members of University of California Davis' Department of Viticulture and Enology executive leadership board, the university announced Tuesday, October 19th. His role will focus on recruitment, especially of younger people who are underrepresented minorities.

Mariah Carey Backs Bitcoin in a New Partnership With the Winklevoss Twins' Gemini Crypto Exchange
October 20, 2021 via Business Insider - India
Mariah Carey is joining the legion of celebrity influencers supporting Bitcoin. She is encouraging her followers to get on the Winklevoss twins crypto exchange Gemini, and buy Bitcoin.

Worldwide Sports Nutrition & Supplement Industry to 2026 - Increasing Influence of Organic Sport Nutrition Presents Opportunities
October 20, 2021 via GlobeNewswire - Top Stories
The Global Sports Nutrition & Supplement Market size was estimated at USD 19.63 billion in 2020, is expected to reach USD 21.40 billion in 2021, and projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.34 percent reaching USD 33.56 billion by 2026.

Alpecin Joined Hands With Three Chinese Olympic Champions: Lv Xiaojun, Zou Shiming and Zou Kai for Strong Joint Endorsements
October 19, 2021 via PR Newswire - News Releases
Alpecin, the German anti-hair loss haircare brand under Dr. Wolff Group with more than 100 years history, has just announced their joint endorsements with the three Chinese Olympic champions: Lv Xiaojun, Zou Shiming and Zou Kai.

Adele, Inc: Why the Music Industry is Banking on Pop's Millions-a-Day Woman
October 15, 2021 via Daily Telegraph (UK) - Top Stories
More than any other artist on earth, Adele is a 'perfect storm' of commerciality. Just how big can she get?

Megan Thee Stallion Has Her Own Popeyes Franchise & 'Hottie Sauce' in New Deal
October 15, 2021 via Billboard
Megan Thee Stallion is many things: multi-platinum rapper, culture mover, outspoken activist and now... Popeyes franchisee. Announced Thursday, October 14, the “WAP” superstar has signed a wide-ranging deal with the global fast-food company that includes her very own Popeyes restaurants and a new hot sauce (Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce).

CCP Attacks Chinese Basketball Player Over Adidas Endorsement Deal
October 14, 2021 via Free Beacon
Chinese state media attacked a Xinjiang-born professional basketball player after he signed an endorsement deal with Adidas, which has faced boycott calls in the communist nation for its stance against Uyghur forced labor.

LeBron’s SpringHill Gets Investment From Nike, Epic, Fenway and RedBird
October 14, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
SpringHill, the entertainment venture formed by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, has taken investment from a consortium valuing the business at $725 million. Gerry Cardinale’s sports-focused RedBird Capital leads the group, and is joined by Nike, Epic Games and Fenway Sports Group.

Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Cruelty-Free Meatballs
October 14, 2021 via Green Prophet
Leonardo DiCaprio, known in his movie roles for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Titanic –– and for dating Bar Refaeli – has invested in not one but two alternative meat companies, Aleph Farms, based in Israel, and Mosa Meat from the Netherlands.

Rick Ross' Near Fatal Seizure and Health Scare Inspired Him to Partner on New Hemp Line
October 18, 2021 via Yahoo Finance - Top Stories
Hip hop mogul has partnered with Rap Snacks Founder and CEO, to develop and manufacture a line of hemp products that will disrupt the tobacco industry. Dubbed Hemp Hop, the line includes a series of smokables with different cannabinoids, Delta 8 products, and hemp blunt smoking papers.


Film & TV

NHL Started its $1 Billion Deal With ESPN and Turner Sports – Here's How Many People Watched the Season Openers
October 14, 2021 via CNBC - Business News
The National Hockey League commenced its 2021-22 season on Tuesday, October 12th. It’s also the first year of its $1 billion media rights package with ESPN and Turner Sports.


Music Biz

Sony Music Loses Bid for Secrecy in Dr. Luke-Kesha Libel Trial
October 20, 2021 via Billboard
As the seven-year-old libel suit over a rape accusation nears trial, a New York judge is opening the books on pop music dealmaking. The public will soon learn a lot more about pop music dealmaking thanks to a marathon libel case headed to trial.

Kobalt Sells Fund II, With Songs by the Weeknd, Lorde and More, to KKR Venture for $1.1 Billion
October 19, 2021 via Greenwich Time
The global investment firm KKR and Kobalt Capital Limited have announced that KKR, together with its co-invest partner, Dundee Partners, the investment office of the Hendel family, have purchased the KMR Music Royalties II portfolio from KCL for approximately $1.1 billion.

Cher Suit Raises Questions Where Family, Copyright Law Collide
October 19, 2021 via Bloomberg Law - News Top Stories (subscription may be required)
A lawsuit filed by Cher against her ex-husband Sonny Bono's widow might carve out some clarity on a murky area of copyright law that brings together copyright, family, and estate law, attorneys say.

NMPA Seeks 32.4 Percent Royalty Bump From Digital Streamers
October 15, 2021 via Smartbrief - NAB
The National Music Publishers Association has countered requests from streaming companies to have the US Copyright Royalty Board lower digital services' royalty obligations with a request for 32.4 percent higher rates than are current.

Publishers Ask Copyright Royalty Board for Major Streaming Increase, DSPs Want 'Smallest Rates in History,' Fiery Words Ensue
October 15, 2021 via Greenwich Time
The streaming rates determined by the Copyright Royalty Board every five years are an always-contentious situation pitting the major streaming services against music publishers, and the battle over the rates between 2023 and 2027 is no exception.

Lyric Capital Group and Northleaf Announce $500 Million Strategic Alliance
October 15, 2021 via Financial Buzz - Top Stories
Lyric Capital Group, a market leader in the music royalty space and the owner of independent music publisher Spirit Music Group, well-known for its expansive catalog of iconic and contemporary hit songs, and Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”), a global private markets investment firm, have announced a strategic alliance.

Andrea Bocelli Signs With Universal Music to Cash in Amid Streaming Era
October 14, 2021 via Exec Review
The classical music superstar Andrea Bocelli has struck a global deal with Universal Music to cash-in on three decades of hit music, new albums and opportunities including live streamed concerts.


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Martha Stewart and Marquee Brands Announce the Launch of NFT Boutique FRESH Mint
October 19, 2021 via Markets Insider - Top Stories
Entrepreneur and cultural icon Martha Stewart has made her first foray into the new world of NFTs by partnering with Marquee Brands and Tokns to power this first-of-its-kind shop on Martha.com.

15 NFT Use Cases That Could Go Mainstream
October 14, 2021 via Crypto News Australia - Top Stories Worldwide
Steph Curry. Eminem. Paris Hilton. Mark Cuban. The full list of celebrities who have embraced NFTs – whether through creating, collecting or hawking – seemingly grows longer by the hour, and it runs the gamut from Rob Gronkowski to Lil Nas X.

Image Protect Inc. (IMTL) Announces the Launch of an NFT Music Site With a Subsequent Launch of a December Release of a Record and Music Video With Hip Hop Icon Jim Jones and a Major Feature Artist
October 14, 2021 via Yahoo Finance - Top Stories
Image Protect Inc., an emerging Media Company, is pleased to announce and detail the official launch of Tokentunz.com, a music site built to release original music by independent artists direct to their fan base utilizing NFTs.

Bacardi Uses NFT "Mixtapes" to Invest in Female Artists
October 14, 2021 via SmartBrief - Interactive Advertising Bureau News
Bacardi, with music producer Boi-1da, is auctioning NFT Caribbean-inspired "mixtapes" from three female music artists, Denise De'ion, Bambii and Perfxn, as part of its Music Liberates Music program to promote aspiring musicians.


Right of Publicity

NIL Firm Student Athlete Empowerment Eyes Links to Brands, Donors
October 19, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
A group of college sports entrepreneurs is launching a new company aimed at helping brands and boosters connect with college athletes on marketing deals, called Student Athlete Empowerment (SAE).

Dua Lipa, Ratajkowski Sued for Posting Paparazzi Photos of Themselves
October 15, 2021 via Bloomberg – News (subscription may be required)
Now that the famous are no longer holed up in their manses, the paparazzi are on the prowl -- and not only with cameras. Since June, photographers or their agencies have filed more than a dozen copyright-infringement suits against individual celebrities or their companies.

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