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Category Archives: Entertainment Law

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When is Enough Really Enough? The Importance of Experts in Music Copyright Infringement Actions

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

On June 17, 2014, a federal judge in Illinois granted summary judgment to Stefani Joanne Germanotta against plaintiff, Rebecca Francescatti, in a copyright infringement matter because he found that no reasonable trier of fact could find that Ms. Germanotta’s song, “Judas,” is substantially similar to Ms. Francescatti’s song, “Juda.”  You may wonder, why you should… Continue Reading

No E-Smoking Please, We Are European!

Posted in Entertainment Law

For those of us old enough to remember, the bars, restaurants and salons of Europe were once literally awash in smoke so thick you could cut it with the proverbial knife. Starting at least a decade ago, however, certain EU countries began requiring extremely large, graphic health warnings on all tobacco products that were 60%… Continue Reading

GoldieBlox v. Beastie Boys – “Girls To Bring A Lawsuit”

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, Trademark Law

 By: Scott Hervey From all appearances, it would have been a fight worth watching. In one corner was the Beastie Boys, the Brooklyn bread, 80s powerhouse rap group; they aggressively enforce their intellectual property rights and have never allowed their music to be used in advertisements.  (This commitment was so important to the group that in his… Continue Reading

Roots, Reggae, Remixes – and Litigation

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By James Kachmar The great reggae musician Bob Marley passed away more than 30 years ago. Nevertheless, litigation surrounding his music legacy continues on. The Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion in Rock River Communications, Inc. v. Universal Music Group, Inc. that dealt again with the issue of who owns the rights to Mr. Marley’s music.  Rock River… Continue Reading

“Lost” and the Independent Creation Defense

Posted in Entertainment Law

  By James Kachmar We’ve become used to lawsuits being filed after a movie, TV show or song becomes a popular hit. Generally, once a show or song hits number one, someone files a lawsuit claiming that the song or show was their “idea”. ABC’s hit show “Lost” is no different. In 2009, Anthony Spinner, a television producer,… Continue Reading

Hopping Into A Lawsuit

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By Lisa Y. Wang Back in the day when I used a VCR to record TV shows (one that forwarded through commercials by itself no less), it was impossible to imagine that something like TiVo and DVRs would be in over 50% of American homes. In May 2012, Dish Network took digital recording a step further. Its… Continue Reading

Weintraub Tobin and LAVA Digital Media Group present panel discussion on Digital Media and Food

Posted in Entertainment Law

Join Us April 23! Weintraub Tobin and the LAVA Digital Media Group will host a panel discussion: "How Has Digital Media Changed the Way We Interact with Food" on Tuesday, April 23. Whether it’s finding a place to eat, sharing recommendations on your favorite dishes or ordering food online, investors have been hungry (sorry for… Continue Reading

All we need is just a little (more) patience — Sync license dispute threatens to derail any hope of Guns N’ Roses Reunion Show

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By: Zachary Wadlé On April 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio, iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The induction comes 25 years after original members Axl Rose (lead vocals), Saul Hudson aka “Slash” (lead guitar), Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Steven Adler… Continue Reading

Congratulations Is Due

Posted in Entertainment Law

  Congratulations to our clients, executive producers Jason Hervey and Eric Bischoff, on Nick At Nite’s pick up order of twenty episodes of the network’s first original scripted comedy pilot, Daddy’s Home, starring Scott Baio. For the full story, please click the link  to visit Deadline Hollywood:

Revisiting the “Safe Harbor” Provisions of the DMCA

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, Web/Tech

By: James Kachmar In late December, the Ninth Circuit revisited the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in the case UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., 101 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1001. Veoh is a web service that allows users to view videos uploaded by other users.   Veoh was sued for copyright infringement… Continue Reading

Hollywood and Silicon Valley Spar Over Proposed “Stop Online Piracy Act”

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law, Web/Tech

By Zachary Wadlé On Oct. 26, 2011, the Stop Online Piracy Act “SOPA” (H.R. 3261) was introduced in the United States House of Representatives. One of SOPA’s primary goals is to address the continuing problem of online digital piracy of counterfeit movie, music, and other copyrightable works engaged in through foreign websites.  The 1998 Digital Millennium… Continue Reading

“First Sale” doctrine allows radio disc jockeys and music critics who are provided with promotional CDs to resell such CDs without infringing the copyright holder’s copyright in those CDs

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

by David Muradyan Do promotional CDs sent by music recording companies to radio disc jockeys and music critics which contain labels restricting distribution of the CDs and purport to create a license agreement actually create a license agreement between the recording company and the recipient, thereby rendering inapplicable the “first sale” doctrine—an affirmative defense to… Continue Reading

Technicalities Surrounding Statutory Damages Under The Copyright Act Trigger Suit Against Law Firm Prosecuting Online Infringement Actions

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law

  By Scott Hervey The motion picture industry’s battle against cyber piracy took an interesting twist when an individual who allegedly engaged in the illegal downloading of the movie Far Cry filed a lawsuit against the Copyright Group and the law firm that has filed numerous suits against thousands of alleged infringers.  To date, the… Continue Reading

Hallmark Cards Raises Unique Defense to Paris Hilton’s Right of Publicity Claim – That’s Hot

Posted in Entertainment Law, Trademark Law

by Scott Hervey This is about a birthday card. Not just any birthday card mind you. This birthday card, produced by Hallmark Cards, depicts a cartoon waitress, dressed in an apron, serving food to a restaurant customer. However, not just any waitress could create such a controversy requiring an appeal to the 9th Circuit. This waitress has, for her… Continue Reading

Taster’s Choice – Appropriation of Likeness and the Statute of Limitations

Posted in Entertainment Law

by James Kachmar In Cristoff v. Nestle USA, Inc., the California Supreme Court issued guidance in determining when the statute of limitations runs on a claim for appropriation of likeness. Russell Cristoff, the plaintiff, was a professional model who posed in 1986 for a photo with him gazing at a cup of coffee. Cristoff was paid $250… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Ruling on Texting Provides Guidelines For The Marketing Industry

Posted in Entertainment Law, Privacy

by Scott Hervey A ruling earlier this month by the Ninth Circuit provided three guidelines all marketing experts and their counsel should take note of.   These guidelines address the extent to which the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) (and most likely other Federal regulations on telemarketing) impacts texting as part of a marketing campaign.  In… Continue Reading

Football’s Voice of God Sues NFL Films for False Endorsement

Posted in Entertainment Law, Trademark Law

By Scott Hervey John Facenda is a football legend. His deep, baritone voice is “distinctive,” some say “legendary.” Without question, for most football fans, John Facenda was the voice of NFL Films.   For decades Facenda worked for NFL Films as an off camera commentator. He worked on a session by session basis under an oral agreement, receiving… Continue Reading