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Category Archives: Entertainment Law

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“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:  http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/nick-at-night-picks-up-scott-baio-family-comedy-to-series/

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

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law

By Sarra Ziari On August 20, 2008, in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Judge Fogel of the United States District Court, N.D. California ruled that copyright owners must consider fair use before issuing takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), and issued a warning against the misuse of takedown notices by overreaching copyright… Continue Reading

Viacom V. Youtube: Are Our Internet Privacy Rights Really In Danger?

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law

By: Dale C. Campbell and Serena Crouch, Third Year Law Student at McGeorge School of Law Internet users and privacy advocates across the nation fear they are losing the continuing battle to protect internet privacy rights.  A court decision in a lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube.com is the most recent battlefield regarding data likely to provide… Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Just Doesn’t Like Karaoke

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By Scott Cameron The Ninth Circuit just doesn’t like karaoke. At least, that’s what plaintiffs, manufacturers of karaoke machines, in two recent opinions involving copyright law would likely say. In both decisions, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district courts’ dismissal of the complaints without leave to amend. Both of these decisions discussed the various copyrights that are implicated… Continue Reading

Lights, Camera, IP Issues…

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, Trademark Law

By Scott Hervey Last October I had the good fortune of being invited to attend my friend’s “man shower” in Las Vegas. What made this trip interesting was the fact that this all guy’s version of a baby shower would be the subject of an episode of the VH1 reality TV show “Scott Baio is 46… Continue Reading

Fantasy Sports League Hits It Out Of The Park In Challenging MLB’s Ownership Of Player Statistics

Posted in Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law, Trademark Law

By Scott Hervey Just how valuable are baseball statistics? Apparently very valuable. In fact, baseball statistics are so valuable that CBC Distribution and Marketing, which has run the CDM Fantasy Sports leagues since 1992, sued Major League Baseball and challenged its ownership claim over player statistics.   In a matter which rose all the way to the United… Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS – Court Concludes No Performance in Music Download

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law

By Scott Hervey The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rules that the downloading of a digital music file embodying a particular song does not constitute a "public performance" of that song within the meaning of the Copyright Act.  Thus, on-line music retailers need not negotiate a license with performance… Continue Reading