Blogs

NYPD Faces Class Action for its Rampant “Graffiti” Removal Program

On June 1st, 2021, Michael McLeer, an internationally known NYC street artist, represented a class of artists in a federal court class action. According to McLeer, a new New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) street cleanup program is unconstitutionally wiping away graffiti without asking property owners if they wanted the art removed. In his complaint,…

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Soul Singer Seeks Reversal of Denial of Class Certification Against Warner Brothers Records

On May 17, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (i.e., the court of appeals for federal cases brought in California) affirmed a District Court decision against soul singer, Lenny Williams (“Williams”). Williams claimed that Warner Brothers Records (“Warner Brothers”) underreported its total revenue from international streaming of its artists’ music by “improperly assessing an…

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Insurance Company Wins Appeal After Mob Defrauds Manhattan Jeweler of $2.09M in Jewelry

On May 13, 2021, a New York State Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision granting summary Jagainst a Manhattan jeweler, Crown Jewels Estate Jewelry, Inc. (“Crown Jewels”), in a suit for breach of contract. Crown Jewels sued its insurer, Lloyd’s of London (“Lloyd’s”) because Lloyd denied Crown Jewels’ insurance claim after Crown Jewels…

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Damon Dash Defeated in Copyright Infringement Suit

On July 7th, 2021, in a unanimous, unpublished decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s finding that entrepreneur Damon “Dame” Dash (“Dash”) was guilty of copyright infringement. The ruling held that Dash infringed upon the copyright of an upstart author/filmmaker named Edwyna Brooks (“Brooks”) movie “Mafietta” when Dash placed it for…

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Hard Rock Café Battles Hard Rock Hemp in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Only July 8th, 2021, Hard Rock Cafe filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Florida federal court accusing a South Carolina hemp company. According to the lawsuit, the famous Rock n’ Roll chain accused the hemp company of profiteering off the restaurant and hotel conglomerate’s famous name to sell its CBD creams and edibles. Hard Rock…

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Kesha Smacks Dr. Luke with Anti-SLAPP Motion

On June 30th, 2021, New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter’s sided with pop star Kesha on a critical issue in a lawsuit against her claiming that she defamed music producer, Dr. Luke, by accusing him of rape. Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, a producer who has worked with Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and many others,…

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Miami Rapper Files a Copyright Lawsuit Against Childish Gambino for Billboard Hit ‘This Is America’

On May 6th, 2021, Miami rapper Kid Wes filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York alleging that rapper Childish Gambino stole the chorus from the Miami rapper’s 2016 track “Made In America” for his 2018 hit “This Is America.” In the complaint, Wes alleges that the chorus of the 2018 hit song…

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Lizzo Knocks Out Copyright Co-Ownership Claim

On April 27th, 2021, the Grammy-winning pop singer Lizzo claims about the copyright owner of the hit song “Truth Hurts” once and for all. Three unknown music artists accused Lizzo of refusing to acknowledge their role in creating her song “Truth Hurts.” Among other things, the artists Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen, and Yves Rothman (the…

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Google Flexes Its Muscles for the Court in an Attempt to Dodge Claims that It Sold Pirated Master Recordings

On May 13, 2021, Google reached a tentative settlement to resolve three copyright lawsuits in which the owners of a variety of master recordings (“the owners”) alleged that Google sold pirated versions of over 270 of their master recordings. Two of the three suits involved the rights to Harry Arlen’s music. Arlen’s works have been…

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Pepsi Finally Prevails in the 2016 Copyright Lawsuit Over Superbowl 50 Ad “The Joy of Dance”

On May 21st, 2021, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that PepsiCo (“Pepsi”) did not steal an advertising firm’s idea for a Super Bowl ad that aired in 2016. During Superbowl 50, Pepsi aired an ad entitled “The Joy of Dance,” which featured singer Janelle Monae…

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