Blogs

$49 Million Damage Award Falls Short for Famed Pop Artist Peter Max

On March 11th, 2021, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a bid from artist Peter Max to modify a $49 million arbitration award against Great American Security Co. and Interested Underwriters at Lloyds (“The Insurers”) in an insurance dispute. The insurance dispute results from Superstorm Sandy, where the 2012 hurricane led to the damage…

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‘Let’s Get It On . . .’ Again: Ed Sheeran Faces New Copyright Suit for Marvin Gaye Classic

On March 31st, 2021, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams denied a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit against singer-songwriter sensation Ed Sheeran over his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” Structured Asset Sales, who owns the recording of “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, filed the suit on June 8th, 2020, alleging (again) that…

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‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ Remake Suit Lives to See Another Day in Federal Court

On February 26th, 2021, a California federal judge decided that the lawsuit over a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” remake will not be sent back to state court after concluding that the suit contains copyright violations only a federal court can decide. Filed on December 18th, 2020, the trust of Truman Capote, author of the 1958 novella…

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North Carolina Teacher Alleges Netflix is Liable for Copyright Infringement After Release of Young Adult Series “Outer Banks”

Kevin Wooten is a high school English teacher from North Carolina that has written the adventure novel Pennywise: The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure. Within Wooten’s novel, a group of teenagers living in the Outer Banks region of the North Carolina coast finds hidden treasure. After Wooten published his novel in 2016, Netflix released the first…

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Media Company Takes Brave Step in Saving the Newspaper Industry in Filing Suit Against Facebook and Google

HD Media Company, a West Virginia newspaper company, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Google and Facebook on Friday, January 29, 2021, as a result of the decline in the company’s ability to effectively monetize its content. The complaint charges the two tech giants with monopolizing the digital advertising market and decimating local newspapers nationwide…

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Country Star Yoakam Sues After Warner Holds Copyrights Hostage

Two-time Grammy Award-winning country music singer Dwight Yoakam filed suit against Warner Music Group and its subsidiaries in California federal court on February 8, 2021, alleging willful copyright infringement and conversion. The facts alleged are as follows: Yoakam first entered into a contract with Warner in 1985, and this claim arises from Yoakam’s attempt to…

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British Songwriters Allege that The Weeknd Copied Melody for ‘Lonely Night’

On January 27, 2021, British songwriters Brian Clover and Scott McCulloch filed an appellate brief urging the Ninth Circuit to revive their copyright infringement suit accusing Canadian R&B singer “The Weeknd” of ripping off their 2005 song “I Need to Love” to record his 2016 song “A Lonely Night,” arguing that the “identical” melodies are…

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Is it Worth it to Sue for Idea Theft/Breach of implied in fact Contract?

Have you ever pitched a fantastic idea for a movie or television show just to have it taken from you? If so, you may have a cause of action for what is referred to as “idea theft”. As entertainment lawyers who specialize in these claims, we are often approached by potential clients and asked: “What…

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Right-Wing News Network OAN Must Pay Attorney Fees to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

On or about February 5, 2021, right-wing news organization OAN was ordered to pay Defendants Rachel Maddow and MSNBC approximately $250,000 in attorney’s fees. In this case, OAN filed a defamation claim against Rachel Maddow and MSNBC after the news anchor stated on air that OAN “literally is paid Russian propaganda.” In response, the Defendants…

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Disney Seeks to Dismiss ‘Muppet Babies’ Reboot Suit

On January 27, 2021, the Walt Disney Company filed a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by television writer Jeffrey Scott in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  According to the complaint, Disney “interpolated” the ideas Scott shared with them from his 1984 “Muppet Babies” production bible for their…

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