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LOL Surprise! It’s a 3rd Trial for T.I. and Tiny Harris Over Toy Doll IP

LOL Surprise! It’s a 3rd Trial for T.I. and Tiny Harris Over Toy Doll IP

On September 15, 2023, T.I. and Tiny Harris were granted a third trial in their trade dress infringement suit against multi-billion dollar toymaker MGA Entertainment. A claim of trade dress infringement involves a company inappropriately using the appearance of another company’s product packaging or product design, and applying it to their own product or service, creating confusion among...

Based on a True Story: Case Against Netflix About the Central Park Five Will Proceed to Trial

Based on a True Story: Case Against Netflix About the Central Park Five Will Proceed to Trial

On September 19, 2023, a New York District Court Judge denied Netflix’s attempt to dispose of a lawsuit over their dramatization of the famous Central Park Five case in the series “When They See Us”. The judge highlighted five scenes in the series that he believes should be considered by a jury. In his 67-page order, Judge P. Kevin Castel held that a jury is best suited to decide whether Netflix...

Author of 80’s Hit “Rocket 2U” Settles Lawsuit with NFL and NBC Universal

Author of 80’s Hit “Rocket 2U” Settles Lawsuit with NFL and NBC Universal

On April 12, 2023, U.S District Judge Andrew J. Carter Jr., of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a case filed by Bobby Nunn against NBC Universal and the NFL.    The dispute arose when Nunn, a prominent music producer, songwriter, and singer, discovered the unauthorized use of his 80’s hit song “Rocket 2U” during a January 2022 NFL broadcast. ...

Artist Richard Prince’s Installation of Instagram Screenshots Are Not “Transformative” Enough To Be Fair Use

Artist Richard Prince (“Prince”) appears to have blatantly stolen photographs from not one but two photographers, both featured in his 2015 “installation” called, “New Portraits”. New portraits feature large images designed to look like Instagram posts. An “installation” is a collection of three-dimensional visual artworks, displayed within a space. Photographer Donald Graham filed a lawsuit...

Artist Maurizio Cattelan Beats Plagiarism Lawsuit Over Banana Taped to a Wall

In a recent legal victory for renowned artist Maurizio Cattelan, U.S District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida, granted Cattelan a "quick win" in a plagiarism lawsuit brought by fellow artist Joseph Morford on June 9, 2023. The lawsuit alleged that Cattelan's viral installation of a banana taped to a wall, titled "Comedian," copied Morford's "Banana & Orange"...

“Inventor David Wexler’s Legal Battle with Hasbro: A Case of Novelty and Intellectual Property Rights”

“Inventor David Wexler’s Legal Battle with Hasbro: A Case of Novelty and Intellectual Property Rights”

Recently, a notable case involving Hasbro Inc. and inventor David Wexler made headlines when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit backed a New York federal judge's decision to dismiss Wexler's lawsuit.    David Wexler, son of the inventor of the popular game Connect 4, found himself in a legal battle with Hasbro Inc., alleging that the company had stolen his board game ideas...

CNN’s Anderson Cooper Found Not Liable for Defamation, But the Case Continues Against CNN

CNN’s Anderson Cooper Found Not Liable for Defamation, But the Case Continues Against CNN

On April 25, 2023, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper’s motion for summary judgment was granted in Florida state court. A motion for summary judgment is a motion that the judge hears before the case goes to trial to determine if the “undisputed facts” permit an early resolution. Since the lawsuit was filed in 2016, Cooper was one of several defendants from CNN that faced defamation claims brought by Dr....

CNN Wins Narrow Victory in Florida Defamation Suit By Alan Dershowitz

In September 2020, former Harvard Law School professor, Alan Dershowitz, filed a defamation suit against CNN after commentators broadcast a clip of Dershowitz stating, "If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment". The commentators also called him “Dershow-nuts” and claimed...

Apples to Apples: A Jazz Musician’s Trademark Win Against Apple

Apples to Apples: A Jazz Musician’s Trademark Win Against Apple

Apple Inc., the computer behemoth, has suffered a setback in its trademark dispute with Charles Bertini, a jazz musician who began using the trademark “Apple Jazz” in 1985. Apple has a registered trademark for “Apple Music” in multiple categories including production and distribution of sound recordings, but it never obtained a trademark for live musical performances.  Bertini argued that Apple...

Grammy-Winning Singer Dua Lipa Beats Copyright Lawsuit Over “Levitating”

Grammy-Winning Singer Dua Lipa Beats Copyright Lawsuit Over “Levitating”

On February 16, 2023, Grammy-award-winning singer Dua Lipa and Warner Records Inc. successfully had a copyright lawsuit dismissed by US District Judge Sunshine S. Sykes of the for the Central District of California. The lawsuit, brought by reggae band Artikal Sound System, alleged that Lipa's hit song "Levitating" from her 2020 album "Future Nostalgia" imitated their own track, "Live Your Life,"...

Did Ed Sheeran Deserve to Win the Thinking Out Loud Case: Yes!

Did Ed Sheeran Deserve to Win the Thinking Out Loud Case: Yes!

Since 2016, pop singer Ed Sheeran has been fighting claims that his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” copied the chords, rhythm, and melody from Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic “Let’s Get It On.” The plaintiffs were relatives of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of “Let’s Get It On.” In the most recent case, in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, the plaintiffs at trial played a concert...

Mötley Crüe Guitarist Sues Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe Guitarist Sues Mötley Crüe

In a recent development capping off decades of fighting within the iconic rock group, Mötley Crüe, guitarist Mick Mars filed a lawsuit on April 6, 2023, against multiple Crüe entities in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Mars alleges that the band is wrongfully attempting to remove him from binding financial agreements simply because he has a disability that prevents him from touring. This legal...

Warhol Ruling Changes the Landscape of Fair Use Defense

Warhol Ruling Changes the Landscape of Fair Use Defense

On May 18th, 2023, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling, rejecting a “fair use” defense raised by the Andy Warhol Foundation regarding the use of a 1981 photo of Prince. The California Society of Entertainment Lawyers, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, directed by Steven Lowe, co-authored an Amicus Curiae brief with Scott Borroughs of Doniger & Burroughs in support of...

When Lies Hit the Big Screen: False Ad Suit Sends Shockwaves Through Film Industry

When Lies Hit the Big Screen: False Ad Suit Sends Shockwaves Through Film Industry

In June 2022, Universal City Studios LLC (“Universal”) faced a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Central District of California, from two individuals who alleged the violation of consumer protection laws in connection with the trailer for the 2019 film "Yesterday." The Plaintiffs claimed that they were deceived by the trailer for the film into believing that actress Ana De Armas would...

The Juice is Loose: Miami New Times Faces Defamation Trial Over Article Linking O.J. Simpson’s Friend to Nicole Brown Simpson’s Murder

The Juice is Loose: Miami New Times Faces Defamation Trial Over Article Linking O.J. Simpson’s Friend to Nicole Brown Simpson’s Murder

A Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida has ruled that defamation claims brought against the Miami New Times by a friend of O.J. Simpson relating to an article linking him to Nicole Brown Simpson's murder should be brought to trial. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jose Rodriguez denied the New Times' Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that Plaintiff Charles Ehrlich is not a public...

NY Federal Judge Holds that Retailers Can’t be Held Liable for Using Model’s Face

NY Federal Judge Holds that Retailers Can’t be Held Liable for Using Model’s Face

On January 18, 2023, U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman decided that the privacy protections in a New York state civil rights law will not help models beat immunity protections provided to retailers under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The case began in January 2022 when model Patty Ratermann filed suit against the French cosmetics brand Pierre Fabre. Ratterman alleged that...

“Netflix and Film Director Win Defamation Lawsuit: The Gray Area Between Artistic License and Real-Life Portrayals”

“Netflix and Film Director Win Defamation Lawsuit: The Gray Area Between Artistic License and Real-Life Portrayals”

A federal Judge for the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida dismissed a lawsuit against Netflix, film director Olivier Assayas, and others finding that the portrayal of actress and singer Ana Margarita Martinez in the 2019 film "Wasp Network” was not defamatory. In October of 2020, Martinez sued the streaming giant. In her complaint, she alleged that both the film’s...

Mark Wahlberg-Backed Fitness Franchisor Faces Class-Action Lawsuit

Mark Wahlberg-Backed Fitness Franchisor Faces Class-Action Lawsuit

On December 8, 2022, a group of investors filed a class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against F45 Training, a fitness company that received backing from actor Mark Wahlberg. The investors claimed in their lawsuit that the company violated federal securities laws by withholding important information about the “sustainability” (or lack...

Judge Dismisses Suit Against Disney Over Allegedly Stolen VFX Technology

Judge Dismisses Suit Against Disney Over Allegedly Stolen VFX Technology

On February 23, 2022, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar of the Northern District of California dismissed a copyright and patent case filed by two visual effects (“VFX”) companies against The Walt Disney Co. The VFX companies claimed that Disney illegally used its technology to create the Marvel film character, Thanos. In the complaint, the VFX company utilized computer data to back up their claim...

Google Punished by Court for Not Preserving Employee Chats

Google Punished by Court for Not Preserving Employee Chats

On March 28, 2023, a California federal judge sanctioned Google for failing to preserve evidence. The case began August 2020, when Epic Games and others sued Google in a class action lawsuit for violating antitrust laws, arguing that the company has unfairly monopolized the Android app distribution market with its Google Play Store. The suit also alleges that Google’s practices force app...

TikTok Slammed with Class Action for Tracking and Selling User Data

TikTok Slammed with Class Action for Tracking and Selling User Data

On November 25, 2022, Austin Recht (an individual acting on behalf of a class of similarly situated people) filed a class action suit against TikTok in the Central District of California for secretly gathering details and content about TikTok users without their consent. The suit also named Chinese conglomerates, Beijing Douyin Information Service Co. Ltd, Bytedance Inc., and Douyin Ltd. as...

Buyer Claims he is Rightful Owner of Blade Runner Artwork

Buyer Claims he is Rightful Owner of Blade Runner Artwork

John Henry Alvin, a cinematic artist and painter illustrated many movie posters throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, including posters for E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Beauty, and the Beast, and Lord of the Rings. At the heart of the dispute in this case is the artwork Alvin created for the poster for Warner Brothers’ iconic film Blade Runner.   On March 3, 2022, the Estate of John Henry...

Prince’s Personal Photographer Unable to Reinstate Copyright Suit

Prince’s Personal Photographer Unable to Reinstate Copyright Suit

Allen Beaulieu was Prince’s personal photographer from 1979 to 1984. His work includes shooting three of the popstar’s album covers and three world tours. Beaulieu registered his copyright for his photos in 1984. In 2014, Beaulieu hired Thomas Martin Crouse to help with a photo book. A year later, Clint Stockwell was hired by Beaulieu to digitize the photos. After Prince passed away in 2016, the...

Court Finds Paramount Must Answer Copyright Infringement Claim on Top Gun Sequel

Court Finds Paramount Must Answer Copyright Infringement Claim on Top Gun Sequel

Nothing in Hollywood is more certain than the fact that a successful film will spawn a sequel and oftentimes a copyright infringement lawsuit as well. Such is the case with Top Gun: Maverick. Top Gun: Maverick, Paramount’s sequel to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, met with massive success. Raking in $1.4 billion worldwide and $700 million in the U.S., it is the twelfth highest-grossing film ever....

Character in Toy Story 4 Does not Infringe Upon the Trademark Rights of Evel Knievel

Character in Toy Story 4 Does not Infringe Upon the Trademark Rights of Evel Knievel

On August 22, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided that Evel Knievel’s heirs had no claim against Disney for violations of Evel Knievel’s trademark rights. Evel Knievel was a famous motorcycle daredevil who rose to fame in the ‘60s and ‘70s for his death-defying stunts.  In 2020, K&K Promotions, a company owned by Evel Knievel’s son, sued Disney for...

Songwriter’s Claim of Joint Authorship with Post Malone on “Circles” Proceeding to Trial in March 2023

Songwriter’s Claim of Joint Authorship with Post Malone on “Circles” Proceeding to Trial in March 2023

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is set to try a fascinating case regarding joint authorship of a hit recording by Post Malone called “Circles,” where the court already determined in April 2022 that the plaintiff claimant was not a co-author of the actual master recording released to the public. However, the question of whether the plaintiff is still entitled to...

Senate Candidate Roy Moore Wins Questionable Defamation Verdict in Alabama

Senate Candidate Roy Moore Wins Questionable Defamation Verdict in Alabama

On August 12, 2022, former Senate candidate from Alabama, Roy Moore, won an $8.2 million verdict in the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama against a media company working for the Democrats, Waterfront Strategies, among others. Moore’s campaign race against Doug Jones in 2017 gained national attention and notoriety due to well-reported allegations of Moore’s...

Court Finds “No Similarities” between Comedy Sketch on TikTok and Comedy Skit on HBO

Court Finds “No Similarities” between Comedy Sketch on TikTok and Comedy Skit on HBO

On June 22, 2022, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed TikToker Kelly Manno’s copyright infringement claim against comedian Michael Che, over a skit that Che performed on his TV show on HBO Max. TikToker Manno’s two-part skit, “HomeGirl Hotline,” features a service where women call a dispatcher to request “homegirls” to solve their problems. A homegirl...

Epic Game Maker Wins Fortnite Choreography Dispute

Epic Game Maker Wins Fortnite Choreography Dispute

Kyle Hanagami is a well-known choreographer who has worked with superstars including Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber. On November 11, 2017, Hanagami uploaded a video of his choreography to a song by pop artist, Charlie Puth to YouTube. The video exploded in popularity, receiving nearly 36 million views.   On March 29, 2022, Hanagami filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement in...

Taylor Swift’s “Lover” Book Receives Less Than Loving Response in Copyright Infringement Suit

Taylor Swift’s “Lover” Book Receives Less Than Loving Response in Copyright Infringement Suit

On August 23, 2022, Author Teresa La Dart filed an action against Taylor Swift for copyright infringement in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.  On January 12, 2010, La Dart’s book, “Lover,” was released nationwide. “Lover” is a collection of self-reflective poems inspired by personal experiences. La Dart’s life was drastically altered by losing her father,...

FOX Wins Initial Victory in Empire Copyright Infringement Case

FOX Wins Initial Victory in Empire Copyright Infringement Case

In May of 2021, Sophia Eggleston filed suit against FOX claiming that the executive producers of the television series, Empire, used her memoirs as the basis for a character in the series.  In 2009, Eggleston published a memoir detailing her experiences growing up in Detroit. She has a very colorful background having controlled a successful drug operation and eventually found redemption and...

Popular Netflix Series, Bridgerton, Inspires Imitation, But Netflix Loses Its Patience with Fan Flattery

Popular Netflix Series, Bridgerton, Inspires Imitation, But Netflix Loses Its Patience with Fan Flattery

Netflix released the wildly popular television series named Bridgerton in December of 2020, produced by the successful Shonda Rhimes. The show is set in the Regency era (1811 -1820) in the city of London and explores the romantic life of Daphne Bridgerton.  By 2021, the series was watched by 82 million households worldwide. Netflix owns the exclusive rights to everything related to Bridgerton,...

Judge Roy Moore Loses Appeal of His Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen

Judge Roy Moore Loses Appeal of His Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen

As part of his television show on Showtime called “Who Is America,” Sacha Baron Cohen convinced former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Judge Roy Moore, to fly out to Washington D.C for an interview. Although Judge Moore was told that the interview was for an “Israeli Television program,” he was actually to be interviewed by Cohen himself to be featured in a comedic episode which...

Lil Yachty Hauls UK Music Company into Court in California Over Use of His Name and Image in NFT

Lil Yachty Hauls UK Music Company into Court in California Over Use of His Name and Image in NFT

On August 3, 2022, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California, Michael W. Fitzgerald, denied a motion to dismiss a case filed by Miles Park McCollum, professionally known as “Lil Yachty,” against two crypto companies called Opulous and Ditto. Opulous sells “non-fungible tokens” (“NFTs”). An NFT is essentially a digital certificate or token which is stored on a digital database...

Editor’s Claim of “Fair Use” of Photos of Picasso Artwork Fails

Editor’s Claim of “Fair Use” of Photos of Picasso Artwork Fails

Art editor Alan Wofsy (Wofsy) and French citizen Yves Sicre De Fontbrune (YSF) have been fighting in courts in both the United States and France for 26 years over the use of photographs of artwork by Picasso. A catalog of 16,000 works by Picasso was obtained by YSF in 1979. In 1991, YSF brought a suit against Wofsy in France for infringement of the images in a book that Wofsy had published. At...

Bang Energy Liable for Infringing Music On TikTok

Bang Energy Liable for Infringing Music On TikTok

In order to promote its energy drink, Bang’s promotional team drives to different areas and hands out samples of its energy drink to people walking by. Bang also hires “social media influencers” to promote their drink on social media platforms such as TikTok. Bang’s social media team monitors these videos and takes consensual ownership of the ones that do best. These videos, which are then...

Banana Taped To Wall Is Art Which Is Original Enough To Be Protected By the Copyright Act

Banana Taped To Wall Is Art Which Is Original Enough To Be Protected By the Copyright Act

In early 2021, fine artist Joseph Morford filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against an artist named Maurizio Cattelan for copyright infringement. Morford alleged that Cattelan copied Morford’s art piece featuring a banana taped to a wall. Morford registered his artwork with the Copyright Office in 2000 and made his work accessible through his website,...

5 Essential Things You Need to Know Before Hiring an Entertainment Lawyer

5 Essential Things You Need to Know Before Hiring an Entertainment Lawyer

1. They Should Be an Expert in Copyright Law The “Copyright Act,” which regulates how creative or “expressive” works are treated in the law, is the foundation of entertainment law. Many lawyers claim that they are “entertainment lawyers” without being sufficiently knowledgeable or up-to-speed on copyright law. If a prospective entertainment lawyer lacks these essential skills, they will...

“Columbo” Creators Lose A $70 Million Dollar Payday When The Judge Misinterprets One Word In Their Contract

“Columbo” Creators Lose A $70 Million Dollar Payday When The Judge Misinterprets One Word In Their Contract

On March 30, 2022, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District agreed with the trial court’s decision in a case between the creators of the hit television show Columbo and Universal Studios. The main issue present in the case was the interpretation of a single word, namely the undefined term, “photoplays,” in the 1971 contract between the parties. Specifically, the question before the...

Ye Sued for Stealing Pastor’s Sermon and Using it in the Song ‘Come To Life’

Ye Sued for Stealing Pastor’s Sermon and Using it in the Song ‘Come To Life’

On May 3, 2022, Bishop David P. Moten filed a lawsuit against Ye, formerly Kanye West, for Ye’s use of portions of the Texas pastor's recorded sermon in Ye’s song "Come to Life" on his 2021 album "Donda." Moten said he never gave the rapper permission to use his sermon. Most notably, his voice stands out at the beginning of Ye's "Come to Life," as he preaches, "My soul cries out,...

Flavor Flav Loses Lawsuit for Public Enemy Royalties on a Technicality

Flavor Flav Loses Lawsuit for Public Enemy Royalties on a Technicality

On May 9, 2022, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit said a California federal court did not abuse its discretion when it ruled that William J. Drayton, professionally known as “Flavor Flav,” can't revive a lawsuit against Public Enemy's business manager and producer, Gary Rinaldo. Flavor Flav lost this case because his attorneys failed to timely file pretrial documents. The parties were...

NY Court Deems “Vape: The Musical” a Fair Use Parody of “Grease”

NY Court Deems “Vape: The Musical” a Fair Use Parody of “Grease”

On May 12, 2022, a sketch comedy group successfully convinced a United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York that its play "Vape: The Musical" was a “fair use” parody of the film version; of the musical "Grease." Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings was granted in its entirety, and Defendants' cross-motion was denied. The Court held that the musical play...

Roc-A-Fella Co-Founder Loses Case Involving Independent Film

Roc-A-Fella Co-Founder Loses Case Involving Independent Film

On April 8, 2022, Judge Robert W. Lehrburger for the Southern District of New York confirmed a jury verdict for $805,000 against Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash. Dash was alleged to have falsely claimed to hold copyright ownership in, Dear Frank, a small independent movie released in 2019. This lawsuit was brought by Muddy Water Pictures and Josh Webber, the two parties who produced...

U.S. Prosecutors Crack Down on Fraudulent NFT Project Creators

U.S. Prosecutors Crack Down on Fraudulent NFT Project Creators

On March 24, 2022, an unsealed complaint before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charged two individuals with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering based on an alleged fraudulent NFT project scheme titled “Frosties.” In January 2022, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Division and the Department of Homeland Security started...

Monstrous Lawsuit Concerning The Godzilla Character Survives Motion To Dismiss

Monstrous Lawsuit Concerning The Godzilla Character Survives Motion To Dismiss

On April 12, 2022, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson for the Central District of California denied a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement claim against the producers of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which was released in 2019. The lawsuit alleged that the producers copied media company Summit Kaiju LLC’s monster called “Batholith” in their 2019 film.  Judge Anderson’s order to deny the...

Copyright Infringement Case Concerning Hit Song “You Raise Me Up” Comes To An Unfortunate End

Copyright Infringement Case Concerning Hit Song “You Raise Me Up” Comes To An Unfortunate End

On April 25, 2022, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case concerning how different federal circuits analyze copyright infringement cases. The case that made its way to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with the allegation that Josh Groban’s hit song, “You Raise Me Up,” copied the Icelandic hit song, Söknuður. This lawsuit originated in a federal district court in the...

Post Malone Can’t Shake Lawsuit Concerning His Big Hit, “Circles”

Post Malone Can’t Shake Lawsuit Concerning His Big Hit, “Circles”

On April 18, 2022, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II for the Central District of California held that Tyler Armes, a professional musician, has no joint authorship rights to the final commercial release of Post Malone’s hit song, Circles. However, Judge Wright found that a trial must determine whether Mr. Armes is a joint author of the jam session recordings which gave rise to the song,...

Dismissal of Copyright Infringement Suit Regarding What Men Want is Affirmed by the 9th Circuit

Dismissal of Copyright Infringement Suit Regarding What Men Want is Affirmed by the 9th Circuit

On March 3, 2022, a Ninth Circuit appellate panel upheld Judge Stanley Blumenfeld, Jr.’s granting of a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit regarding the 2019 film What Men Want. Joe Carlini (“Carlini”), author of an unpublished screenplay entitled What the F Is He Thinking?, filed suit in August 2015 against Paramount Pictures, Black Entertainment Television, and other producers...

Louisiana Musician Re-Files Copyright Infringement Suit Against Drake

Louisiana Musician Re-Files Copyright Infringement Suit Against Drake

On March 2, 2022, a Louisiana musician known as Sam Skully (“Skully”) filed a lawsuit in Louisiana federal court against recording artist “Drake” and Warner Music, among others, for allegedly stealing the instrumental from a song that Skully created, which Drake allegedly used in his hit singles “Nice for What” and “In My Feelings.” Skully filed a similar claim in 2019 that was dismissed...

MyPillow CEO loses defamation suit against Daily Mail

MyPillow CEO loses defamation suit against Daily Mail

On December 15, 2021, a Judge in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York ruled that Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, did not have a sufficient claim for libel against the Daily Mail, and dismissed the claim. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, claimed in an article that Lindell had a “secret romance” with actress Jane Krakowski and that he “wooed her with flowers and...

Background Report Company Ordered to Pay $21 Million for Misleading Users

Background Report Company Ordered to Pay $21 Million for Misleading Users

On December 15, 2021, a United States District Court Judge in the Central District of California issued a large award and an injunction against MyLife.com, Inc., a company that provides users with background reports on individuals. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) accused MyLife of displaying search results that implied the subject of the search had criminal and/or sexual offenses on their...

Celebrities, Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather, and Cryptocurrency Company Sued for Misleading Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrities, Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather, and Cryptocurrency Company Sued for Misleading Celebrity Endorsements

On January 7, 2022, an investor in the cryptocurrency “EthereumMax” filed a “proposed class action lawsuit” (the lawsuit will not officially become a class action until the judge presiding over the case grants “class certification”) against a boxer, Floyd Mayweather (“Mayweather”), Kim Kardashian (“Kardashian”), and former NBA player, Paul Pierce (“Pierce”). Mayweather, Kardashian, and Pierce...

Katy Perry Rides Off Into the Sunset on $2.8 Million “Dark Horse”

Katy Perry Rides Off Into the Sunset on $2.8 Million “Dark Horse”

On March 10, 2022, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the reversal of a jury verdict by a District Court Judge in a case regarding Katy Perry’s (“Perry”) megahit “Dark Horse.” Perry was sued by a songwriter, Marcus Gray (“Gray”), who claimed that Perry copied his song “Joyful Noise.” Originally, a properly instructed jury concluded that Katy Perry had, in fact,...

TV Series, “Servant” on Apple TV+ May Have Ripped Off Plot of “The Truth About Emanuel,” a 2013 Film Starring Jessica Biel

TV Series, “Servant” on Apple TV+ May Have Ripped Off Plot of “The Truth About Emanuel,” a 2013 Film Starring Jessica Biel

On February 22, 2022, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded (i.e., sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings) a lower court decision dismissing a suit between writer-director Francesca Gregorini (“Gregorini”) and Apple TV. Gregorini sued Apple for copyright infringement in January 2020, claiming that Apple stole multiple elements including important portions of her 2013...

Church of Scientology Loses Dispute with Former Member

Church of Scientology Loses Dispute with Former Member

On January 20, 2022, a California appeals court overturned an order that would have required former members of the Church of Scientology (“Scientology”) to arbitrate their claims against the church. Three of the four former members left the Church willingly, while the fourth was told they could no longer participate. They claim stalking and harassment by the Church after their departure. When...

Cardi B Wins $4M in Defamation Suit Against YouTuber

Cardi B Wins $4M in Defamation Suit Against YouTuber

On January 24, 2022, Rapper Cardi B won a defamation case against Youtuber Latasha Kebe (“Kebe”) and her company, Kebe Studios. An eight-person jury in Georgia awardedCardi B $1.25 million in damages (including $250,000 in medical expenses) for defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The jury later increased that amount by another $2.8 million, to...

“13 Reasons Why” Lawsuit Against Netflix Dismissed by Federal Court Judge

“13 Reasons Why” Lawsuit Against Netflix Dismissed by Federal Court Judge

On January 12, 2022, a California federal Judge dismissed a would-be class action lawsuit against Netflix. The Plaintiffs alleged that Netflix promoted their show “13 Reasons Why”, featuring a young woman who committed suicide, to the detriment of numerous teenagers who followed suit. Plaintiffs further alleged that Netflix had been given warnings from experts in the field that the series could...

9th Circ. Affirms Dismissal of Copyright Infringement Case Involving the 2002 Hit Song, ‘You Raise Me Up’

9th Circ. Affirms Dismissal of Copyright Infringement Case Involving the 2002 Hit Song, ‘You Raise Me Up’

On November 29, 2021, a Ninth Circuit panel agreed with a lower court in putting an end to a copyright case over “You Raise Me Up,” saying major record labels and Spotify did not transform a 1977 hit from Iceland into the chart-topper sung by Josh Groban. The panel turned down arguments from Johannsongs-Publishing Ltd., a company founded by composer Jóhann Helgason, that sought to revive a 2018...

$1M Sanction Against Stan Lee’s Daughter Is Reversed by the Ninth Circuit

$1M Sanction Against Stan Lee’s Daughter Is Reversed by the Ninth Circuit

On December 6, 2021, the Ninth Circuit refused to back a ruling from a California judge that the daughter of the late Marvel comic book writer, Stan Lee, deserved to be sanctioned $1 million for her failed lawsuit against a company her father co-founded, concerning ownership of her father’s name and likeness. JC Lee accused her father’s business partners at Pow Entertainment Inc. of creating a...

9th Circuit Reverses Class Certification in Fight Over Bootleg Recordings

9th Circuit Reverses Class Certification in Fight Over Bootleg Recordings

On January 4, 2022, the Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court’s decision to certify two classes of performers and musicians who sued online concert archive Wolfgang’s Vault for alleged copyright infringement, finding that “individual issues predominate over the ones affecting the proposed classes.” In an unpublished opinion, a three-judge panel said that musician Greg Kihn, the artist who...

California Appellate Court Won’t Nix Screenwriter’s Claims Against CAA

California Appellate Court Won’t Nix Screenwriter’s Claims Against CAA

On December 15, 2021, the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) failed to shake lawyer-turned-writer John Musero’s lawsuit. The California appellate court issued a published opinion affirming the lower court’s decision that CAA cannot use California’s anti-SLAPP statute to strike Musero’s breach of contract and fiduciary duty lawsuit. The anti-SLAPP statute provides for a motion to strike the lawsuit at...

Elon Musk Can’t Shake Defamation Lawsuit

Elon Musk Can’t Shake Defamation Lawsuit

On December 20, 2021, the California Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion that upheld a trial court's order that Elon Musk's statements in an email were not protected by California's anti-SLAPP statute. The California anti-SLAPP statute provides for a motion to strike the lawsuit at its inception if (a) the claims are based upon free speech, and (b) the plaintiff cannot show that the...

Jay-Z emerges victorious in case by Parlux Fragrances, but loses his counter-claim for unpaid royalties

Jay-Z emerges victorious in case by Parlux Fragrances, but loses his counter-claim for unpaid royalties

On November 10, 2021, a jury in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, rejected all claims brought by a perfume company including its claim for $68 million in damages for breach of contract. Parlux alleged that hip-hop mogul Jay-Z failed to adequately promote a cologne that incorporated his name in it, “Gold Jay-Z.” After a short two hours of deliberation, jurors found...

Redbubble defeats Atari’s trademark and copyright infringement claims

Redbubble defeats Atari’s trademark and copyright infringement claims

On November 4, 2021, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, handed a loss to Atari concluding its lawsuit against Redbubble for selling merchandise with images allegedly stolen from Atari’s video games like Pong and Asteroids, finding Redbubble did not infringe upon any of Atari's intellectual property. The case began in 2018 after Atari advanced a...

Trump stumbles down Electric Avenue

Trump stumbles down Electric Avenue

On September 28, 2021, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York denied Former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss Eddy Grant’s copyright infringement action for the unauthorized use of Grant’s song, “Electric Avenue,” in an animated video for the Trump Campaign. “Electric Avenue” was originally released in 1983. The song spent five weeks at number two on Billboard...

Screenwriters Bring Copyright Infringement Suit Against Director Nate Parker’s Movie, “American Skin”

Screenwriters Bring Copyright Infringement Suit Against Director Nate Parker’s Movie, “American Skin”

On October 20, 2021, Plaintiffs Selton Shaw, Langston Shaw, and their production company, Changing the World Films, filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, for copyright infringement against multiple Defendants, including producers Spike Lee and Nate Parker. Shelton and Shaw are brothers who co-wrote the Screenplay, “A Routine Stop.” The Screenplay focuses on...

Entertainment Industry Con Faces 20 Years for Defrauding Investors in $650 Million-Dollar Scheme

Entertainment Industry Con Faces 20 Years for Defrauding Investors in $650 Million-Dollar Scheme

On October 4th, 2021, Zachary Joseph Horwitz, a Los Angeles actor, pled guilty to one count of securities fraud in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Horwitz, also known by his stage name, Zach Avery, admitted to raising $650 million from investors by leading them to believe that he had licensing deals with major companies such as Netflix and HBO, when he,...

Disney lands the jump in Evel Knievel trademark suit

Disney lands the jump in Evel Knievel trademark suit

On September 23, 2021, a U.S. District Judge for the District of Nevada granted Walt Disney’s motion to dismiss K&K Productions’ claim of trademark infringement under the Lanham Act “without prejudice.” If a case is dismissed without prejudice, then the case may be brought to court once more. K&K owns intellectual property and publicity rights for Evel Knievel, the famous daredevil of...

Netflix faces suit by Carole Baskin over footage in Netflix’s “Tiger King 2”

Netflix faces suit by Carole Baskin over footage in Netflix’s “Tiger King 2”

On November 1, 2021, Carole Baskin, star of the sensational “Tiger King” Netflix series, filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida stating a claim for breach of contract and a request to enjoin Netflix from airing “Tiger King 2.” Baskin alleged that the “Tiger King” sequel uses interviews and Big Cat Rescue footage without her permission after she...

KC Sunshine Band Member Seeks to Terminate Copyright

KC Sunshine Band Member Seeks to Terminate Copyright

On October 8, 2021, Richard Finch (“Finch”), guitarist of the 70’s group, “KC and the Sunshine Band,” (most notable known for their hit songs: “That’s The Way (I Like It),” “(Shake, Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty,” and “Boogie Shoes”) brought suit against Sony’s EMI Longitude Music in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, looking to reclaim the rights to 99...

Atlanta Concierge Gives Away Young Thug’s $1M Bag to Stranger

Atlanta Concierge Gives Away Young Thug’s $1M Bag to Stranger

On October 14, 2021, Jeffery Lamar Williams, p.k.a “Young Thug,” filed a suit in Gwinnett Superior Court in Georgia against the owner and property manager of the building at which Young Thug resides for negligent supervision and negligence. According to the complaint, Young Thug returned to Atlanta from Los Angeles and was unpacking his car in the apartment’s parking garage. He mistakenly left a...

Singer Sues Drake and Chris Brown for Copyright Infringement

Singer Sues Drake and Chris Brown for Copyright Infringement

On October 5, 2021, Brandon Cooper, and his producer, Timothy Valentine, filed a copyright infringement suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Drake, Chris Brown, and seven other songwriters credited on Drake and Brown’s track “No Guidance.” “No Guidance” is an R&B Grammy-nominated song that landed at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in...

MTV prevails in Floribama in trademark case

MTV prevails in Floribama in trademark case

On September 22, 2021, a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida granted ViacomCBS’s summary judgment motion against MGFB Properties’ trademark infringement claim under the Lanham Act. The producers of MTV’s “Floribama Shore,” a spin-off of MTV’s popular “Jersey Shore” franchise, used the same name for their show as a restaurant in Florida called “Flora-Bama” which not only owns...

Basketball star, Scary Terry, defeats trademark and copyright claims by owner of rights to mask

Basketball star, Scary Terry, defeats trademark and copyright claims by owner of rights to mask

On September 27, 2021, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York found that Charlotte Hornets basketball player Terry Rozier’s use of a ghost mask was fair use. Fair use is the right to use a copyrighted work under certain conditions without the permission of the copyright owner. Fun World produces holiday decorations and costumes one of which is a ghost face mask. In...

Cher Seeks Judicial Relief Against Sonny Bono’s Widow

Cher Seeks Judicial Relief Against Sonny Bono’s Widow

On October 13, 2021, Cher brought suit in the United States District Court of the Central District of California against Sonny Bono’s widow, seeking a declaration that she is entitled to 50% of the royalties from the musical compositions recorded by Sonny & Cher. Sonny and Cher were married until 1978. Following their divorce, the two signed an agreement granting Cher 50% ownership of the...

The Copyright Infringement Lawsuit By Dr. Seuss Enterprises Against ComicMix Over the Star Trek “Mashup” Finally Settles

The Copyright Infringement Lawsuit By Dr. Seuss Enterprises Against ComicMix Over the Star Trek “Mashup” Finally Settles

After a years-long battle between Dr. Seuss Enterprises and ComicMix LLC, the two have finally settled the copyright infringement lawsuit, which was initially filed by the famed author's estate over Dr. Seuss/Star Trek mashup book entitled "Oh the Places You'll Boldly Go.” On October 5, 2021, Dr. Suess Enterprises, the group that controls the famous author's intellectual property, and ComicMix,...

Rachel Maddow Defeats Defamation Claim

Rachel Maddow Defeats Defamation Claim

On August 17th, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling that MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow did not defame One America News Network (“OAN”) when she stated that OAN is “paid Russian propaganda.” According to the Ninth Circuit, when Maddow remarked that OAN Network is "paid Russian propaganda," it was an "obvious exaggeration" that did not amount to defamation and that the host's...

“Love & Hip” Star Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

“Love & Hip” Star Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

In a decision issued on September 15, 2021, a U.S. District Judge of the Northern District of Georgia sentenced Maurice Fayne (“Fayne”), a reality television personality who starred in "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,” to over 17 years in federal prison for his role in a major Ponzi scheme. Fayne pleaded guilty on May 11, 2021, to charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Additionally, he...

Ninth Circuit Overturns Lower Court Ruling on Photo of Indianapolis Skyline

Ninth Circuit Overturns Lower Court Ruling on Photo of Indianapolis Skyline

On September 9th, 2021, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision in a dispute between a former attorney and a storage company in Los Banos, California. Richard Bell (“Bell”) sued Wilmott Storage Services LLC (“Wilmott”) for posting an exact copy of a photo of the Indianapolis skyline, which Bell claims he owns, on a website owned by Wilmott. To...

Jury Finds Famous Funkster George Clinton Didn’t Defame His Former Producer

Jury Finds Famous Funkster George Clinton Didn’t Defame His Former Producer

On August 11th, 2021, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found in favor of the highly influential funk musician, George Clinton, author of such well-known funk standards as “Flash Light,” “Mothership Connection (Star Child),” and “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off That Sucker.” In 2015, Clinton’s former producer, Armen Boladian (“Boladian”), filed a defamation suit against the...

Former NY Prosecutor’s Defamation Claim Survives Netflix’s Motion to Dismiss

Former NY Prosecutor’s Defamation Claim Survives Netflix’s Motion to Dismiss

On August 9th, 2021, a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on a defamation lawsuit arising out of the depiction of a former prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, in Netflix’s limited series “When They See Us.” The series depicted the arrests, trials, and convictions of the “Central Park Five” from 1989-1990. The Five were released from prison and had their convictions tossed...

Netflix Sued for Glorifying Suicide in its Series, “13 Reasons Why”

Netflix Sued for Glorifying Suicide in its Series, “13 Reasons Why”

On August 25, 2021, a proposed class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, by the father of a 16-year-old girl who committed suicide, claiming that Netflix’s show, “13 Reasons Why” caused hundreds of children to commit suicide and further caused psychological harm to thousands of vulnerable youths who viewed the show. In the complaint, Herndon...

Disney Unable to Dodge Copyright Infringement Suit by Special Effects Company

Disney Unable to Dodge Copyright Infringement Suit by Special Effects Company

On August 16th, 2021, a Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of a special effects company, and against Disney, on a motion for summary judgement in a copyright infringement dispute. Disney used the special effects company’s technology to animate characters for blockbuster films including Beauty and the Beast, Deadpool, and Guardians of...

Breach of Contract Case Against Bob Dylan Dismissed by NY Court

Breach of Contract Case Against Bob Dylan Dismissed by NY Court

On July 30th, 2021, a Supreme Court for the State of New York, dismissed a breach of contract suit over proceeds derived from the sale of rights in Bob Dylan’s album, Desire. (Note: “Supreme Court” is the designation given to the lowest level state courts in New York). Following its release in 1976, Desire topped the Billboard charts for five weeks straight. The estate of Jacques Levy (“Levy”),...

A Look Into the Weeknd’s Numerous Copyright Battles

A Look Into the Weeknd’s Numerous Copyright Battles

Continuously at the center of multiple copyright infringement lawsuits, Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer, Abel Tesfaye, professionally known as “the Weeknd,” has been the subject of a slew of copyright infringement lawsuits since 2015. Central to these lawsuits are allegations that the Weeknd has illegally copied substantial elements from various music created by others and...

Ninth Circuit Finds No “Public Performance Rights” For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

Ninth Circuit Finds No “Public Performance Rights” For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On August 23rd, 2021, the Ninth Circuit reversed a District Court ruling in a dispute between Sirius XM and founders of The Turtles, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (“Flo & Eddie”), that has been brewing for years.  In 2013, Flo & Eddie sued Sirius XM for copyright infringement on the grounds that Sirius XM “publicly performed” pre-1972 sound recordings owned by Flo & Eddie. “Sound...

“Bachelor” Star Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Downey

“Bachelor” Star Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Downey

On September 15, 2021, model and former "Bachelor" contestant Hannah Ann Sluss (“Sluss”) sued Procter & Gamble Company, Inc. (“P&G”) for copyright infringement, claiming that P&G is still using her image to sell products, even though its license to do so has long since expired. According to Sluss’s complaint, she licensed one of her modeling photos to P&G to be used on a single...

Writer of Screenplay Sues Fox Over “Ad Astra” Film

Writer of Screenplay Sues Fox Over “Ad Astra” Film

On July 21, 2021, writer and producer, Phillip Madison Jones, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Twentieth Century Fox and Creative Artists Agency (“CAA”) for allegedly stealing a screenplay that he had pitched to them. According to Jones, Twentieth Century’s 2019 film “Ad Astra” entirely copied the central storyline, characters,...

Showtime’s ‘Billions’ Beats Copyright Suit

Showtime’s ‘Billions’ Beats Copyright Suit

On July 12, 2021, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York’s finding that Showtime’s series “Billions” did not rip off a book about the psychology of risk in financial markets. Denise K. Shull, author of the book "Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading, and Risk” claimed Showtime and its parent...

CBS Wins Dispute Over Judge Judy’s $47 Million Dollar Salary

CBS Wins Dispute Over Judge Judy’s $47 Million Dollar Salary

On July 30, 2021, a California appellate court ruled that CBS Corp. did not breach its obligations to share its profits with talent agency, Rebel Entertainment Partners Inc. (“Rebel”), when CBS Corp. voluntarily lowered their profits to increase Judith Sheindlin’s (“Judge Judy”) salary to $47 million. In 1995, Richard Lawrence, a show packager who started Rebel, sold a court-oriented show...

Disney Reverses Defeat in Lengthy “Jungle Book” Dispute Over Royalties

Disney Reverses Defeat in Lengthy “Jungle Book” Dispute Over Royalties

On July 7, 2021, the California Court of Appeals for the Second District ruled that Disney does not owe royalties to the adult children and heirs of the songwriter behind “The Bare Necessities,” a song featured in “The Jungle Book.” This decision overruled a lower court’s award of over $1 million in damages. The 1963 contract between Gilkyson and Disney underlying the dispute classified the...

Marvel Files Five (5) Lawsuits to Keep the Rights to the ‘Avengers’ Characters

Marvel Files Five (5) Lawsuits to Keep the Rights to the ‘Avengers’ Characters

On September 24, 2021, Marvel initiated five separate lawsuits in California and New York Federal District Courts against writer Larry Lieber and four other artists (or their heirs) of Marvel Comics (collectively, the “Writers”). The lawsuits were in response to efforts by the Writers to initiate “termination” of their assignments of creative works to Marvel. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, the...

Apple Prevails in “Memoji” Trademark Lawsuit

Apple Prevails in “Memoji” Trademark Lawsuit

On July 13, 2021, the Ninth Circuit dismissed a trademark infringement lawsuit that Social Technologies LLC (“Social Tech”) filed against Apple, Inc. (“Apple”). The court held that Social Tech’s trademark was invalid. The history of the case is as follows: In 2016, Social Tech filed an “intent-to-use” trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the...

The Walking Dead’ Producers Settle Profits Dispute With AMC

The Walking Dead’ Producers Settle Profits Dispute With AMC

On July 16, 2021, the AMC Network settled a lengthy lawsuit with “The Walking Dead” creator Frank Darabont, Creative Artist Agency LLC, and two of Darabont’s production companies, for $200 million. Darabont developed “The Walking Dead” and served as executive producer from 2010 to 2011. In 2010, AMC Studios licensed the series for broadcast to its corporate affiliate, AMC Network. In 2013,...

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

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, McLeer alleges that the NYPD’s graffiti...

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

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 intercompany...

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

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 were defrauded by an organized crime family member...

Damon Dash Defeated in Copyright Infringement Suit

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 sale through his studio’s online...

Hard Rock Café Battles Hard Rock Hemp in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

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 Café is an iconic brand with more than 2,000 U.S. and...

Kesha Smacks Dr. Luke with Anti-SLAPP Motion

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, filed the case in 2014, claiming he had been defamed by Kesha’s “false and...

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

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 “This Is America” is practically identical to the chorus of his 2016 song “Made In America.”...

Lizzo Knocks Out Copyright Co-Ownership Claim

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 “plaintiffs”) claimed to be behind the song’s iconic...