Blogs

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.,…

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$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…

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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 In an unpublished opinion, a three-judge panel said that musician Greg Kihn,…

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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…

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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On December 20, 2021, the California Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion that upheld a trial court’s order that Elon Musk’s statements in an email were not protected by California’s anti-SLAPP statute.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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.”…

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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…

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