Blogs

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…

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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…

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“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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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