Blogs

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”…

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“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,…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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