Blogs

NINTH CIRCUIT REVIVES PRE-1972 SOUND RECORDINGS CASE AGAINST CBS

On August 20, 2018, the Ninth Circuit revived a lawsuit against CBS concerning radio broadcasts of pre-1972 recordings by overturning a ruling by a California District Court Judge in CBS’s favor. That ruling held that “remastered” versions of old songs are entirely new sound recordings. If they are new sound recordings, then the California Civil Code§980…

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FALSE CLAIMS OF AUTHENTICITY BY SONY AND MICHAEL JACKSON’S ESTATE FOUND TO BE PROTECTED BY FIRST AMENDMENT

On August 28, 2018, a California appellate court ruled that a posthumously released Michael Jackson album that featured a “soundalike” vocalist on three tracks did not give rise to claims against Sony Music and the Jackson estate even though they had impliedly and expressly represented that Jackson sang all 10 songs, on both the album…

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NETFLIX’S NARCOS SERIES SUED FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Virgina Vallejo, a former Columbian journalist living in asylum in the United States, filed a lawsuit on August 24, 2018, claiming that the producers of the series “Narcos” infringed copyrights covering her best-selling memoir in which she narrated her romantic relationship with former drug lord Pablo Escobar. Vallejo’s complaint claims the series depicted her through…

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GIRLS GONE WILD SEEKS CLOSURE OVER JUDGMENTS

On August 24, 2018, the Chapter 11 trustee for the companies responsible for the “Girls Gone Wild” brand of videos asked a California bankruptcy court to close all but one case against the company. The trustee explained to the court that the only outstanding issue in the bankruptcy estate is a $2 million judgment entered…

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RAPPER’S LYRICS RULED TRUE THREATS, NOT PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT

On August 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that lyrics by rapper Jamal Knox (p/k/a “Mayhem Mal”)(“Knox”) involving killing cops was not protected speech under the First Amendment because they “crossed the line from artistic expression to a ‘true threat.’” The Supreme Court found the existence of terroristic threats and witness intimidation when…

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COACHELLA ASKS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT CASE AGAINST FILMCHELLA

On August 14, 2018, Coachella asked a California federal court to grant summary judgment in its favor in a trademark infringement dispute against movie festival “Filmchella.” Coachella claims the mark “Filmchella” is confusingly similar to Coachella and that Filmchella has intentionally copied its mark without authorization for the purpose of gaining publicity. Coachella argued that…

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LENNY DYKSTRA FILES FRAUD SUIT OVER DOCUMENTARY

On August 5, 2018, former MLB Mets slugger and convicted felon Lenny Dykstra filed a fraud suit in New York Supreme Court against DLP Media Group LLC (“DLP”) for allegedly cutting him out of $400,000 it recouped from Amazon after they cancelled a planned documentary on the baseball player’s life. Dykstra claimed after months of…

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STUBHUB’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT GRANTED

On August 7, 2018, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson granted summary judgment in favor of StubHub over allegations that StubHub breached the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) when they hired three employees from a startup company who allegedly used proprietary data from their former company for apps they developed for StubHub. Judge Wilson explained that…

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LATE NWA MEMBER EAZY-E’S WIFE REACHES DEAL WITH SON OVER “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON” AND OTHER RELATED TRADEMARK

Eazy-E’s wife, Tomica Woods-Wright, has reached a deal with Eazy-E’s son, Eric Darnel Wright, over the use of “Straight Outta Compton” and other phrases relating to rap group NWA. On August 8, 2018, Eazy-E’s son agreed to stop using several marks owned by his stepmother to promote his company. These marks include “Compton Records,” “Ruthless”…

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DR. DRE AND IOVINE TO PAY $5.6 MILLION IN PREJUDGMENT INTEREST

On August 16, 2018, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III ruled that Steven Lamar, an entrepreneur who won $25.25 million at trial for his contributions to Dr. Dre’s and Jimmy Iovine’s first headphones in their “Beats” line of headphones, is entitled to another $5.6 million in prejudgment interest. Judge Cunningham also noted…

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