HOUSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT REQUIRED TO PAY $9 MILLION AFTER LOSING COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT OVER LEARNING MATERIALS

HOUSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT REQUIRED TO PAY $9 MILLION AFTER LOSING COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT OVER LEARNING MATERIALS

By Steven T. Lowe / June 14, 2019

On May 24, 2019, after a seven-day trial, a Texas federal jury ordered the Houston Independent School District (“District”) to pay $9.2 million to an educational publishing company, DynaStudy, Inc. (“DynaStudy”), after finding its employees willfully infringed the company’s rights. The verdict comes just approximately three years to the date since the lawsuit was filed…

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COURT FINDS USE OF “SUPERBOWL SHUFFLE” IN DOCUMENTARY WAS “FAIR USE”

By Steven T. Lowe / June 13, 2019

Following up on our December 13, 2018 article entitled “Claim Filed On Behalf of Writers of Song ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’”: On May 30, 2019, U.S. District Judge of the Northern District of Illinois, Virginia M. Kendall, ruled that the owners of the “Super Bowl Shuffle”- a song made famous by the 1985 Chicago Bears (the…

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“LOVING PABLO” AUTHOR’S CASE AGAINST NETFLIX SURVIVES A MOTION TO DISMISS

By Steven T. Lowe / June 12, 2019

In a follow-up to our article about this case posted on September 14, 2018, the following is an update in the case: Netflix and producers of the Netflix original series “Narcos” (“Netflix”) cannot escape copyright infringement claims brought against them by Columbian journalist Virginia Vallejo (“Vallejo”). Vallejo, a former lover of Pablo Escobar and author…

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What Can the Right Operating Agreement Do for Your LLC?

By Steven T. Lowe / June 4, 2019

When people are starting a limited liability corporation (LLC) in California, most members (owners) of the LLC are often more focused on getting the business off the ground and building a successful customer base than they are with sorting out legal issues. That is a big mistake. An operating agreement can contain the legal provisions necessary to…

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TAKE-TWO CONTINUES TO PREVAIL IN MULTIPLE RIGHT OF PUBLICITY CASES

By Steven T. Lowe / June 1, 2019

On May 13, 2019, video game developer Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (“Take-Two”) defeated yet another lawsuit, this time claiming its “NBA 2K” games featured a street basketball star known as “Hot Sauce.” New York state Judge Frances A. Kahn ruled that a character in Take-Two’s 2018 NBA 2K is not “recognizable” as Philip Champion (“Champion”),…

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DISNEY BEATS ANOTHER COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT, THIS TIME FOR “PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN”

By Steven T. Lowe / May 31, 2019

On May 13, 2019, U.S. District Judge Consuelo Bland Marshall granted Disney’s motion to dismiss copyright infringement claims brought by screenwriters Lee Alfred II (“Alfred”) and Ezequiel Martinez Jr. (“Martinez”) with respect to Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” “Treasure maps, skeletons and mutinies are par for the course in pirate movies,” Judge Marshall explained, “there…

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T.I. AND KEVIN HART FEELING THE HEAT IN CASE BY INVESTORS IN A COIN OFFERING

By Steven T. Lowe / May 30, 2019

On May 10, 2019, investors in an initial coin offering being backed by rapper T.I. (whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) filed a lawsuit in Georgia federal court alleging that the offering was a scam. A similar lawsuit was also filed against comedian actor Kevin Hart (“Hart”). Investor Kenneth Fedance (“Fedance”) filed a…

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How can the new EU Copyright Directive affect copyright matters in the U.S.?

By Steven T. Lowe / May 26, 2019

On March 25, 2019, the European Parliament approved a major set of changes to its copyright laws. These changes could force many companies to be legally responsible for any content that users upload to their websites. This means that Internet companies will have to take a much more active role in regulating content posted by…

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Copyright Infringement, Spotify, Songwriters, & Appeals: an Update

By Steven T. Lowe / May 22, 2019

Spotify is a very popular product with U.S. music listeners but has also been the subject of repeated lawsuits, appeals, and copyright infringement cases. One of the recent major changes in the world of Spotify and copyright law has to do with the ruling of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, which boosted the royalty rate that…

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“BONES” CAST ARBITRATION AWARD GETS SHAVED $128 MILLION

By Steven T. Lowe / May 21, 2019

Following up on our March 4, 2019 article entitled “$174 Million Awarded to “Bones” Cast From Fox”: On May 2, 2019, a Los Angeles County court granted 21st Century Fox Inc.’s (“Fox”) request to shave off $128 million from a $179 million arbitration award granted to “Bones” cast members against Fox. Judge Richard Rico ruled…

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