Disney Unable to Dodge Copyright Infringement Suit by Special Effects Company

Disney Unable to Dodge Copyright Infringement Suit by Special Effects Company

By Steven T. Lowe / November 30, 2021

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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Disney Reverses Defeat in Lengthy “Jungle Book” Dispute Over Royalties

By Steven T. Lowe / October 28, 2021

On July 7, 2021, the California Court of Appeals for the Second District ruled that Disney does not owe royalties to the adult children and heirs of the songwriter behind “The Bare Necessities,” a song featured in “The Jungle Book.” This decision overruled a lower court’s award of over $1 million in damages. The 1963…

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Disney Seeks to Dismiss ‘Muppet Babies’ Reboot Suit

By Steven T. Lowe / May 21, 2021

On January 27, 2021, the Walt Disney Company filed a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by television writer Jeffrey Scott in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  According to the complaint, Disney “interpolated” the ideas Scott shared with them from his 1984 “Muppet Babies” production bible for their…

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Fortnite Game Developer Doesn’t Miss A Beat in “Running Man” Dance IP Victory

By Steven T. Lowe / July 22, 2020

On May 29, 2020, Judge Paul W. Grimm of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed a lawsuit that accused the creators behind the popular video game, “Fortnite,” of appropriating the “running man” dance without permission from the former University of Maryland students who came up with the viral trend. In…

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Live Nation Can’t Shake Lawsuit Over Female Artist Country Music Festival

By Steven T. Lowe / July 14, 2020

On May 14, 2020, Live Nation failed to convince a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to dismiss a $25 million-dollar lawsuit in which concert organizers claimed that Live Nation stole their idea for a country music festival with an all-female lineup. In a complaint filed in…

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Jay-Z, Timbaland, and Numerous Record Labels Obtain a Technical Triumph in Copyright Suit

By Steven T. Lowe / July 10, 2020

On April 16, 2020, Judge J. Paul Oetken of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissed a musician’s lawsuit against artists Jay-Z and Timbaland for unlawfully using parts of the plaintiff’s soul song, finding fatal flaws in the complaint. In the lawsuit filed on May 18, 2019, musician Ernie…

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Steinbeck Family Battle Appealed to Supreme Court

By Steven T. Lowe / June 26, 2020

On March 10, 2020, John Steinbeck’s heirs filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court concerning a decades-long battle over creative rights to the author’s literary works. In taking up the fight, the California Society of Entertainment Lawyers (“CSEL”), a non-profit organization of attorneys representing creative professionals in the entertainment industry, also submitted an amicus…

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Sweet James is Anything But In Accusing Rival Firm of Brand Theft.

By Steven T. Lowe / June 23, 2020

On April 24, 2020, a leading personal injury law firm in Southern California brought a suit against a rival firm based in Beverly Hills for stealing and misusing its registered “Sweet James” trademark online. In the complaint filed with the United States District Court for the Central District of California, plaintiff Sweet James LLP accused…

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No Justice For Filmmaker in Copyright Clash with Apple

By Steven T. Lowe / June 19, 2020

In yet another casualty for creative professionals in 2020, on May 28, 2020, United States District Court Judge John F. Walter of the Central District of California dismissed a filmmaker’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Apple and M. Night Shyamalan in connection with the Apple TV+ series, “Servant.” Notwithstanding overwhelming similarities between the two works at…

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Ex-Met Strikes Out in New York Court

By Steven T. Lowe / June 16, 2020

On May 29, 2020, New York State Court Judge, Robert D. Kalish, tossed retired professional baseball star Lenny Dykstra’s defamation suit against former teammate, Ron Darling, finding that an unsavory depiction of Dykstra in Darling’s recent book couldn’t further besmirch Dykstra’s “already tarnished reputation.” In July 2019, Dykstra filed and in September 2019, later amended…

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