On February 26, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a complaint in California federal court alleging that movie writer-director, Daniel Adams (“Adams”), and his music producing partner, Michael Flanders (“Flanders”), defrauded at least two investors out of tens of thousands of dollars.
On February 27, 2019, a February 4th ruling of an arbitrator’s award against 21st Century Fox Inc. (“Fox”) was made public for $179 million. The claimants were key personnel behind the TV crime drama, “Bones.” The case as based upon Fox wrongfully withholding “chunks of the show’s profits.”
On February 28, 2019, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu judge tentatively rejected Harvey Weinstein, Miramax LLC and others' attempt to dismiss claims alleging that they stole intellectual property from the author of “The Amityville Horror” to create a film sequel, "The Amityville Horror: The Awakening.”
On February 28, 2019, an attorney labeled a “copyright troll” by a New York federal judge filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Netflix over footage used in Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentary.
ZILLOW SUED BY DEVELOPER WHO CLAIMS ZILLOW’S PUBLIC INFORMATION DROPPED HOME VALUE BY ALMOST $100 MILLION
On February 24, 2019, Los Angeles real estate developer Bruce Makowsky (“Makowsky”) filed a lawsuit against the real estate listings website known as “Zillow,” claiming that Zillow incorrectly reported a massive Bel Air mansion had sold on three separate occasions for much less than its current $150 million price tag.
On February 22, 2019, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard E. Rico refused to toss Viacom Inc.’s case against Netflix based upon allegations that Netflix illegally recruits employees from Netflix’s competitors (including Viacom).
On February 27, 2019, the Sixth Circuit dismissed a defamation suit brought by Portia Boulger (“Boulger”) against actor James Woods (“Woods”), claiming Woods tweeted a false story about Boulger and questioned if she was a “plant” who did a Nazi salute at a Donald Trump rally.
SLOT GAME MAKER SEEKS DAMAGES UNDER DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT AFTER PREVAILING IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT
On February 8, 2019, Slot game maker GC2 Inc. asked for the maximum penalty allowed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) after a jury found that three companies infringed their artwork for online slot games.
On February 14, 2019, New York federal Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger declined to dismiss the case filed by Jamaican reggae performer Flourgon (whose real name is Michael May) against Miley Cyrus, alleging that much of her 2013 hit “We Can’t Stop” was copied from his 1988 reggae song.
On February 11, 2019, the owner of rosy-cheeked “King Cake Baby” filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Universal Studios (“Universal”) claiming Universal “unlawfully twisted elements” of his art into the masked killer in the movies “Happy Death Day” and “Happy Death Day 2U.”
Six-decade long soap opera, “Days of our Lives,” is being threatened with termination by Sony Pictures Televisions Inc. (“Sony”). According to the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Sony’s decision is based upon its desire to boost the ratings of its own almost 50 year running soap opera, “The Young and the Restless.”
Creative Artists Agency LLC (“CAA”) has filed a request to drop its lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court which they filed on April 2, 2015, alleging that United Talent Agency LLC (“UTA”) of conducting a “lawless, midnight raid” to steal high-profile Hollywood agents and star clients from CAA.
On January 31, 2019, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh of California ruled that AMC could not avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit that alleged defendants stole a zombie-comic creators’ characters, dialogue and plot for their series “Fear the Walking Dead”; a spinoff of AMC’s hit-show “Walking Dead.”
On January 31, 2018, a model who went viral as the “Fiji Water Girl” after appearing prominently in the background at the Golden Globes’ red carpet event has sued Fiji Water Co. LLC in California sate court claiming it misappropriated her likeness (meaning used her identity without her consent) by creating cardboard cutouts of her for a marketing campaign.
On February 6, 2019, a Second Circuit panel refused to give Charles Green (the author of “Bucky’s 9th”) another chance at his allegations that the 2011 best-selling baseball novel “The Art of Fielding” stole the plot from his book, ruling the scenes in question are common in the genre. This In The Know article is a follow-up to our August 1, 2018 article titled: “The Art of Fielding” Did Not Infringe “Bucky’s 9th” Copyright.
On January 21, 2019, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of New York agreed to reconsider an October 2018 decision in which he had ruled that press agency Zuma Press Inc. had “nobody to blame but itself” for making little effort to get its images back after commingling them with a collection owned by a man named Les Walker.
A jury trial has been set for May 2019 against Conan O’Brien over claims brought by comedian Robert Alexander Kaseberg (“Kaseberg”) which allege Conan, his show’s production company Conaco LLC, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Time Warner Inc., and two members of the show’s production staff (the “Conan Defendants”) stole five of his jokes which were protected by copyright applications Kaseberg filed in 2015 and 2016.
Tinder, the well-known dating app, has been ordered by a California federal court to pay $17.3 million worth of subscription features and cash to settle claims that the company overcharged dating app users based on their age.
On January 10, 2019, Alcon Entertainment filed a lawsuit in California federal court against French car maker, Peugeot, claiming that it has not been paid the $30 million promised by the French auto maker to have its logo prominently featured in the movie “Blade Runner 2049.”
Orange County Superior Court Judge Layne H. Melzer granted “The Real Housewives of Orange County” star Shannon Beador’s Motion to Strike a complaint filed by James Bellino, the husband of former cast member Alexis Bellino, under California’s anti-SLAPP statute.
On January 15, 2019, pop star Rihanna, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty, filed a lawsuit in a California federal court demanding her father, Ronald Fenty, cease exploiting her name and brand, “Fenty,” for commercial benefit through his company Fenty Entertainment LLC. To add “insult to injury,”
On January 9, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ordered a coffee company to $2.4 million in damages to companies connected to reggae legend Bob Marley for continuing to sell Marley-branded coffee after a trademark license agreement between the companies was terminated.
On January 7, 2019, a California appeals court reversed most of “Duck Dynasty” creators’ (Scott and Deidre Gurney) complaint against a British production company, ITV Studios, that bought most of their operation for $40 million and then refused to work with them. The appeals court said numerous paragraphs pursuant to an anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation motion filed by ITV was wrongfully dismissed by the District Court.