On July 10, 2019, a Florida appeals court found that defamation contained in books and movies are not covered by a presuit retraction requirement for defamation suits; refusing to dismiss the claims of the grandson of former Columbian President Mariano Ospina Perez Francisco Javier Ospina Baraya’s (“Ospina”), that claimed that the book “The Infiltrator” and its Hollywood movie adaptation falsely portrayed him as a collaborator of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Following up on our July 15, 2018 article entitled “Sheeran/Gaye Lawsuit Headed To Jury Trial”: On July 2, 2019, U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, Louis L. Stanton, continued the jury trial scheduled for September 11, 2019, over whether Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” infringes Marvin Gaye’s “Let's Get It On,” in order to find out the Marvin Gaye decision by the Ninth Circuit in a copyright infringement case involving Led Zeppelin. See, our article dated June 29, 2019, entitled “Ninth Circuit To Take A Second Look At Its Ruling Concerning The Case Against Led Zeppelin.”
On July 1, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge of the Southern District of New York, John G. Koeltl, held that an Andy Warhol series of prints featuring legendary pop artist, Prince, does not infringe upon the copyright of the photographer who originally took the photograph.
COLOR ME BADD STILL TOURING DESPITE CONTINUED CONFLICTS, INCLUDING TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT CLAIMS BETWEEN ITS OWN MEMBERS
On July 1, 2019, a member of well-known ‘90s R&B group, Color Me Badd, filed a lawsuit in Indiana federal court against another member alleging he misappropriated the band’s trademark while trying to pursue his solo career.
Following up on our February 25, 2019, article entitled “Miley Cyrus Will Face Lawsuit Over Copyright Infringement Claims Over ‘We Can’t Stop’”: On June 28, 2019, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Lewis Kaplan, ruled that copyright infringement claims against Miley Cyrus over her 2013 hit song “We Can’t Stop” will proceed.
“EMPIRE” COPYRIGHT CASE AGAINST FOX REJECTED BY U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR THIRD TIME AFTER THE 9TH CIRCUIT REVERSED A PREVIOUS DECISION FOR DEFENDANT FOX
Following up on our August 8, 2018 article entitled “Ninth Circuit Revives Lawsuit Against Fox Regarding ‘Empire’”: On June 14, 2019, U.S. District Judge of the Central District of California, Percy Anderson, again tossed the lawsuit against Fox Television which claimed that plaintiffs’ unproduced “treatment” was the basis of the television show “Empire.” This recent development comes a year after the Ninth Circuit said the plaintiff should be given another chance.
On June 11, 2019, author Donna Corbello (“Corbello”) urged the Ninth Circuit to revive a jury verdict finding the creators of the hit Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” stole material from her husband’s unpublished book. Even though the jury found in her favor and issued her an award in June of 2017, the judge thereafter issued a “judgment as a matter of law” in favor of the defendants on the fair use issue.
On June 10, 2019, the Ninth Circuit decided that all of the judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would “rehear” the previous panel’s decision reversing a lower court verdict in favor of Led Zeppelin.
Following up on our March 15, 2018 article entitled “Pepe The Frog Creator Fires Back”: On June 10, 2019, the creator of Pepe the Frog, Matt Furie (“Furie”), reached a settlement to end a copyright lawsuit he filed against the far-right website, “Infowars.”
PHILADELPHIA ATTORNEY WHO THOUGHT HE WAS “OFF THE RECORD” CANNOT STOP DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS FROM INCLUDING THE FOOTAGE
On June 11, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge, Gerald McHugh, of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted documentary filmmakers summary judgment holding that prominent Philadelphia attorney, A. Charles Peruto (“Peruto”), did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when he was caught on tape criticizing city Judge Genece Brinkley.
HOUSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT REQUIRED TO PAY $9 MILLION AFTER LOSING COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT OVER LEARNING MATERIALS
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 on May 23, 2016.
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 “song”)- are barred from recovering against documentary filmmakers for including the song in a documentary about the Super Bowl-winning team.
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”).
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 ag...
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.”
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.”
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”).
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 i...
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, whic...
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.
On May 1, 2019, ad agency, Betty Inc. (“Betty”), which sued Pepsi for stealing its idea for a Super Bowl commercial starring actress Janelle Monae, urged a New York federal court to reject Pepsi’s Motion For Summary Judgment saying the distinct elements of Betty’s pitch ended up being used as Pepsi’s “The Joy of Dance” commercial.
On April 25, 2019, the Appellate Court for the Second District reversed a win for a homeowner of a midcentury home- the Sheats-Goldstein residence- featured in the movie “The Big Lebowski,” forcing him to now face another trial with a man who fell onto a hillside while working at a party at the house.
On May 1, 2019, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (“Jeffries”), a Democrat from the State of New York, and Representative Doug Collins, a Republican from the State of Georgia, introduced a bill that would make it easier for writers, musicians and artists to sue for copyright infringement by establishing a small claims court for copyright law.