In latest twist in ad suit, Jordan tastes defeat

As the San Antonio Spurs and Manny Pacquiao could well advise basketball legend Michael Jordan, even champions don’t win every contest. Jordan himself discovered this off the hard courts and in a court of law recently, when a federal judge in Chicago, dealing with matters from a case remanded to him by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, rejected the superstar’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit over a grocery ad that seemed to salute him. (more…)

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Judge KOs one of many ‘Manny’ skirmishes

While Manny Pacquiao will show this weekend if his often-unerring fists can win a fight with a total payday estimated at north of $400 million, a federal court in Miami recently told the legendary pugilist’s documentary film makers to pull the punches they planned to throw at unidentified parties they accuse of copyright infringement. The proposed high-tech hay-makers legally were off target, the court said (with thanks to Digital Music News for posting the ruling), even as the multiple lawsuits nationwide have started to trouble online observers. (more…)

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A front-row view of Hollywood’s copyright fight

He never took a copyright nor a trademark course in law school, he said, and he intended to practice in the international or educational areas. A clerkship with a judge persuaded him he didn’t want to be a litigator. At one point, he pondered leaving the profession after practicing with a mid-sized firm that he loved, though he didn’t like the kind of law it handled. Instead, he sought a house counsel job and had the luck to interview with a Hollywood studio’s General Counsel, who liked his answer as to why he wanted to work at Warner Bros., because, this candidate said, “he loved Bugs Bunny.”

His initial, self-deprecating description may have thrown some audience members for a curve. But Dean Marks, an  entertainment industry expert on content protection and copyright law, then proceeded in his recent talk at Southwestern Law School to describe his ring-side seat to the enormous changes he has helped influence in working in intellectual property issues. He did so in speaking with Prof. Steven Krone as part of the Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute’s “A Conversation With” series. (more…)

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For musicians, tax credits a new part of score

Musicians in the Golden and Empire states may be whistling a happier tune these days. That’s because lawmakers in both California and New York have looked at the value that entertainment enterprises add to their states’ economies, and, in accord with what many governments have done to support filmmakers, they’ve put in place or are pushing for tax credits for tunesmiths and their ilk. Let’s take note: (more…)

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$27 million award affirmed in bogus film deal

220px-Stevekaplan2010Five years after striking two deals valued at the time at $300 million to finance 10 films to be made with his company Rainstorm,  Steven G. Kaplan has won a California appellate decision affirming a private arbitrator’s $27-million award to him after his big plans with foreign investor Fortnom fell through. It turns out that Fortnom didn’t exist and Kaplan since has pursued the duo who represented the firm, Anthony Lombard-Knight and Jakob Kinde. (more…)

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In conversation: Film industry’s IP watchdog

dean marksOne of the movie industry’s top intellectual property watchdogs on Monday will join in Southwestern Law School’s  “Conversation With …” program: Dean Marks, executive vice president, deputy general counsel and chief of global content protection at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) will chat about an array of topics in the 7:30 p.m. program with Steve Krone, director of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute.

“Dean is one of the leading U.S. and international copyright experts in the entertainment industry, ” Professor Krone said. “In his work at the MPAA spearheading all content protection, I’m sure he’s bringing his deep knowledge to bear, along with his refreshingly pragmatic approach.” (more…)

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Three’s company? Make room for dark parody

threes company pix3CA cheery, chipper, Seventies sit-com that turned on a naughty-cute lifestyle-linked plot  has, in its own fashion, allowed a federal district court in Manhattan to hand down a copyright infringment decision with its own twist.

Based on a Rule 12(c) motion, Loretta A. Preska, chief judge in the Southern District Court of New York, has found that playwright David Adjmi‘s dark, off-Broadway work, 3Cwas non-infringing of the copyright held by DTL Entertainment for the popular television farce Three’s Company, which starred the late John Ritter, actresses Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt, (shown in right photo) and the late comedy legend Don Knotts. (more…)

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Court harpoons ‘Shark’s bid for ‘safe harbor’

Grooveshark could not groove it way out of a recent New York federal district court decision granting EMI summary judgment against the music streaming service operated by Escape Media group. The court found Grooveshark liable for copyright infringement and unable to claim safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In the latest case development, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan adopted the report and recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. Her recommendations included: 1) granting EMI music’s motion for summary judgment on its infringement claim and the exception of its claim for direct infringement of its right of reproduction and 2) granting summary judgment to EMI on Escape’s affirmative defense under the DMCA. (more…)

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Privacy event to address celebrity issues, rights

Neville_L_Johnson_JJLLPLAW_2015DroozDeborahGary_BostwickProminent scholars, lawyers and government officials will gather on April 17 at Southwestern for the Second Annual Online Privacy Conference, presented by the law school’s Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. Participants will explore a spectrum of privacy issues, including, notably for Entertainment Law practitioners, a session on  Celebrity and Privacy/Publicity Rights. (more…)

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