A full calendar of entertainment law programs: on celebs in crisis, paparazzi law and more

When that cell phone jangles with a call from a client, exactly what kind of  duties will a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer be asked to undertake? Will it be a request to draft a personal services agreeement, a demand to make war on some miscreant seeking to infringe on or misappropriate the works of talent, or, as often gets 24/7 media saturation coverage in this city, will counsel suddenly be thrust into an all-consuming situation, dealing with criminal charges and coping with “Celebrities in Crisis?”

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2 sink claws into DreamWorks’ ‘Panda’

Artist Jayme Gordon has filed a complaint against DreamWorks in Massachusetts, claiming that its film, “Kung Fu Panda,” infringed his copyrighted works. His works were collectively titled “Kung Fu Panda Power ” and were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2000. THR, Esq. Gordon argues that DreamWorks not only copied the title of his work, but also the characters.

Simultaneously, DreamWorks is fighting another lawsuit brought by a writer named Terence Dunn. He claims to have discussed the story of a “spiritual kung-fu fighting panda bear” with DreamWorks executives on the phone in November, 2001.

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No-shows at anti-piracy hearing: Google, Yahoo

Capitol Building and GoogleThe Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony recently in Washington from representatives of Verizon, the Authors Guild of America, GoDaddy.com, Rosetta Stone Ltd., and Visa on illegal websites, the effects of piracy and the firms’ roles in anti-piracy efforts. The big players notably missing from this list were Google and Yahoo. CNET reports that Google did not appear alongside these other companies, though Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) had invited them. Politico reports that Yahoo did not send a representative to the hearing, either.

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Revolution©: who owns iconic Che image?

The image has become at once iconic and ubiquitous: Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Cuban guerrilla leader, relentless and determined, glancing out into the distance. Jim Fitzpatrick, an Irish artist, created this print in 1968 and allowed revolutionary groups throughout Europe to use the image copyright-free. The depiction that  once was a symbol of progressive ideals, however, since has become a pop-culture money-maker, adorning key rings, T-shirts and even lingerie around the globe. And now Fitzpatrick hopes to establish full copyright ownership in the poster to stop its use for “crass commercial purposes.”

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In film piracy claim, a suit so big it doesn’t fit

A federal judge in Dallas has rejected a lawsuit filed by Evan Stone on behalf of Larry Flint Publishing, claiming more than 1,000 unnamed individuals infringed the copyright on the adult flick “This Ain’t Avatar XXX.” Counsel in this case employed a strategy in which plaintiffs seek to join multiple, even myriad defendants in one mass complaint. This procedure has been attempted in a handful of copyright lawsuits across the country filed on behalf of independent film studios and X-rated filmmakers; these suits name thousands of defendants at once but also have not progressed far in the courts.

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Public figures, privacy rights: an in-depth look

It is always interesting to wonder about how real people are portrayed in movies and what, if anything, that individual is going to do regarding certain misconceptions. Well, Mark Fischer and Franklin Levy of Duane Morris LLP recently wrote a very interesting article directly related to this topic, focusing on Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and the film “The Social Network,” in which he is not so favorably portrayed.

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‘Oh, Really?’ Copyright and ‘Inception’ dreams

In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fancicul, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise…

In the movie Inception, Ellen Paige portrays Ariadne, a gifted architect of dream environments. Of course such creations aren’t possible now. But what if they became a reality someday soon? Would they be protected under copyright?

To own a valid copyright in a work, the law requires fixation, originality and expression. Let’s examine whether this box-office hit with eight Oscar nominations crosses not only a sci-fi barrier but a legal copyright threshold:

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