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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Filmmakers Sue to Restore “Happy Birthday” to Public Domain

Good Morning to You Productions v. Warner/Chappell Music
By Samantha Rothberg – Edited by Gillian Kassner

Good Morning to You Productions Corp. (“GMTY”) sued Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. (“Warner/Chappell”), the copyright holder of “Happy Birthday to You.” GMTY seeks to invalidate the copyright, restore the song to the public domain, and force Warner/Chappell to repay substantial licensing fees. GMTY alleges that any valid copyright in the song expired long ago.

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Posted On Jun - 24 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Entrepreneur “Owns” Oprah as Second Circuit Reinstates Trademark Suit

 Kelly-Brown v. Winfrey
By Alex Shank – Edited by Samantha Rothberg

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the District Court for the Southern District of New York’s (S.D.N.Y.) dismissal of trademark infringement claims against Oprah Winfrey, rejecting her fair use defense. Kelly-Brown alleged that Winfrey had used her trademarked phrase “Own Your Power” “as a mark” on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine, its website, and at a magazine event.

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Posted On Jun - 18 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Athlete’s Right of Publicity Outweighs First Amendment Protections for EA Video Game, Court Holds

Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc.
By Samantha Rothberg – Edited by Alex Shank

The Third Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey’s grant of summary judgment to Electronic Arts (“EA”) in a right of publicity action, on the grounds that EA’s appropriation of Ryan Hart’s likeness in a video game was protected by the First Amendment. The case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with the Third Circuit’s adoption of the “transformative use” test.

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Posted On Jun - 10 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Jersey Boys’ Use of Ed Sullivan Show Clip Is Fair Use, Ninth Circuit Affirms

SOFA Entm’t, Inc. v. Dodger Prods., Inc.
By Erica Larson – Edited by Alex Shank

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Central District of California to grant summary judgment and award attorneys’ fees to Dodger Productions, Inc. (“Dodger”) in its suit against SOFA Entertainment, Inc. (“SOFA”). In an opinion by Judge Trott, the court concluded that Dodger’s unlicensed use of a clip from the Ed Sullivan Show fell squarely within the fair use exception.

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Posted On Mar - 19 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

FilmOn Sues Aereo for False Designation of Origin and False Endorsement under the Lanham Act

FilmOn v. Aereo
By Alex Shank – Edited by Michelle Sohn

Online TV site FilmOn.com, Inc. (“FilmOn”) filed a complaint against competitor Aereo, Inc. (“Aereo”) on counts of false designation of origin and false endorsement under the Lanham Act on February 7, 2013 in the United States District Court of the Central District of California. FilmOn also seeks declaratory judgment that it does not violate the Act and that any trademark right in the name “Aereo” claimed by Aereo is invalid.

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Posted On Feb - 13 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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