Category Archives: Entertainment Law

Donald Trump, Mike Pence Pledged To Limit Gaming, Then Helped Casinos After Campaign Donations

At first glance, gambling appears to be one of the many issues on which Donald Trump and Mike Pence differ. Trump is an East Coast casino magnate who has boasted of using his fortune to influence lawmakers. Pence is a socially conservative Midwesterner who says he has never even bought a lottery ticket. He has …

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Led Zeppelin Prevails in Copyright Infringement Case: Now on Appeal in Ninth Circuit

In May 2014, the Trust acting on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe (a/k/a Randy California) of the rock group Spirit filed a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin related to the first chords in the band’s most famous song, “Stairway to Heaven.” See Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, 15-cv-03462, U.S. District Court, Central District …

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Pokémon GO – Next Stop: Regulation & Litigation

As everyone is aware, the Pokémon GO craze has taken the world by storm in the past month. Reports estimate there have been over 75 million downloads of the digital game since the program became available on July 6.  Apple has not issued any concrete numbers, but has confirmed that it was the most downloaded …

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Celebrities And Snapchat Feuds: Are Recording Phonecalls Legal?

As most people know, there has been on-going feud between Taylor Swift and Kayne West. Last night, more fuel was added to the fire when Kayne’s wife, Kim Kardashian, went to Snapchat and posted recordings of a conversation between Ms. Swift and Mr. West which purport to show that Taylor was aware of off-colored lyrics …

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Short Samplings of Songs May Not Be Considered Copyright Infringement After All

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just decided that song sampling without permission does not necessarily infringe the copyright. Many artists have built careers by sampling an old song to create a new work. Until now, courts have told the artist to “get a license or do not sample.” The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals …

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Artist Formerly Known as a Trademark: Prince

I’m sure his name came immediately to mind when you read that title: Prince. That was, at least, before he changed it to the unpronounceable, androgynous “Love Symbol.” While many thought this was a marketing stunt, Prince’s “formerly known as” campaign was actually an attempt to skirt a heated legal battle with his record label, Warner …

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When Quirk of Copyright Law Creates Christmas Classic: It’s Wonderful Life and Public Domain

George Bailey stands on a bridge begging for another chance at life. Upon being granted a second chance, he joyously runs home to embrace his family. As the community of Bedford Falls rallies around him and raises funds to save the endangered Building and Loan and George Bailey personally from an unjustified failure, someone proclaims …

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headphones music

To Apple, Love Taylor: Apple Responds with Royalties

“To Apple, Love Taylor” has been the tweet heard ‘round the music world.  With more than 61 million followers, Taylor Swift has become the “loudest” voice for emerging and independent artists in the music-streaming realm.  As copyright lawsuits from record companies continue to crop up across the industry, music-streaming service providers have become far more sensitive to …

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Led Zeppelin Copyright Infringement

BMI Wins Summary Judgment of Copyright Infringement After Restaurant Owner Fails to Respond to Requests for Admission

Plaintiff Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”), a music rights management organization that offers licenses to a massive catalogue of popular songs on behalf of copyright owners, brought suit for copyright infringement against the owners of the La Roue Elayne restaurant for unlicensed performance of live cover versions of eight songs in a single evening. This suit …

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IP Addresses

EU Investigating Geo-Blocking of Online Video Games

On May 6, 2015, the European Competition Commission released a new Digital Single Market Plan, and simultaneously launched a broad antitrust investigation into e-commerce.  The DSM plan, consisting of sixteen proposals, seeks to create a single digital European market where access to digital goods and services is unfettered across all 28 member states.  The European Competition …

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