Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Funk Band Finally Listens to Hip-Hop, Files Suit Over Sample Used in 2003 Track

1970’s funk band Bloodstone filed suit in Missouri federal court on May 20, 2013 against Universal Music Group, Inc. (UMG) for copyright infringement of their 1979 song “I’m Just Doing My Job.” The Complaint, filed by members of Bloodstone alleges that UMG gave rappers T.I. and Kanye West a license to sample the 1979 song for use in TI’s hit “Doin’ My Job” without permission from the band. Bloodstone members Charles Love, Harry Williams, and Charles McCormick retain the sound recording and composition rights for…

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Former Producer Sues the WWE Over Big Show’s Aggressive Interview That Was All Too Real

Former WWW Producer Andrew Green has filed suit against World Wrestling Entertainment (the “WWE”) and professional wrestler Paul Wight Jr. a/k/a “Big Show” over a messy backstage interview.  Part of Green’s job responsibilities as a producer was to interview wrestlers following their bouts.  Green was asked to interview Big Show after his World Heavyweight Championship bout vs. Alberto Del Rio during January’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view event.  Big Show initially refused to do the interview until he was informed that it was ordered by a high…

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Singh Fires Back at PGA Tour with Lawsuit Over Deer-Antler Spray Suspension

On May 8, 2013, pro golfer Vijay Singh filed suit against the PGA Tour in New York State Supreme Court for exposing him to “public humiliation and ridicule.”  The suit stems from the Tour’s 12 week investigation into Singh for his use of deer-antler spray.  The Tour dropped its case against on April 30, 2013, citing new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency which said that it no longer prohibits the spray because it only contains minimal amounts of a banned substance, the growth factor…

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Classic Novel at the Center of New Copyright Battle

On May 3, 2013,  “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Nelle Harper Lee sued her former literary agent Samuel Pinkus and agency Veritas Media, Inc., accusing them of deceiving her into handing over the copyright to the book for nothing and wrongfully retaining the related commissions that Lee was entitled to. The back story is a relatively complicated one: Lee’s complaint asserts that Pinkus took advantage of his father-in-law’s ailing health back in 2002, snagging all the father-in-law’s clients from his literary agency McIntosh & Otis,…

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Songwriters Seek ‘Somebody’ to Sue – Hit Bieber and Usher with $10 Million Copyright Infringement Suit

On May 2, 2013, Justin Bieber, Usher, and Universal Music Corporation were slapped with a $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit by Virginia songwriters Devin Copeland (a.k.a. ‘De Rico’) and Mareio Overton.  Plaintiffs accuse Bieber and the others of stealing their song “Somebody to Love” – a song which Bieber released as a hit single in 2010.  Usher and Bieber later collaborated to release a remix of the song. Plaintiffs allege they handed the song over to music industry scouts in 2008, and it was then…

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Settlement Allows PeopleBrowsr to Continue Drinking From Twitter’s Firehose Through End of 2013

On April 25, 2013, Twitter Inc. and PeopleBrowsr Inc. (a social media data analytics company) settled a lawsuit in California federal court over alleged violations of various anti-competition statutes.  PeopleBroswr filed suit against Twitter last November after Twitter threatened to cut off the company’s access to the “Firehose” data feed. Currently, PeopleBroswr purchases social media data from Twitter through the company’s “Firehose” feed, a constantly flowing source of information generated by all of the ‘tweets’ that flows through Twitter on a second-by-second basis.  In order…

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Objectionable Combine Questions Lead the NFL and NY Attorney General to Team Up to Combat Sexual Orientation Based Harassment and Discrimination

On April 24, 2013, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that the AG’s office would be working closely with the NFL to develop news policies to protect players from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.  Eventually, the effort will produce posters outlining the NFL’s anti-discrimination policies, which will be distributed and prominently placed in the locker rooms of all 32 teams across the league.  The NFL also plans to implement new training procedures to educate players and individuals involved in recruiting on…

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ACC Locks Down Members with Media Rights Deal

On April 22, 2013, the Atlantic Coast Conference (“ACC”) Counsel of Presidents voted to approve a grant of media rights through 2026-27.  Because the deal ensures that each school’s media rights for all home games would remain with the ACC regardless of the member institution’s exit from the conference, the move would make it almost financially impossible for member schools to leave.  The ACC is now the fourth league of the “power five” (which also includes the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, and the SEC)…

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Riddell Takes Huge Hit with Multi-Million Dollar Verdict in Colorado Concussion Lawsuit

A jury in Las Animas County, Colorado, returned an $11.5 million verdict against helmet manufacturer Riddell and several school officials in a case involving a teen football player who was injured in 2008.  The Ridolfi family filed a lawsuit after their son Brett suffered a concussion during high school football practice.  Brett wasn’t immediately taken to the hospital, and later suffered permanent brain damage and paralysis on his left side.  The family brought suit against Riddell and others to recover for Brett’s injuries. The jury…

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No Stock for Shock Jock – Stern Loses Battle with Sirius XM

On April 11, 2013, New York’s First Judicial Department affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of an action brought by radio shock jock Howard Stern against Sirius XM Radio, Inc.  Stern’s suit alleged that he was contractually owed $330 million in stock awards after Sirius merged with XM Satellite Radio in 2008.  According to Stern, the contract he signed with Sirius entitled him to an equity bonus whenever new subscribers signed up to the satellite radio service.  Stern asserted that, following the merger, the new audience…

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