Category Archives: Celebrities

Gawker Media, Hogan Finally Settle Sex Tape Saga

This past Wednesday, one of the most notorious journalism lawsuits finally came to an end. Former Gawker CEO Nick Denton agreed to pay $31 million—in addition to a portion of the company’s bankruptcy sale—to former wrestler Hulk Hogan. The agreement brings a final end to the legal drama beginning with Gawker’s publishing a secret sex tape featuring Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea. This past March, a Florida Court found Gawker liable for libel to the tune of $115 million. The broader storyline…

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Justin Timberlake “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on Voting

It is likely Justin Timberlake was simply trying to encourage voting when he posted a voting-booth selfie on his Instagram account, but instead, he caused a little legal chaos. In late October, Timberlake took to his over 37 million Instagram followers to encourage voting and told them to “choose to have a voice.” Initially there were questions of whether Timberlake’s selfie violated Tennessee law; however these rumors were struck down by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. Although it is illegal to take pictures inside…

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Disney Company to Blame for Star Wars Star Injury on Set

On July 26, 2016, a Disney subsidiary responsible for the filming of the new Star Wars trilogy pleaded guilty to two criminal charges in British Court. The company claimed responsibility for “failing to ensure safety and failing to keep Ford and other actors away from hazardous situations.” Foodles Productions, named to avoid fan attention during filming of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, plead guilty for the workplace safety breaches at Pinewood Studio two years after the injury of an actor on set. In June 2014,…

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Late Night Host Stephen Colbert Dances Around IP Issue Over His Own Exaggerated Persona

CBS’s “The Late Show” opted to go live at the conclusion of each day of the Republican National Convention two weeks ago to better respond to the fodder the RNC provides. During one of the shows, host Stephen Colbert brought back his beloved fictional “Colbert” character from his immensely popular “The Colbert Report.” The character was retired after the show ended on Comedy Central and hasn’t been seen for more than a year as the real Stephen Colbert forged his own identity. However, it appears…

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Kanye West Versus Taylor Swift — The Saga Continues

The newest chapter in the Taylor Swift and Kanye West feud stems from the release of video footage on Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat account. In Kanye’s latest album, The Life of Pablo, he released a song titled “Famous,” which made a reference to Swift. Upon release, Swift was publicly outraged at the song’s content and denied giving Kanye permission to use the specific lyrics West used in the song. This disagreement prompted Kim Kardashian to defend West by posting recorded videos on her Snapchat between…

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Trademark Fight Over Kardashians Cosmetics Line

Following the Kardashians Intellectual Property suit that accused Hillair Capital Investments LLC and its subsidiary, Haven Beauty Inc., of trademark infringements, Haven in turn is now suing the Kardashian sisters for failing to promote the cosmetic line as was agreed. According to court papers, Hillair was awarded the assets of Boldface Licensing + Branding Inc., the Kardashian’s licensing company, after it became insolvent. These assets included a five year license deal to use — subject to approval by the Kardashians — their trademarks in connection…

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And Whitney Houston’s Emmy Goes To …

Federal Judge Percy Anderson recently sided with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences concerning the property rights of Emmy Awards. The Television Academy filed a complaint against Heritage Auctions and the estate of Whitney Houston on June 22, 2016, claiming that the award was its intellectual property. They claimed that if the “highly publicized auction is allowed to go forward, it will undermine the prestige of the Emmy Award and tarnish the Television Academy’s reputation , leaving the impression that the highest honor in…

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A New Type of Speech for Leo: DiCaprio Ordered to Testify in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Defamation Case

On June 16, 2016 a New York federal judge ordered international superstar and recent Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio to answer questions about the writing of the 2013 hit movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Despite his objections that he neither wrote nor directed the movie and he would not be helpful to the case, the judge ordered for DiCaprio to be deposed at a time convenient to his schedule. This order stems from a $50 million defamation lawsuit brought by Andrew Greene against the…

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Ed Sheeran Sued For Copyright Infringement

British pop star Ed Sheeran has been sued for copyright infringement by two California songwriters. Martin Harrington and Tom Leonard claim Sheeran and co-writer Johnny McDaid of the band Snow Patrol copied, almost note for note, a song titled “Amazing” when they wrote Sheeran’s hit song “Photograph.” “Amazing,” sung by Matt Cardle, peaked at No. 84 in the United Kingdom. “Photograph” became a top 10 hit in the United States, selling over 3.5 million copies. The other named defendants in the lawsuit are McDaid, Sony…

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When Beyoncé Gives You Lemonade, File Lawsuit

On June 8, 2016, Beyoncé was sued in a copyright infringement action by independent filmmaker Matthew Fulks. Fulks alleges that nine visual similarities amounting to 39 seconds of Beyoncé’s 60-second Lemonade trailer for an HBO special are substantially similar to images from Fulks’ short film PALINOIA. Fulks, who is also suing Parkwood Entertainment, Sony Music, and Columbia Records, is seeking unspecified  damages based on money generated by Lemonade. Fulks alleges PALINOIA had been seen by a member of Beyoncé’s team, who subsequently…

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