Category Archives: Copyright

NFL and Others Seek Continued Stay in Discovery Proceedings — At Least for Now

The National Football League, Associated Press, and seven professional photographers recently took shots at each other in an attempt to persuade the court on whether or not to grant a motion to stay discovery indefinitely, or at least until the federal court has had the opportunity to rule on the defendants’ motions to dismiss. Brought in the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit relates to claims made by the photographers against the NFL, AP, Getty Images, and NFL Replay for copyright infringement and antitrust…

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Supreme Court May Hear Case Involving Cheerleader Uniforms

A clothing manufacturer has asked the Sixth Circuit to stay a court mandate issued against them back in August, where the federal appellate court reversed a district court’s decision that cheerleading uniforms cannot be copyrighted. The case, Varsity Brands, Inc. et al v. Star Athletica, LLC, was initially brought in 2010, seeking to uphold protection granted by the U.S. Copyright Office to Varsity in regards to their specific uniform design, which they believed Star had compromised at the time. While the district court first…

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Don’t Play with Playboy

Unbeknownst, rapper Azealia Banks was supposed to appear in the April 2015 edition of Playboy. That was until Mediatakeout.com LLC illegally stole and leaked nude photographs taken specifically for the 2015 edition to the media. Additionally, Media Takeout altered the photographs with a watermark: “MEDIATAKEOUT.COM.”  According to a Summons and Complaint that was filed by Playboy International Enterprises in Federal Court, Playboy is suing up to $150,000 for each copyright infringement, as well as $25,000 for each photo violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act…

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Her Hips Don’t Lie, But Someone Does: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Shakira Song Due To Fake Evidence

On Monday, August 10, a New York federal judge tossed a copyright infringement case brought against Sony over Shakira’s hit song “Loca.” U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein had previously ruled against Sony, finding that “Loca” contained segments that were clearly copied from a song by Dominican artist Ramon Arias Vasquez, “Loca con su Tiguere.”  After losing the initial trial, Sony claimed that the plaintiff had fabricated a cassette tape containing the Vasquez song in an attempt to prove copyright infringement. Judge Hellerstein, citing “a…

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Stuffed: Photographer’s Claim Against Nike Dismissed

Oregon District Judge Michael W. Mosman issued a ruling on Tuesday dismissing a lawsuit alleging that Nike Inc.’s “Jumpman” logo was an improper reproduction of a picture taken of Michael Jordan by the plaintiff photographer in 1984. The judge wrote: “[a]lthough at first glance there are certainly similarities between the two expressions of the pose, a closer examination reveals several material differences … In the context of thin or very close to thin copyright protection, these differences lead me to find that the…

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Mixing Up Trouble: Sir Mix-A-Lot Argues Tardiness on DJ’s Copyright Claim

On Tuesday, June 2, Sir Mix-A-Lot spoke out against a lawsuit over copyright authorship brought by his former partner, declaring that the suit comes roughly two decades too late.  David Ford, Mix-A-Lot’s former partner and DJ, filed suit in March in Washington federal court, claiming that he had no idea until recently that Mix-A-Lot had filed copyright registration for several songs as the sole author.  Mix-A-Lot is moving to dismiss the suit, arguing that it is impossible that twenty years went by before Ford realized…

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Flag on the Play: NFL, AP Urge Court to Close Book on Photographers’ Antitrust Suit

On Friday, May 29, the National Football League and the Associated Press told a New York federal court that the seven photographers bringing a copyright and antitrust suit had lost their right to file a revised complaint.  In March, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the photographers’ claims, but gave them twenty days to file a new complaint.  The parties then agreed to a three-week extension for the amended pleadings to be filed, but the photographers failed to meet the May 11 deadline. Rather…

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Jay-Z Sanctioned as “Big Pimpin’” Copyright Trial Date Approaches

On Thursday, May 28, a federal judge in California sanctioned Jay-Z for his failure to properly comply with a discovery request in the current litigation regarding Jay Z’s sampling of the Egyptian song “Khosara, Khosara” for use in his hit single “Big Pimpin’.” Jay Z was ordered to pay plaintiff Osama Ahmed Fahmy $3,000 for the expenses and attorneys’ fees Fahmy incurred while compelling the production of an unredacted agreement between Jay Z and concert-promotion company Live Nation. Fahmy had originally requested $15,000 in attorneys’…

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Disney Fails on Attempt to Dismiss “Frozen” Teaser-Trailer Lawsuit

Federal Judge Vince Chhabria for the Northern District of California denied Disney’s attempt to dismiss a copyright lawsuit brought against it alleging ideas used in a teaser trailer for the hit film “Frozen” was stolen. The lawsuit, brought by animator Kelly Wilson in March of 2014, claims the trailer was ripped off from her 2-D short film “The Snowman.”  Arguing the trailer has many similarities to the short film, Wilson must also prove that Disney was aware of it and had seen it.  Disney brought…

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Lionsgate and Joss Whedon Face $10M Copyright Suit Over “The Cabin in the Woods”

Peter Gallagher, not the actor but an author of a 2006 novel, has filed a lawsuit against Lionsgate and Joss Whedon who produced and co-wrote the 2012 horror movie “The Cabin in the Woods” with Drew Goddard who was also named in the suit. Gallagher in the complaint alleges that Whedon and Goddard stole the idea, plots, characters, and more from his novel “The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines” without his consent in.  According to Gallagher, he registered the book with the…

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