Category Archives: Music

I.AM.INFRINGING?

Blurring the lines (via possible dilution, of course) of who has the right to a trademark incorporating the words “I AM,” early last week Judge Michael Dolinger of the Southern District ordered attorneys to agree to a discovery schedule and move forward with the case I Am Other Entertainment LLC v. William Adams and I.Am.Symbolic, LLC, 13-cv-4547 or, as everyone else knows it, the lawsuit in which Pharrell Williams (Pharrell), writer/rapper/singer/producer and the voice behind some of this summer’s biggest hits (Daft Punk’s “Get…

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Court Orders Rihanna to “Talk That Talk”

Pop star Rihanna was fined $47,050 for repeatedly missing depositions. The singer is suing her ex-accountants Berdon LLP for allegedly mismanaging her money. She says Berdon’s bookkeeping led the IRS to audit her, and now Berdon owes her millions. However, according to Berdon, she has been blowing of depositions since April. The original deadline for a deposition was April 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, but she pushed that date back to mid-May. Then, the deposition’s May deadline was rescheduled because of her concert.  Most recently,…

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AEG President Gets Hostile on the Witness Stand in Jackson Suit

A California courtroom heated up on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 during testimony of AEG Live LLC’s (AEG) president Randy Phillips. In 2010, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, sued AEG for negligently hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray. Dr Murray served as Jackson’s physician during the 2009 “This Is It” concert series and was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson. The lawsuit contends that AEG, and AEG executives ignored signs that should have alerted them that Jackson’s life was in danger. Phillips, a named co-defendant…

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1..2..3..4..Court Shows Lohan’s Suit Against Pitbull the Door

U.S. District Judge Dennis R. Hurley recently tossed Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against the rapper Pitbull, citing First Amendment protections as grounds for his decision. Lohan filed the suit against Pitbull and several other defendants after the rapper released a 2011 song entitled “Give Me Everything” – a track which included the following lyrics: “So, “I’m tiptoein’ to keep flowin’/ I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.”  Lohan’s complaint alleged violations of the New York Civil Rights Law (for using her name in advertising/trade without…

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Club Fight Remix: Drake and Chris Brown Move Battle to the Courtroom

Last June, Drake and Chris Brown found themselves on opposite sides of a New York City nightclub scuffle.  Now, according to reports by TMZ, they are suing each other over the fight in the hopes of receiving a judicial determination of who was responsible for the brawl.  The fight began after an argument broke out over the pop singer Rihanna.  Eventually, punches and bottles were thrown, leaving the club in shambles and Brown with a gash on his chin.  After a model named Romain Julien…

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Girl in Hot Water: Songwriter Sued for Alleged Copyright Infringement

Alicia Keys is being sued by songwriter Earl Shuman for allegedly sampling a portion of his 1960’s composition, Hey There Lonely Girl, in her new single Girl on Fire. Keys’ song, which was released on September 4, has risen to No. 21 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart. On December 10, Shuman brought suit in the Central District of California claiming that the 31 year old singer/songwriter never sought permission to sample from the 1962 song composed by Shuman and his writing partner,…

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No Doubt Settles ‘Band Hero’ Lawsuit over Avatars with Activision

On October 3, 2012, popular musicians No Doubt settle their ongoing lawsuit against Activision Publishing, Inc. over the use of the group’s ‘avatars’ in the ‘Band Hero’ video game. No Doubt had filed suit for breach of contract and right to publicity claims when it was discovered that players could use the No Doubt avatars to perform songs in the game by other musicians. No Doubt alleged that they had been “turned into a virtual karaoke act” by the game, and asserted that the game…

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Sinatra’s Estate Prevails in Trademark (Hot)Dog Fight with Food Truck Owner

On September 12, 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeals board upheld the denial of an attempt to trademark the name “Franks Anatra,” holding that it wrongfully referenced the famous singer Frank Sinatra and was likely to cause confusion or otherwise imply a false association with the iconic American singer. The estate of Sinatra and Frank Sinatra Enterprises LLC led the opposition toMichiganhot dog truck owner Bill Loizon’s application noting that they currently owned the rights to three trademarks which registered the name Frank…

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Usher ‘Caught Up’ in Copyright Infringement Suit Over Single

Usher has been slapped with a copyright lawsuit in Illinois federal court by three individuals who claim that Usher and his record company stole their material for Usher’s hit single “Caught Up.” Musicians Edwards, Moses, and McClean allege that shortly after they played their song “Caught Up” for Michael Barackman, Senior Director of A&R at Arista Records in October 2002, Usher released his hit album “Confessions,” featuring his hit single “Caught Up.”  According to the musicians, Usher and his record companies used the same melody,…

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Complicated: Rihanna Takes Former Accountants to Court for Mismanagment

R&B singer Rihanna (Robyn Fenty) filed a complaint against her former accountants. Berdon LLP, in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York on Thursday, July 5, alleging that the accountants had intentionally kept her in the dark on her financial situation, resulting in millions of dollars in losses and exorbitant commissions paid. Rihanna hired Berdon in 2005, when she was 16 and just beginning her musical career. She entrusted the firm with providing her accounting, business, and financial management services. Under…

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