Al Gore Currently in Court over Al Jazeera Sale

Former Vice President Al Gore, Current TV LLC and others were recently sued in California state court by John Terenzio, an entertainment consultant from the Los Angeles consulting firm TAP, Inc.  Terenzio accuses Gore and the other defendants of selling Current TV to the Al Jazeera Media Network two months ago without providing Terenzio the compensation he claims he is owed for setting up the terms of the transaction with the Qatar-based media giant.  The suit for breach of implied agreement seeks at least $5…
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Macy’s / J.C. Penney Martha Stewart Lawsuit is Not a Good Thing

On February 20, 2013, department stores  J.C. Penney Inc. and Macy’s Inc. faced off in a new arena – a New YorkState courtroom.  The two retailers are going to trial over Martha Stewart.  Macy’s suit accuses J.C. Penney of attempting to convince Martha Stewart to break her company’s exclusive merchandise contract with the department store chain – a contract Macy’s says gives them the exclusive rights to sell certain Martha Stewart products until 2018.  Part of Macy’s lawsuit reads: “J.C. Penney want[s] to rob Macy’s…
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The Grinch Might Have Stolen Christmas, but Suit Says Disney Stole Christmas Movie Idea

On January 14, 2013, two producers, Beth Grossbard and Barri Rosenblum, sued Disney, ABC, ABC Family and former ABC executive Beth Miller for breach of an implied in-fact contract and breach of confidence. Grossbard and Rosenblum allege the network stole their idea for a Christmas movie. Grossbard and Rosenblum pitched the idea for a movie called “I Hate Christmas” to ABC Family executives in 2005.  Although the network turned down their movie idea, their complaint contends that the executives reworked those same ideas into “The…
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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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Recent Deals Demonstrate Need For Cap on Contract Length

The Minnesota Wild made waves this offseason by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to identical 13 year, $98 million contracts.  Shortly before that, the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sidney Crosby to a 12 year, $104.4 million contract extension that will pay him through the age of 38.  These contracts epitomize a problem that has bedeviled the NHL ever since the salary cap was introduced following the 2004-5 lockout: salary cap circumvention.  And, to no surprise, the NHL once again locked out the players when the…
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Weinsteins’ Suit Against ‘Scream’ Writer Williamson is about the Contract, not the Copyrights

On August 23, 2012, California Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy refused to dismiss a suit brought by The Weintstein Co., LLC against ‘Scream’ writer Kevin Williamson.  In essence, the ruling resolved a dispute over whether the action was preempted by the Copyright Act, or was, in fact, a simple contract dispute.  Judge Murphy held that the case could proceed as it is based in contract and The Weinstein Co.had not alleged any copyright infringement or any other acts forbidden by federal law. In its…
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MGM Sues LaMotta and Production Company to Stop Sequel to Raging Bull

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. (MGM) filed a complaint in California on Tuesday, July 3 aimed at stopping the production on a sequel to the 1980 film Raging Bull. MGM claims that boxing icon Jake LaMotta was contractually obligated to offer MGM the movie rights to the book that is the basis of the new film. The suit is against LaMotta as well as producing company RB Production II LLC (RB II). MGM states that “upon information and belief, RBII is nearing completion of principal photography…
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