Godzilla vs. Mechahopzilla

Beer Advocate, the Godzilla of beer reviewers, gave Mechahopzilla, the newest IPA entry from the New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA) a score of 89 percent and an overall rating of “very good.” But there was at least one company that was not overjoyed with the summer success of a beer known as Mechahopzilla and, as a result, NOLA appears to have gotten itself in some hop-filled, boiling water. This week, the popular brewer was dragged into federal court, in the Eastern…
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Advantage, Williams Sisters?

As Serena Williams effortlessly marched on to the third round of the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow yesterday, it was a recent victory for the Open’s number-one seed on (or in) another court that caught the Sports Law Insiders attention in the last couple of weeks. On August 13, in the case entitled United States Tennis Association Incorporated v. VSW Productions LLC, M& M Films, Inc., Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, 13 CV 4124, District Judge Nelson Roman of the Southern District of New…
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A Lady Never Tells Her Age, But IMDb Does: Actress Loses Suit Against “Bible of the Industry”

Huong Hoang, a/k/a, Junie Hoang, star of Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, recently lost her suit against the Internet Movie Database when a Washington State Federal Jury rejected her claim that the database provider breached Hoang’s subscriber agreement. The B-movie actress sued IMBd.com after it published her true date of birth over her objection.  Originally suing as ‘Jane Doe’ in 2011 claiming breach of contract, fraud, and violations of Washington’s privacy and consumer protection laws, Hoang had to re-file using her true name…
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The Islamic Republic of Iran takes on Producers of ‘Argo’

Iran is considering suing the producers of Argo claiming that the Oscar winning best picture provided an unrealistic portrayal of the country during the seizure of the United States Embassy in 1979.  The decision to potentially litigate resulted from a recent screening of the film by Iranian cultural officials and movie critics in Tehran as part of an event entitled “The Hoax of Hollywood”.  The Iranian government alleges that the film is an attack on Iranian culture and international cultural norms. The film depicts the…
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Mickey, I am Your Father…

The Walt Disney Company recently announced that it will pay just north of $4 billion for George Lucas’ production company, Lucasfilm, Ltd.   Disney, whose recent acquisitions include such entertainment powerhouses as comic book giant Marvel Entertainment and the computer animation company Pixar, revealed that it will continue to produce more films in the “Star Wars’ saga.  Lucas, who was the sole owner of the company baring his namesake, will become the second largest non-institutional shareholder of Disney stock when he receives 40 million shares as…
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Tom Cruise’s Defamation Suit Proves it’s Risky Business for Tabloids to Cover Suri

On October 24, 2012, Tom Cruise brought a defamation action against the publisher of Life & Style and In Touch Magazines in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  The suit claims that the defendants published headlines indicating that he had abandoned his daughter Suri after his divorce with Katie Holmes, and seeks $50 million in damages. Some ‘at issue’ images included a picture captioned “Suri in tears, abandoned by her dad,” and featured a tearful photo of the young girl.  In response,…
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Author Fails in ‘Avatar’ Copyright Suit Against Cameron and Fox

U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real recently granted director James Cameron’s and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.’s motion to dismiss in a copyright action, holding that a disgruntled author and screenwriter was unable to demonstrate that “Avatar” was “substantially similar” to his novel, “Bats and Butterflies.” “Bats and Butterflies” is a story about a bullied boy who travels to a magical land called Altair where he befriends a tribe of aliens that look like butterflies.  At the end of the story, the boy battles against…
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Disney, Sony Face Billion Dollar ‘Sister Act’ Suit filed by Harlem Nun

Harlem nun Delois Blakely is suing Disney and Sony Pictures for allegedly stealing her life story for the plot of the popular movie “Sister Act.”  According to Blakely, she delivered a synopsis of her autobiography, “The Harlem Street Nun” to a Tri Star Pictures producer.  When they expressed interest in the story, producer Scott Rudin took the story to Disney, where they made “Sister Act.” The Disney picture featured Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno singer who is forced to go into hiding in a convent…
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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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Ninth Circuit Refuses to Rescue “Die Hard” Director

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the request of John McTiernan, director of “Die Hard” and “Predator”  to reverse his guilty plea of making false statements to the FBI. In 2010, McTiernan pled guilty to lying to federal investigators about an illegal wiretapping operation carried out by private investigator Anthony Pellicano. Federal investigators questioned McTiernan in 2006 to ask whether he had any knowledge of Pellicano’s wiretapping. The director denied knowledge. However, the FBI had obtained a phone recording between McTiernan and Pellicano…
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