Run DMC(A): No Safe Harbor for Vimeo against EMI?

It started with a simple equation: “Vimeo is video + you.” Yet this formula and model for the new “user-generated content”-fueled Internet has morphed into a case that could very well test the limits of the protection afforded to “service providers” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This past week, a federal judge found that a particular “safe harbor provision” of the DMCA, which has been invoked successfully by user-generated content providers like YouTube and Veoh in their respective quests to protect and insulate…
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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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Marvin Gaye Estate to Robin Thicke: Let’s Get It On

Robin Thicke was back in the news this past week. No, we’re not talking about his provocative appearance with Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards, which garnered him — and his performance partner — attention the world over. A recent development regarding the undisputed song of the summer, “Blurred Lines,” has Thicke wondering whether he’s “Got To Give It Up.” It was reported that the Estate of Marvin Gaye rejected a “six-figure” offer to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit against Thicke. This comes…
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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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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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RGIII’s Trademark Application Faces Its First Test

As the trademark world anxiously awaits the decision of the three-judge panel at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (and which we’ll be covering in great depth in our enhanced Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Trademark section of the blog), regarding whether the Washington Redskins logo is disparaging and thus whether the ’Skins would be forced to relinquish trademark protection over perhaps their most prized asset, Washington’s star player, Robert Griffin III, was in court settling a trademark dispute of his own. Griffin, who is…
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USTA Seeks Ruling on Use of US Open Footage in ‘Venus and Serena’ Documentary

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is matching up the documentary “Venus and Serena,” in New York federal court. On Friday, June 14, 2013, the USTA filed suit against Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, the filmmakers behind the documentary that follows the lives of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The suit alleges that the filmmakers infringed USTA’s exclusive copyrights for the annual U.S. Open tennis competition. The lawsuit contends that the filmmakers were granted limited access to film portions of the 2011 U.S. Open…
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Dr. Phil Gets Even With ‘Deadspin’ For Te’o Spoilers

Dr. Phil’s production company is finally trying to put the popular sports blog Deadspin in the spotlight. Peteski Productions Inc. (Peteski), the production company behind “The Dr. Phil Show,” asked a Texas federal court Tuesday June 4, 2013 to enter default judgment for a copyright infringement suit against Deadspin. Peteski filed the suit on May 6, 2013 alleging that Deadpsin infringed on the TV show’s copyrights by publishing video excerpts of an interview between Dr. Phil and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo is the man (or woman)…
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Funk Band Finally Listens to Hip-Hop, Files Suit Over Sample Used in 2003 Track

1970’s funk band Bloodstone filed suit in Missouri federal court on May 20, 2013 against Universal Music Group, Inc. (UMG) for copyright infringement of their 1979 song “I’m Just Doing My Job.” The Complaint, filed by members of Bloodstone alleges that UMG gave rappers T.I. and Kanye West a license to sample the 1979 song for use in TI’s hit “Doin’ My Job” without permission from the band. Bloodstone members Charles Love, Harry Williams, and Charles McCormick retain the sound recording and composition rights for…
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