Changing the Cycle: Peloton Removes Songs at Heart of Copyright Infringement Suit

On March 25, 2019, Peloton ceased use of particular songs in its streaming workout videos. This comes in response to facing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by music publishers, who argue that Peloton is utilizing music from their artists without permission. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, alleges that Peloton used more than 1,000 songs impermissibly and seeks in excess of $150 million in damages. Additionally, the complaint alleges that much of Peloton’s success can be…
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MillersCoors Requests Injunction, Removal of Bud Light “Corn Syrup” Ads

On March 28, 2019, MillerCoors submitted a brief in support of its motion for a preliminary injunction against Anheuser-Busch, requesting Anheuser-Busch be stopped from airing Bud Light commercials that focus on the inclusion of corn syrup in Miller Lite and Coors Light. Per the request, MillerCoors implores that these ads have caused irreparable harm to the company’s image – an image that has taken “generations” to build. Per the lawsuit, while although MillerCoors admits the use of corn syrup in its products, an important caveat…
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Court Rejects Televisa’s Motion to Dismiss FIFA Bribery Class Action

On Monday, March 25, a New York judge ruled that Mexico’s Televisa Group will not be let off the hook for allegations of participation in a FIFA bribery scheme of over $15 million. The scheme was allegedly an attempt by the mass media company to obtain the broadcasting rights to FIFA World Cup soccer games. U.S. District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton determined that Televisa’s shareholders had described their allegations with necessary specificity, ruling that Televisa must face its investors’ claims of securities fraud. Originally…
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Former Northwestern University Football Player Sues NCAA

On March 18, 2019, former Northwestern University football player, Jay Tant, filed a proposed concussion class action lawsuit against the NCAA. In the class action suit, Tant alleged that the NCAA failed to protect the school’s players from the dangers of concussion and head injuries despite knowing the risks. According to Tant, the NCAA knew, since 1933, of the dangers of concussions and the long-term risks they posed to student-athletes however, the NCAA only began to implement concussion protocols in 2010. Tant, a standout tight…
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Texas A&M Wants out of the “12th Man” Copyright Suit

On March 15, 2019, Texas A&M University urged U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen that the Texas A&M Athletic Department is not a separate entity and therefore is entitled to immunity in the Texas A&M “12th Man” copyright suit. As we have continued to report, in 2014, Michael J. Bynum, an author, sued Texas A&M after it posted on its website the “heart” of Mr. Bynum unpublished book, 12th Man: The Life and Legend of Texas A&M’s E. King Gill. According to…
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Ex-Auburn Assistant Coach Pleads Guilty

Former Auburn basketball assistant coach, Chuck Person, has reportedly plead guilty to a conspiracy charge. Person, who was previously accused of accepting bribes and encouraging Auburn basketball players to sign with certain financial advisors and business managers, is the latest NCAA figure to be caught up in the NCAA corruption/Bribery scandal and trial. As we have continued to report, the scandal, which concluded in a trail and convictions, involved Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each…
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Former Penn Basketball Coach Takes the Stand, Admits Accepting Bribes

On March 8, 2019, former head basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Jerome Allen, took the stand as a government witness in the trial of Philip Esformes. Allen, now with the Boston Celtics, previously plead guilty, in October 2019, to a bribery-related money laundering charge. Allen testified against Esformes, a healthcare executive, claiming that Esformes bribed him with $300,000 in bags full of cash and wire transfers so Esformes’ son, Morris, could qualify as a “recruited” basketball player, which would help him get accepted…
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NCAA Escapes Wrongful-Death Suit

In February 2016, at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts, after a two-hour off season workout with his football team, Michael Mazza returned to his dorm room and tragically died. According to an eyewitness, “[h]e sat on the couch and stiffened up. His head went back. His friends thought he was fooling around, but his lips were turning white and he wasn’t breathing.” Thirty minutes later, at 20 years old, Michael Mazza was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was “probable…
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“Hard Rock” Hamilton Says Microsoft Can’t Leave Gears of War Lawsuit

On March 2, 2019, Lenwood “Hard Rock” Hamilton filed a motion in opposition to Microsoft’s summary judgment motion in video game lawsuit. As we have previously covered, Hamilton sued Microsoft Studios Inc. and Epic Games Inc. claiming that a character/avatar in the popular video game Gears of War, Augustus “Cole Train” Cole, was based on, and copied, Hamilton. According to Hamilton, “[t]he similarities of the avatar ‘Cole Train’ and [Hamilton] include that both are black (and ‘Cole Train’ is the only black avatar…
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SCOTUS Settles Circuit Split, Rules Copyright Owners Must Register Prior to Bringing Infringement Lawsuits

On Monday, March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that a work must be registered with the U.S. Copyright office prior to the copyright owner bringing an infringement lawsuit. While registration is not required for valid copyright ownership, Section 411(a) provides that a work must be registered prior to bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit. Notably, even if the application is ultimately refused and the registration is denied, the applicant still may bring a civil action. Previously, the circuit courts had been split on what…
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