Armstrong Faces Uphill Battle Against US Justice Department’s Lawsuit

In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s doping confession, the tide is still not settled. On Monday, September 23, 2013, the US Department of Justice, on behalf of the US Postal Service, urged a federal judge to allow the government’s fraud lawsuit against Armstrong to continue.

In January 2013, the Toure de France “winner” confessed to using performing enhancing drugs in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey.  The confession was “arguably the greatest fraud in the history of professional sports,” according to a government filing.

In …

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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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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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If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Stay Out of the “Soup Kitchen”

A settlement dispute involving three iconic people is on the edge of scalding someone. Reggie Jackson and Willie Randolph, both former Yankees players, are close friends.  The two, along with many others, are invested in a company known as Soup Kitchen International (SKI).  A recent settlement dispute connected to SKI and the “Soup Nazi” may be driving a soup spoon between them.

The Original Soup Man (OSM) is a chain of fast-food restaurants made famous by the “Soup Nazi” character on the sitcom “Seinfeld.” An …

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Former Penn State President Files Last Minute Libel Suit

On Tuesday, July 9, 2013, former Penn State president Graham Spanier filed suit against Louis Freeh. Freeh is the former FBI investigator behind a 267-page report  alleging that Spanier and other school administrators failed to protect children against Jerry Sandusky.  Spanier is suing Freeh for slander, libel, and defamation alleging  that the Freeh report makes accusations and reaches conclusions not supported by facts.

Fortunately for Spanier, his lawsuit was filed one day before the statute of limitations ran. Under Pennsylvania law, a party can only …

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No Stock for Shock Jock – Stern Loses Battle with Sirius XM

On April 11, 2013, New York’s First Judicial Department affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of an action brought by radio shock jock Howard Stern against Sirius XM Radio, Inc.  Stern’s suit alleged that he was contractually owed $330 million in stock awards after Sirius merged with XM Satellite Radio in 2008.  According to Stern, the contract he signed with Sirius entitled him to an equity bonus whenever new subscribers signed up to the satellite radio service.  Stern asserted that, following the merger, the new audience …

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Stevie Wonder’s Alleged Blackmailer Claims the Higher Ground in Suit Against TMZ for Eavesdropping on Trial

Alpha Walker was on trial for allegedly extorting Stevie Wonder (by threatening to release a potentially embarrassing video tape).  In a strange turn of events, Walker is now suing TMZ for planting hidden microphones on the judge’s bench and recording privileged conversations during the extortion trial.

TMZ had been admitted to the courtroom to film the “on the record” portions of the proceedings.  Apparently, Judge Ray G. Jurado discovered that microphones had been planted on his bench and at the tables for both the prosecution …

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