Songwriters Seek ‘Somebody’ to Sue – Hit Bieber and Usher with $10 Million Copyright Infringement Suit

On May 2, 2013, Justin Bieber, Usher, and Universal Music Corporation were slapped with a $10 million copyright infringement lawsuit by Virginia songwriters Devin Copeland (a.k.a. ‘De Rico’) and Mareio Overton.  Plaintiffs accuse Bieber and the others of stealing their song “Somebody to Love” – a song which Bieber released as a hit single in 2010.  Usher and Bieber later collaborated to release a remix of the song. Plaintiffs allege they handed the song over to music industry scouts in 2008, and it was then…
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Settlement Allows PeopleBrowsr to Continue Drinking From Twitter’s Firehose Through End of 2013

On April 25, 2013, Twitter Inc. and PeopleBrowsr Inc. (a social media data analytics company) settled a lawsuit in California federal court over alleged violations of various anti-competition statutes.  PeopleBroswr filed suit against Twitter last November after Twitter threatened to cut off the company’s access to the “Firehose” data feed. Currently, PeopleBroswr purchases social media data from Twitter through the company’s “Firehose” feed, a constantly flowing source of information generated by all of the ‘tweets’ that flows through Twitter on a second-by-second basis.  In order…
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Jay-Z Branches Out Into Sports, Lands Cano and Cruz; Is LeBron Next?

Jay-Z has built an impressive empire as a rap mogul, and now he’s moving into sports, reaching an agreement with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which represents more than 800 professional athletes. Jay-Z has wasted no time making moves, signing on New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz as clients.  This move into the world of sports agency has not gone unnoticed. Cano was signed away from Scott Boras, universally regarded as baseball’s most powerful agent. And…
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Objectionable Combine Questions Lead the NFL and NY Attorney General to Team Up to Combat Sexual Orientation Based Harassment and Discrimination

On April 24, 2013, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that the AG’s office would be working closely with the NFL to develop news policies to protect players from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.  Eventually, the effort will produce posters outlining the NFL’s anti-discrimination policies, which will be distributed and prominently placed in the locker rooms of all 32 teams across the league.  The NFL also plans to implement new training procedures to educate players and individuals involved in recruiting on…
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Was it Retaliation? Why New Jersey’s Whistleblower Statute May Pose More Problems for Rutgers University on the heels of the Mike Rice Scandal.

The Rutgers Basketball saga was early April’s big news. As most are aware, video recordings were made of basketball practices conducted by Head Basketball Coach Mike Rice which showed him using gay slurs toward his players and otherwise becoming physical toward them. The footage was given to Athletic Director Tim Pernetti in November 2012. Pernetti seemingly took the path of lesser resistance by suspending Rice for three days and levied a fine against him.  No further action was taken until the tape was made public…
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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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ACC Locks Down Members with Media Rights Deal

On April 22, 2013, the Atlantic Coast Conference (“ACC”) Counsel of Presidents voted to approve a grant of media rights through 2026-27.  Because the deal ensures that each school’s media rights for all home games would remain with the ACC regardless of the member institution’s exit from the conference, the move would make it almost financially impossible for member schools to leave.  The ACC is now the fourth league of the “power five” (which also includes the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, and the SEC)…
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Riddell Takes Huge Hit with Multi-Million Dollar Verdict in Colorado Concussion Lawsuit

A jury in Las Animas County, Colorado, returned an $11.5 million verdict against helmet manufacturer Riddell and several school officials in a case involving a teen football player who was injured in 2008.  The Ridolfi family filed a lawsuit after their son Brett suffered a concussion during high school football practice.  Brett wasn’t immediately taken to the hospital, and later suffered permanent brain damage and paralysis on his left side.  The family brought suit against Riddell and others to recover for Brett’s injuries. The jury…
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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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Tour de Courts: SCA and Armstrong Battle It Out on Question of Fraud and Settlement

Lance Armstrong is riding a new tour these days, but instead of fresh air and the beautiful landscapes of France, this tour will be inside offices (lawyers’ offices) and courtrooms. Yes, it is the Tour de Courts.  Since his confession to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, his legal problems have compiled dramatically. One of the more public legal disputes is with SCA Promotions (SCA). SCA helps companies run promotions that involve large payouts – payouts that these companies would otherwise not be…
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