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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Eighth Circuit Retires Former Player’s Claims Against NFLPA

On September 23, 2013, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision that rejected NFL retirees’ claims against the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).  The retirees alleged that they were wrongfully excluded from settlement negotiations during the 2011 NFL lockout.  As a result, they claimed they lost out on at least $600 million in benefits.

Two lawsuits were filed during the lockout.  One suit was brought by active players against the NFL and the other by retired players against the NFL and its teams.  Since …

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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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New Jersey’s Sports Betting Law Is Dealt Another Blow

New Jersey’s wager to legalize sports gambling was struck down by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On September 17, 2013, the federal court ruled that New Jersey’s betting law conflicts with the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA restricts sports betting in all but four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon.

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, signed the sports-betting law in January 2012. The law permits betting on professional and college sports at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos. Bets would …

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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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Former Steelers Player Loses Appeal for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania

On August 29, 2013, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled against former Pittsburgh Steelers player Ainsley T. Battles in a claim for workers’ compensation benefits based on a ruling that Battles’ injury did not result in a compensable loss of earnings.

The Steelers signed Battles to a one-year contract in 2004-2005, however, his season unfortunately ended during Week One when claimant tore his left hamstring.  The team physician, Dr. James Bradley, performed surgery three days after the injury and Battles underwent a lengthy period of …

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Judge Orders NFL Retirees to Drop Two Cases

A U.S. District Judge in Minnesota dismissed two new cases relating to the publicity rights of NFL retirees.  On September 6, 2013, the judge said the cases were filed too early and violated the terms of an earlier order.

The two cases arose out of unhappiness with a settlement in an earlier case.  In that case, ex-players alleged that the NFL wrongfully used their likenesses in marketing materials.  On April 8, 2013, a settlement was preliminarily approved for the dispute.  According to the settlement, a …

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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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Parents Television Council Wishes MTV & Miley Really Would Stop

The Parents Television Council (PTC) was not impressed with MTV’s annual Video Music Awards show (VMAs). The conservative watchdog group, known for its protests against various television programs, blasted the Viacom-owned cable network for its raunchy telecast on that premiered on August 25, 2013. This time, the PTC is protesting former child star Miley Cyrus’ performance on the 2013 VMAs that included sexually suggestive conduct. The one-time Disney star repeatedly grabbed her crotch and “dry-humped” singer Robin Thicke, as he sang his hit song “Blurred …

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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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