Creedence Clearwater Mark Revisited

There’s a bad moon on the rise once again for John Fogerty.  Fogerty, the former lead singer and guitarist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a man who holds the distinction as being perhaps the only musician in the history of recorded music to be sued for allegedly plagiarizing his own recording in another one of his own recordings, finds himself feelin’ blue again, having been sued last week by his surviving former bandmates, Doug Clifford and Stu…
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Taylor Swift Calls ‘Lucky 13’ Infringement Suit Frivolous, But Is It?

Taylor Swift and American Greetings Corporation submitted their answer to a trademark infringement suit commenced by an Orange County-based Blue Sphere Inc. doing business as Lucky 13.  In their answer, Swift and American Greetings urged the court to dismiss the allegedly frivolous lawsuit, claiming that the only purpose of the suit is to draw attention to the plaintiff’s brand. Filed in May, the suit alleged that despite Blue Sphere’s ownership of federally registered ‘Lucky 13’ trademarks, Swift marketed and sold clothing that bears ‘Lucky 13’…
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SCOTUS Holds Laches no Defense to Copyright Infringement in Raging Bull Case

On May 19, the U.S. Supreme Court revived a copyright lawsuit over the 1980 hit movie “Raging Bull,” a film about the famous boxer Jake LaMotta.  The suit was originally brought against MGM Studios by Paula Petrella, the daughter of the now-deceased screenwriter Frank Petrella, but was dismissed by two lower courts who held that Petrella waited too long to sue.  The Supreme Court disagreed and re-instated Petrella’s suit. The original rights to the film were sold to an entity which was later purchased by…
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Michael Jackson Performs at Billboard Awards via Hologram with Assistance of Federal Judge

On May 16, 2014, U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson issued a ruling permitting the Billboard Music Awards to use a hologram performance featuring the deceased music icon Michael Jackson in an upcoming awards show. The legal dispute over Jackson’s upcoming “performance” began after Hologram USA Inc. and Musion Das Hologram Ltd. (the “Plaintiffs”) sued the Estate of Michael Jackson and dick clark productions,  alleging that the planned spectacle  infringed on patents the Plaintiff’s held in 3-D image projection technologies.  The Plaintiffs are most well known…
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What the Hells (Angels)? Young Jeezy Sued Over Skull Logo

It’s a strange day when the Hells Angels motorcycle club goes to court by choice; but, that’s exactly what it did recently.  Rather than using bats, knives, and chains to protect its logo, the Angels filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court.  According to TMZ, the club filed suit against 8732 Apparel and Dillard’s, Inc. for infringing on its “Death Head” logo. 8732 Apparel, owned by rapper Young Jeezy, sells a wide range of attire including hats, jackets, shirts, and more.  The Angles…
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Judge Allows NCAA Athletes’ Antitrust Claims to Proceed

A U.S. District Judge in California, Claudia Wilken, rejected all of the NCAA’s arguments to dismiss antitrust claims against it in connection with the use of student athletes’ names and likenesses.  According to the athletes, the NCAA and others are making huge profits by selling rights that should belong to the players.  On October 25, 2013, Wilken ruled that those claims could proceed to the next stage of litigation. The athletes contend that antitrust laws are applicable because they are forced to give up their…
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Photographers Want to Capture Their Rights

Seven professional photographers sued the NFL, Getty Images (Getty), and the Associated Press (AP) for violating the photographers’ copyrights. The freelance photographers (plaintiffs) filed the lawsuit in New York federal court on October 21, 2013. The lawsuit claims that the three defendants are liable for copyright infringement, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. The plaintiffs allege that the NFL failed to receive consent to use plaintiffs’ photos in connection with NFL advertisements, news, promotions, and products. Freelance photographers regularly license their photos through…
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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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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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