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Approximately 30 states have enacted anti-SLAPP statutes, which are intended to deter lawsuits that impede the right to free speech and other related activities. Essentially, these statutes attack SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) by creating a vehicle through which defendants can protect their rights by filing a dispositive motion to dismiss at the earliest stage of a case, before enduring expansive and invasive discovery. Arguably the most significant aspect of many anti-SLAPP statutes is that a movant who files a successful motion to dismiss could be entitled to its attorney fees. Undeniably, that aspect alone provides tremendous value to media outlets, publishers, public figures and others.
By Stan Soocher
Disputes over film financing agreements are common, but there are few court decisions that address film financing dustups involving §10(b) of the federal Securities Exchange Act. Now the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida has issued a ruling that addresses the pleading requirements for alleging a §10(b) violation, in litigation between an investor and a film production company.
By Michael S. Poster
The purpose of a Weinstein clause is to provide assurance that the target company (including its officers and executives) is not a hotbed of sexual harassment or a ticking time bomb of claims waiting to explode. This article on drafting and negotiating Weinstein clauses should help entertainment and media deal teams balance these risks.
By Scott Graham
There was much harmony along with a few discordant notes as an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit took up the copyright case involving Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
By Michael F. Snyder
The ownership of intellectual property rights can be at the core of legal disputes involving pop culture icons. Considering the goodwill, effort and money spent in building a brand, character or commercial impression, it is not surprising that parties to intellectual property agreements find themselves revisiting their arrangements over time. That is what is happening in two recent federal lawsuits, one in New York involving a beloved figure in Philadelphia sports and the other in California focused on the Old Spice cologne commercial jingle.