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Several recent court rulings aptly demonstrate how the right of publicity continues to be a vital cutting-edge area of celebrity law. Two of these decisions involved the interplay of state right of publicity laws with federal statutes. The other ruling found a Nevada court looking to California to determine at what litigation stage an affirmative transformative use defense may be raised, then whether the “Duke Caboom” character from the animated movie Toy Story 4 violated the descendible right of publicity of celebrated motorcycle risk-taker Evel Knievel.
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By Stan Soocher
Composers of pre-1978 works often assigned both the initial and renewal copyright terms in their works when signing songwriter agreements with music publishers. But what happens when a grant of the copyright renewal term of a pre-1978 work has been made post-1977?
By Bruce Love
With a significant amount of NFT activity arising from the entertainment and sports industries comes an inevitable need for legal services. But taking advantage of this economic growth is no simple matter for entertainment, media and sports lawyers. It requires an understanding not just of NFT transactions, but also of data security, intellectual property, public policy, and a whole raft of regulatory and compliance issues.
By Ben Thompson and Robert Moorman
There are frequent battles over trademark rights in the entertainment industry. Trademark publication can be an anxious part of the federal application process, with fear of aggressive opposition and costly proceedings looming in the background. But many trademark oppositions, whether they are only threatened or actually filed, afford the applicant a discussion with an opposer that can ultimately be helpful in nonobvious ways.
By ELF Staff
Notable court filings in entertainment law.