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Talent management agency IMG Productions and its parent company Endeavor Group Holdings sued Lloyd’s of London underwriters in New York Southern Federal District Court over an insurance coverage dispute. The suit, brought by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, arises from copyright and trademark claims aimed at “I Wanna Be,” a joint Nickelodeon and IMG production. IMG seeks a declaration that the defendant has a duty to pay defense fees and costs pursuant to a “Primary Errors & Omissions” policy. The case is IMG Productions LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, Syndicate 2623/0623 subscribing to Policy No. B1262Fi0760115, 1:21-cv-10706. … Tucker Ellis filed a trademark and trade dress infringement lawsuit in California Central Federal District Court on behalf of the Coachella Music Festival and Goldenvoice. The complaint targets Live Nation Entertainment and Unified Layer over the upcoming live event “Coachella Day One 22” to be held at the venue Coachella Crossroads. The case is Coachella Music Festival LLC v. Live Nation Entertainment Inc., 2:21-cv-09631. … Offit Kurman filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New Jersey Federal District Court against Def Jam, Interscope Records, Universal Music Group and rapper Keenon Jackson a/k/a YG. The complaint was filed on behalf of Tyrone Simmons, who accuses the defendants of incorporating “substantial aspects” of his song “LoCo” in YG’s hit “Go Loko.” The case is Simmons v. Universal Music Group, 2:21-cv-20449. … Actress Vanessa Hudgens sued SBLA Brands Inc. in California Central Federal District Court. The suit, filed by Nixon Peabody, accuses SBLA of using Hudgens’ name and image to promote its products on social media without her consent. The case is Hudgens v. Sbla Inc. d/b/a Sbla Beauty, 2:21-cv-09597. … Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Florida Southern Federal District Court on behalf of Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA). The suit accuses JTBC Plus of failing to pay broadcasting fees for airing the PGA Championship in South Korea. The case is Professional Golfers’ Association of America v. JTBC Plus Corp., 9:21-cv-82193. … Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld filed a lawsuit on behalf of Klub Europa of Brooklyn in District of Columbia Federal District Court alleging violation of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act enacted amid COVID-19. The suit accuses the federal Small Business Administration of withholding funds that the plaintiff is entitled to per the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The case is Klub Europa Of Brooklyn Inc. v. Small Business Administration, 1:21-cv-03235. … Music streaming platforms Pandora and SiriusXM were hit with a website accessibility lawsuit in New York Southern Federal District Court. The suit, filed by Disability Rights Advocates, contends that the defendants’ podcasts deny full access to deaf and hearing impaired individuals by not providing transcripts for the majority of podcasts available. The case is National Association of the Deaf v. SiriusXM Holdings Inc., 1:21-cv-10542. … Discovery and its board of directors were slapped with a shareholder lawsuit in New York Southern Federal District Court. The lawsuit, brought by Rigrodsky Law, seeks to enjoin a proposed transaction that would combine AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit with Discovery to create a standalone entertainment company. The case is Whitfield v. Discovery Inc., 1:21-cv-10514. … Netflix and other defendants were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central Federal Court in relation to Netflix’s zombie thriller #Alive, also known as Saraitda. The suit, filed by One LLP and Bay Advocacy PLLC on behalf of Hollywood Innovations Group, accuses the defendants of releasing an English dub to the thriller, while they were contractually obligated to release the film only in the original Korean. The case is Hollywood Innovations Group LLC v. Netflix Inc., 2:21-cv-09423. … Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Disney and other streaming platforms filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central Federal District Court against the operators of AllAccessTV and Quality Restreams. The lawsuit, brought by Davis Wright Tremaine, contends that the defendants illegally provide users with unauthorized on-demand access to pirated movies and TV shows. The case is Universal City Studios Productions LLLP v. Johnson, 2:21-cv-09361. … Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Netflix and other streaming platforms filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Central Federal District Court against the operators of Primewire websites. The lawsuit, brought by Munger, Tolles & Olson, contends that Primewire illegally provides users with unauthorized on-demand access to pirated movies and TV shows and seeks an order directing web hosting providers to disable the websites. The case is Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Does 1-10 d/b/a Primewire, 2:21-cv-09317. … Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld sued the federal Small Business Administration and its administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, in District of Columbia Federal District Court on behalf of Concert Investor LLC, a company specializing in the custom design and production of live concerts. The suit pursues Administrative Procedure Act claims in connection with the agency’s denial of emergency federal financial assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The case is Concert Investor LLC v. Small Business Administration, 1:21-cv-03150. … Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch filed a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit in California Southern Federal District Court targeting Activision Blizzard, known for games such as Call of Duty, and Rockstar Games, known for Grand Theft Auto. The suit was filed on behalf of Brooks Entertainment, which claims that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and a dozen other games in the series infringe on copyrighted content, scripts, images and other details from the plaintiff’s games Stock Picker and Save One Bank. The plaintiff also contends that “Sean Brooks,” a main character of Call of Duty, is modeled after Shon Brooks, the trademarked name of Brooks Entertainment’s founder. The case is Brooks Entertainment Inc. v. Activision Blizzard Inc., 3:21-cv-02003. … Amazon.com, Apple, Hulu and other defendants were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Court in relation to Hulu’s documentary The Donut King. The complaint, filed by Doniger / Burroughs on behalf of Vanara Taing, contends that The Donut King uses a number of scenes from the plaintiff’s documentary the business of family without authorization. The case is Taing v. Logan Industry LLC, 2:21-cv-09229. … Showtime Networks, Mythology Entertainment and Fuqua Films were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central Federal District Court in connection with a documentary on music executive Marion “Suge” Knight, controversial CEO of Death Row Records. The case was brought by Sanders Law Group on behalf of photographer Gary Miller, who claims his photo of the late rapper Tupac Shakur was used in the documentary without permission. The case is Miller v. Mythology Entertainment Inc., 2:21-cv-09124. … Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and music producer Rimas Entertainment sued Unbranded Brewing Company on in Florida Southern Federal District Court for alleged trademark infringement. The complaint, filed by GrayRobinson, accuses the defendant of selling and advertising a seasonal beer known as the “San Benito beer,” which uses Bad Bunny’s legal name and shows an image of him surrounded by Bad Bunny iconography. The case is Martinez Ocasio p/k/a Bad Bunny v. Unbranded Brewing Co., 1:21-cv-24004. … Vice Media was hit with a copyright lawsuit in New York Southern Federal District Court. The court action was filed by Doniger / Burroughs on behalf of a photographer alleging that his photo of entertainer Justin Timberlake was published without permission. The case is Kuhmstedt v. Vice Media LLC, 1:21-cv-09637.
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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
A look at moves among attorneys, law firms, companies and other players in entertainment law.