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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Fresh Filings

A look at moves among attorneys, law firms, companies and other players in entertainment law.

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Bungie, a gaming company known for its popular Halo series, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Washington Western District Federal Court stemming from use of its Halo game Destiny 2. The complaint, brought by Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, accuses a gamer of opening multiple accounts to livestream himself using third-party software to cheat at the game. The case is Bungie Inc. v. Leone, 2:22-cv-00981. Paramount Global f/k/a ViacomCBS has been slapped with a data breach class action in Illinois Northern District Federal Court. The suit, filed by Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman and Bursor & Fisher, was brought on behalf of customers who contend that their personal information was compromised due to alleged negligence. The case is Parcell v. Paramount Global Corp., 1:22-cv-03666. Byrnes Hirsch P.C. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court on behalf of Peter J. Byrne and Graham Fisher, founding members of 1980s pop duo Naked Eyes. The suit targets Reservoir Media Management for allegedly failing to comply with a May 2020 notice of copyright-assignment termination for sound recordings that include Naked Eyes’ 1983 hit self-titled debut album and other tracks. The case is Byrne v. Reservoir Media Management Inc., 2:22-cv-04824. Netflix and certain top executives were hit with a derivative stockholder lawsuit in California Northern District Federal Court. The lawsuit, filed by Herman & Jones and the Mehdi Firm, accuses the defendants of failing to disclose a slowdown in the company’s growth and of downplaying challenges in acquiring and retaining customers. The case is Taratoot v. Netflix Inc., 3:22-cv-04134. iHeartMedia has been hit by a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court that was filed by Perkowski Legal on behalf of licensing photo agency Xposure Photo Agency Inc. The complaint contends iHeart posted images of Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and Jennifer Lopez on affiliated Instagram accounts without authorization or permission. The case is Xposure Photo Agency Inc. v. iHeartMedia Inc., 2:22-cv-04808. ViacomCBS was sued in New York Southern District Federal Court over alleged race-based employment discrimination. The lawsuit was filed by Cerasia Law and the Equal Rights Law Group on behalf of Aaron Cunningham and Sania Davis. The case is Cunningham v. ViacomCBS, 1:22-cv-05917. Radio personality Shaila Scott sued the current and former operators of WBLS radio station in New York City on over alleged employment discrimination. The lawsuit, filed by Wigdor LLP in New York Southern District Federal Court, accuses MediaCo Holdings Inc. and Emmis Communications of discriminating against Scott based on age and gender. The suit claims Scott was paid less than male colleagues and ridiculed because of her age before she was fired in May 2022 and replaced with a younger radio host. The case is Cattouse v. MediaCo Holding Inc., 1:22-cv-05860. Deezer SA, the Paris-based music streaming platform, was slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit in Texas Eastern District Federal Court. The action was filed by King & Wood Mallesons and The Stafford Davis Firm on behalf of Distributed Media Solutions. The case is Distributed Media Solutions, LLC v. Deezer S.A., 2:22-cv-00254.  CBS Interactive Inc. was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court. The case was filed by the Sanders Law Group on behalf of photographer Neil Zlozower, who contends that CBS displayed his photograph of Joan Jett online without authorization. The case is Zlozower v. CBS Interactive Inc., 1:22-cv-05814. Comedian Lewis Black filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court against streaming service Pandora. The lawsuit, filed by King & Ballow, accuses Pandora of digitally broadcasting 68 of his recorded works without permission. The case is Black v. Pandora Media LLC., 2:22-cv-04634. Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group and author Robert Mazur, a former U.S. Customs Service special agent, sued the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New York Southern District Federal Court under the Freedom of Information Act. The complaint, filed by Davis Wright Tremaine, seeks documents regarding a third party’s involvement with the Medellin Cartel to use as evidence in an underlying defamation lawsuit. The case is Hachette Book Group Inc. v. United States Drug Enforcement Administration, 1:22-cv-05730. Davis + Gilbert filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court on behalf of Thirteen Productions and other plaintiffs. The suit takes aim at operators of Silicon Valley start-up LocalBTV for allegedly retransmitting “massive amounts” of copyrighted television content without permission. The case is WNET v. Didja, Inc., 1:22-cv-05693. Jenner & Block filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court on behalf of NBCUniversal Media LLC, Universal Studios Licensing LLC and Universal Television LLC. The suit takes aim at Jay Kennette Media Group LLC, Gooder Labs LLC and Kenneth Talbert over the defendants’ use and assertion of marks associated with “Dunder Mifflin,” the fictional paper company in the television program The Office. The suit accuses the defendants of trademark infringement and seeks cancellation of various trademark registrations and applications related to “Dunder Mifflin.” The case is NBCUniversal Media LLC v. Jay Kennette Media Group LLC, 2:22-cv-04541. The movie rental and streaming company Redbox and members of its board of directors have been sued by shareholders in New York Southern District Federal Court over the company’s planned acquisition by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. The court action, brought by Grabar Law Office on behalf of Matthew Whitfield, contends that the company’s registration statement in favor of the transaction omits material information. The case is Whitfield v. Redbox Entertainment Inc., 1:22-cv-05613. Polsinelli filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Massachusetts District Federal Court on behalf of concert tour merchandise seller the Thread Shop, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. The suit targeted sellers of “bootleg” merchandise in anticipation of a July 12 performance at Boston’s TD Garden by Roger Waters, former bassist and singer for Pink Floyd. The case is The Thread Shop v. Does 1-100, 1:22-cv-11043. Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court against major recording artist Kanye West and Kano Computing Ltd. The complaint was brought on behalf of Ultra International Music Publishing, which asserts that West’s song “Flowers” samples the 1986 Marshall Jefferson single “Move Your Body” 22 times without authorization or payment. The suit arises from the defendants’ claim of millions of dollars in sales of their “Stem Player,” a device specifically designed for listening to West’s latest album Donda 2. The case is Ultra International Music Publishing LLC v. West, 1:22-cv-05560. Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass filed a complaint in California Central District Federal Court alleging underpayment of royalties against Slack Technologies and LiveOne Inc. The partially redacted court action was brought on behalf of SoundExchange, the U.S.-regulated collector of sound-recording copyright licensing payments. The defendants are accused of failing to make payments for the digital transmission of sound recordings since 2017, and failing to fully pay royalties for transmissions occurring between 2013 and 2015. The case is SoundExchange Inc. v. LiveOne Inc., 2:22-cv-04410. … Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Tennessee Middle District Federal Court targeting Jenelle Dagres, an adult online content creator who has been banned from livestreaming on Twitch multiple times, and Indiefoxx Inc. The complaint was brought on behalf of Sara Marie Violassi, a model and blogger who offers marketing services under the asserted mark “Indiefoxx.” The case is Violassi v. Indiefoxx Inc., 3:22-cv-00487.

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