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Vinyl record seller Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab was hit with a consumer class action in Illinois Northern District Federal Court. The case, brought by Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz and Bursor & Fisher, contends that Mobile albums on vinyl that are marketed as ‘purely analog,’ or made from original master recordings, have actually been produced from digital files since 2011. The case is Stiles v. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Inc., 1:22-cv-04405. … Professional golfer Patrick Reed filed a defamation lawsuit against the Golf Channel and commentator Brandel Chamblee in Texas Southern District Federal Court. Reed, who is one of several golfers suspended by the PGA Tour for participating in Saudi-backed LIV Golf, accuses Chamblee of making false and misleading statements about Reed’s decision to participate in LIV. The suit was filed by the Klayman Law Group and attorney Sanjay Biswas. The case is Reed v. Chamblee, 4:22-cv-02778. … Netflix and Royal Goode Productions were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in Pennsylvania Western District Federal Court in relation to its popular series Tiger King. The court action, brought by Acker Wood Intellectual Property Law on behalf of tattoo artist Molly Cramer, contends that Netflix showed a clip of a Joe Exotic tattoo designed by Cramer without her authorization in season two of the true crime documentary. The complaint further contends that Cramer received Joe Exotic’s permission to post her tattoo on social media after season two was released on Netflix. The case is Cramer v. Netflix Inc., 3:22-cv-00131. … Foley & Lardner filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in New York Eastern District Federal Court on behalf of Brooklyn Comedy Collective Inc. The suit pursues claims against Edward Farrell and OMHBrooklyn LLC for allegedly marketing their “Brooklyn Comedy Club” with a deceptively similar name to the plaintiff’s name and in close physical proximity to the plaintiff’s club. The case is Brooklyn Comedy Collective Inc. v. OMHBrooklyn LLC, 1:22-cv-04758. … Live Nation Entertainment, professional rappers Tremani Bartlett p/k/a Polo G and Herbert Randall Wright p/k/a G Herbo were slapped with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Florida Middle District Federal Court. The court case, brought by attorney Edwin Prado-Galarza and DMRA Law on behalf of NoNaNi Entertainment LLC, accuses the defendants of failing to promote adequately and advertise their participation in a festival performance which resulted in plaintiff’s cancellation of the event. The case is NoNaNi Entertainment LLC v. Live Nation Worldwide Inc., 8:22-cv-01829. … Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court on behalf of actress and musician Aeriel Williams p/k/a Mon’ Aerie. The suit pursues claims against hip-hop artist and producer Dexter Matthews p/k/a Matt Muse for allegedly failing to pay the plaintiff for four songs on the 2019 Love & Nappyness album and using the plaintiff’s name without permission while promoting the album. The case is Williams v. Matthews, 1:22-cv-04188. … Harpo, the entertainment and media company founded by Oprah Winfrey, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit on in New York Southern District Federal Court. The suit takes aim at Professor Kellie Carter Jackson of Wellesley College and Professor Leah Wright Rigueur of Brandeis University over their podcast Oprahdemics, a series dedicated to discussion about Winfrey and her cultural impact. The complaint accuses the defendants of misappropriating the “Oprah” mark and “O” logo in connection with the series. The suit was filed by Dorsey & Whitney. The case is Harpo Inc. v. Jackson, 1:22-cv-06787. … Carlton Fields filed a civil RICO lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court on behalf of Gosdom Inc. and its CEO Yao Guo. The suit brings claims against a group of purported film producers, financiers and attorneys for an alleged scheme to defraud Chinese investors. The suit claims that the defendants reeled in Guo and manipulated her into mining contacts in the Chinese community for additional investments that were misappropriated or went to repay earlier lenders. The case is Guo v. Robl, 2:22-cv-05576. … The entertainment and gaming fan website Fandom was hit with a privacy class action in California Northern District Federal Court. The complaint, brought by Girard Sharp, accuses Fandom of violating the federal Video Privacy Protection Act by disclosing users’ video viewing histories without consent. The suit alleges that Fandom collects and shares the data with Meta Platforms via the “Meta Pixel,” a piece of code embedded on third-party websites that tracks a user’s online activities. The case is Haines v. Fandom Inc., 3:22-cv-04423. … Netflix filed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against singer-songwriters Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear in District of Columbia Federal Court. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of using songs, characters and other protected elements from the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series Bridgerton without authorization, including through viral performances on TikTok, their Grammy Award-winning album The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical and planned stage performances. The complaint was filed by Munger Tolles & Olson. The case is Netflix Worldwide Entertainment LLC v. Barlow, 1:22-cv-02247. … Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in New York Eastern District Federal Court on behalf of LaRubint Corp. The suit arises from a licensing agreement entered into by LaRubint with Soyuzmultfilm, a Russian animation studio, granting exclusive rights to characters from four animated series, including the popular Cheburashka. The suit targets Soyuzmultfilm for allegedly allowing a third party in Japan to market the characters as well. The case is LaRubint Corp. v. Joint Stock Company Studio Soyuzmultfilm, 1:22-cv-04461. … Peloton Interactive, the at-home fitness equipment and interactive media brand, was slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court. The lawsuit was brought by CSReeder P.C. on behalf of music producer Muggerud’s publishing company Soul Assassins, which accuses Peloton of using its musical compositions to accompany workout programs without permission. The case is Soul Assassins Inc v. Peloton Interactive Inc., 2:22-cv-05134. … Netflix, actor Zac Efron and two production companies were hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court in relation to Netflix’s docuseries Down to Earth. The court action was brought by Dichter Law and the Law Offices of Peter J. Glantz on behalf of Down to Earth Organics, a producer of health-related media content, health-focused iced teas and clothing. The complaint contends that the defendants have created actual confusion as to the origin of Down to Earth due to the defendants’ unauthorized use of the phrase. The case is Down to Earth Organics v. Olien, 7:22-cv-06218. … World Wrestling Entertainment, ESPN, Alpa Entertainment and other defendants involved in production of the ESPN program This Was the XFL were hit with a pro se trade secrets complaint in Texas Northern District Federal Court. The suit was filed by David Adrian Smith. The case is Smith v. WWE Inc., 3:22-cv-01580. … HBO and Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were sued in Mississippi Northern District Federal Court for copyright infringement. The suit was filed by a pro se plaintiff making claims related to the series Westworld. The case is Morningstar v. HBO, 3:22-cv-00145.
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By Stan Soocher
The rebound in concert tours and ticket revenues as 2022 has unfolded gives the live events industry hope for a strong 2023, too. For many tours, though, it’s income from merchandise that makes the tour profitable. Thus, the rise in the number of artists touring also means a parallel resurgence in the activities of counterfeit-merchandise sellers and renewed efforts by the industry to battle its long-time problem with the sale of counterfeit merchandise near event venues.
By Adolfo Pesquera
The case of a session musician's unpaid royalties revealed a gross lack of initiative on the part of the trustees and directors of AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund and that the fund administrators had made little if any effort for years to distribute funds to thousands of session musicians and backup singers.
By Anthony J. Dreyer, Ryan P. Bisaillon and Michael C. Salik
NY's update to its regulatory scheme for event ticketing principally affects the rules governing disclosure requirements for primary ticket sale prices and restricts the means of secondary ticket resale, including by expanding penalties for the use of scalper software “bots” and unauthorized ticket purchasing software.
By Davis Mosmeyer and Brooke Bahlinger
One of the issues facing the esports industry is the classification of professional players as employees versus independent contractors. This issue is of particular concern for companies operating competitive esports teams and/or using the services of content creators.