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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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The would-be developer of a music-competition television show based in Nashville sued its production partner for breach of contract in Tennessee Middle District Federal Court. Nashville Supergroup LLC and its counsel at Maynard, Cooper & Gale accuse Fearless Studios Inc. and its co-CEO Gary W. Bridges of violating a joint venture agreement by failing to perform production and marketing responsibilities. The case is Nashville Supergroup LLC v. Bridges, 3:22-cv-00824. Turner Broadcasting was hit with a digital privacy class action in Illinois Northern District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise and Stephan Zouras, pursues claims under the Video Privacy Protection Act on behalf of individuals whose personal information was allegedly shared with Facebook through a tracking pixel on the defendant’s Bleacher Report website. The case is Sorensen v. Turner Broadcasting System Inc., 1:22-cv-05522. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation filed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court against the producers and distributors of The Last Blockbuster, a documentary examining the rise and fall of the video-rental empire. The complaint, brought by Venable, alleges that the film contains unlicensed clips of the Academy’s interviews with Sumner Redstone, the late chairman of Blockbusters former parent company Viacom. The case is Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation v. Morden, 2:22-cv-07436.Bethenny Frankel, entrepreneur and alum of the reality series The Real Housewives of New York City, filed a publicity rights class action against TikTok in New York Southern District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Morgan & Morgan, accuses the popular video app of allowing “unscrupulous” parties to misappropriate the content, likenesses and voices of social media influencers for the purpose of creating a false association with certain brands to sell counterfeit items. Frankel v. TikTok Inc., 1:22-cv-08503. Tucker Ellis filed a trademark and service mark infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court on behalf of music and art festival owner and producer Coachella Music Festival and Goldenvoice. The suit accuses Afrochella Ltd. and other defendants of promoting multi-day music and art events in the United States and Ghana under the “Afrochella” mark, which the plaintiffs allege is confusingly similar to the “Coachella” mark. The suit also pursues cybersquatting claims for Afrochella Ltd.’s use of the afrochella.com domain name. The case is Coachella Music Festival LLC v. Afrochella Limited, 2:22-cv-07275. … O’Melveny & Myers filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Eastern District Federal Court on behalf of Global Music Rights (GMR) LLC. The complaint targets JSA Broadcasting Corporation, One Putt Broadcasting LLC and Jon Ostlund for publicly performing GMR musical compositions without a license. The case is Global Music Rights LLC v. One Putt Broadcasting LLC, 1:22-cv-01262. Radio station operators Black Crow Media Group and Southern Stone Communications were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in Florida Middle District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod and O’Melveny & Myers, accuses the defendants of “performing” over 100 of plaintiff Global Music Rights’ compositions “tens of thousands” of times without licensing or consent. The case is Global Music Rights LLC v. Southern Stone Communications LLC, 6:22-cv-01792. DISH Network was slapped with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Colorado District Federal Court in connection with its license with the PAC-12 Network for live collegiate athletic events. The case, brought by Covington & Burling on behalf of the Pac-12 Network, accuses DISH of withholding license payments due to its alleged “unjustified” position that it is entitled to additional license fee reimbursements for the 2018-2019 football seasons. According to the suit, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and to uphold its licensing commitments, Pac-12 offered DISH rebates for the shortened 2020 football season. The case, which is partially redacted, is Pac-12 Network LLC v. DISH Network LLC, 1:22-cv-02620. Warner Bros. Discovery, the global entertainment company created through the 2022 merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, and top Discovery executives were hit with a securities class action in New York Southern District Federal Court. The suit, filed by Wolf Popper LLP on behalf of Collinsville Police Pension Board, claims that the defendants failed to disclose adverse facts about WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming business prior to a March 2022 shareholder vote on the merger. The case is Collinsville Police Pension Board on behalf of the Collinsville Police Pension Fund v. Discovery Inc., 1:22-cv-08171. Advanced Micro Devices, Picture This Productions and British Airways have been sued for copyright infringement and trade secret lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court. The lawsuit, brought by Kibler Fowler & Cave on behalf of Zypre Inc. and film writer and producer Jonah Hirsch, centers on Hirsch’s virtual reality production First, a recreation of the Wright Brothers’ groundbreaking 1903 flight of the first successfully operated airplane. The lawsuit targets the defendants over their project Fly, a virtual reality recreation of the first flight of the Concorde, which allegedly misappropriates the plaintiffs’ intellectual property, derived from a pitch Hirsch made to British Airways seven years ago. The case is Hirsch v. Picture This Productions Ltd., 2:22-cv-07123.

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