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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Fresh Filings

Notable court filings in entertainment law.


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Ellie Greenberg (a/k/a “The Flippin’ Queen”), who appeared on the reality TV show Selling Sunset, filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Ryder Films and Jojo Ryder in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The suit, brought by Loeb & Loeb, arises from the defendants’ third-party production services for the plaintiff’s new TV show Flipped. According to the complaint, the defendants failed to timely produce and edit episodes, and made several misrepresentations about distribution that included a false statement that the show had been sold to Fox for $3 million. The case is Greenberg v. Ryder, 23STCV22168. The Walt Disney Co. and talent booker Bradley Ross have been sued in California Superior Court, San Diego County, for allegedly refusing to book the Village People. The suit was brought pro se by Karen L. Willis, operator of Harlem West Entertainment, who claims that Disney has refused to negotiate with at least three booking agencies acting on the disco vocal group’s behalf due to an underlying dispute over trademark rights involving original and newer members of the group. The case is Willis v. The Walt Disney Co. The author of Wall Street Swindler, a book published in 1977 detailing criminal activity in the stock market, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Florida Southern District Federal Court. The lawsuit, brought by Wolfe Law Miami on behalf of Michael Hellerman, accuses Ishi Press International and Sam Sloan of selling pirated copies of the book online. The case is Hellerman v. Sloan, 1:23-cv-23548. Eric Weinberg, a Hollywood producer and writer currently facing multiple criminal charges for serial sex abuse, MTV and other defendants were sued in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The lawsuit was filed by Athea Trial Lawyers and Liberty Law Inc. on behalf of an actress who accuses Weinberg of pinning her against a wall and assaulting her on the set of the MTV show Death Valley. The plaintiff furthers contends that Weinberg repeatedly targeted her with explicit phone calls. The case is S.T. v. Weinberg, 23STCV21986. Brown Rudnick filed a defamation lawsuit in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County on behalf of Terell Ephron (a/k/a A$AP Relli), former member of the rap group A$AP Mob. The complaint targets Rakim Mayers (a/k/a A$AP Rocky), New York City criminal-law firm Tacopina, Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo and Joseph Tacopina for their interviews with the media calling Ephron a liar, a blackmailer and an extortionist regarding the plaintiff’s claims that Mayers shot him. The case is Ephron v. Tacopina, 23STCV21854. Warner Music and other defendants were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court. The lawsuit, brought by Freedman + Taitelman on behalf of Adrian Velasquez (p/k/a) Eskupe), seeks a declaration as to the ownership of masters from a joint project titled Still a Kid. The case is Velasquez v. Archer, 2:23-cv-07592. Sea Ltd. — a Singapore-based digital entertainment, fintech and e-commerce company — and its top executives were hit with a securities class action in Arizona District Federal Court. The suit, filed by Pomerantz LLP and Keller Rohrback, claims that Sea downplayed the risks of its lending and financial services products. According to the suit, the company’s stock price fell precipitously after the company disclosed a sharp increase in loan loss reserves. The case is Mirvaydulloev v. Sea Limited, 2:23-cv-01889. Sports apparel seller Ballislife was sued for copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court. The lawsuit was brought by Sanders Law Group on behalf of Watson Music Group, which accuses the defendant of uploading the song “Space Jam” by Lemonhead and the 69 Boyz to a Facebook page without permission. The case is Watson Music Group LLC v. Ballislife Inc., 8:23-cv-01673. Prakazrel Samuel (Pras) Michel, Rat Pack Entertainment and Warner Music were slapped with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in New York Southern District Court. The court action, brought by The Dean Law Firm on behalf of musical artist Darin Espinoza and his manager Donovan Thomas alleges the defendants have failed to pay royalties under a recording agreement. The case is Espinoza v. Warner Music Group Corp., 1:23-cv-07944. Mobile gaming platform Skillz has sued the company’s former controller and global accounting head in Nevada District Court, Clark County, for alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement. The suit, filed by Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, contends that Elly Ryu resigned her post and then encouraged former team members to resign and negotiate higher pay through consulting agreements. The suit alleges claims for breach of contract, breach of duties of good faith and fair dealing, and tortious interference with contractual relations. The case is Skillz Inc. v. Ryu, A-23-877345-C. Lisa Dawn Miller, daughter of the late songwriter Ron Miller (e.g., Stevie Wonder’s hit “For Once in My Life” and Diana Ross’s hit “Touch Me in the Morning”), was sued by her half-siblings Julie Moss and Mark Miller in California Central District Federal Court over a copyright dispute. The suit, brought by Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, accuses the defendant of exerting undue influence over her incapacitated mother Aurora Miller and forging her signature in order to execute copyright termination notices under the 1976 Copyright Act, thereby allowing the defendant to sign a publishing deal with Sony and profit from her father’s song catalogue without sharing the proceeds with the plaintiffs. The case is Moss v. Miller, 2:23-cv-07424. The NFL, Los Angeles Rams and All-Pro kicker Johnny Hekker were hit with a personal injury lawsuit in Indiana Superior Court, Marion County. The suit was filed on behalf of Tom Riha, a stagehand who helped erect a stage for Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James’ Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony during halftime of a Rams-Colts game. According to the complaint, as the plaintiff came onto the field to help remove the stage, a football punted by Hekker during warm-ups struck the plaintiff’s head and knocked him unconscious. The suit was filed for Riha by McElwee & Albright. The case is Riha v. National Football League, 49D06-2309-CT-035025. Video game publisher 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive were sued for copyright infringement lawsuit in Ohio Northern District Federal Court. The action, filed by Calfee, Halter & Griswold on behalf of tattoo artist James Hayden, alleges the defendants’ video game NBA 2K21 contains avatars of basketball players LeBron James, Danny Green and Tristan Thompson with Hayden’s tattoos, used without his permission. The case is Hayden v. 2k Games Inc., 1:23-cv-01721. Eric Schiermeyer, co-founder of the game development company Zynga and CEO of Blockchain Game Partners d/b/a Gala Games, filed a shareholder derivative lawsuit on behalf of Gala Games in Utah District Federal Court. The suit, filed by Snell & Wilmer and K&L Gates, accuses board director Wright Thurston of misappropriating over $130 million worth of GALA tokens while also pocketing proceeds from the sale of stolen “nodes” that can be operated to earn more tokens. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had sued Thurston in March for allegedly defrauding investors in connection with the sale of Blockchain investments called “Green Boxes” or “Green Nodes.” The case is Schiermeyer v. Thurston, 2:23-cv-00589. Bravado International Group Merchandising Services filed a trademark lawsuit in Massachusetts District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Polsinelli and Mims Kaplan Burns & Garretson, seeks to enjoin bootleggers from selling unauthorized t-shirts, posters and other merchandise outside of venues during Aerosmith’s upcoming Peace Out: The Farewell Tour. The case is Bravado International Group Merchandising Services Inc. v. Doe, 1:23-cv-12021. TV Tokyo Corp., the creator of popular anime “Naruto,” filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods. The suit, filed by Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, pursues claims against unidentified online retailers for allegedly selling “Naruto”-branded goods. The case is TV Tokyo Corp. v. The Individuals, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A, 1:23-cv-06616. CBS, Yacht Money LLC and other defendants have been sued in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, over the Superfan TV series. The case, brought by Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin on behalf of Accelerated Global Content, alleges the defendants rejected Accelerated’s idea for a nearly identical TV series, and developed and released Superfan without crediting or compensating Accelerated. The case is Accelerated Global Content v. CBS Broadcasting, 23STCV20204. Musical artist Angelo Ramirez (a/k/a Young Castro) filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Colorado District Federal Court. The suit, filed by the Werge Law Group, accuses anonymous infringers of posing as Young Castro and posting his music on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and SoundCloud without permission. The case is Ramirez v. Doe, 1:23-cv-02159.

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