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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Fresh Filings

Notable recent court filings in entertainment law.


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Xiaoyutian Cinema & Rainy Day Cinema and Bing Yang were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Northern District Federal Court. The court action was brought by the Cohen Business Law Group on behalf of entertainment company Well Go USA, which contends it entered into an agreement granting it the exclusive license to distribute the Chinese action thriller Triple Threat within North America. The suit accuses the defendants of posting a full-length copy of the film to YouTube without authorization or a license. The case is Well Go USA Inc. v. Xiaoyutian Cinema & Rainy Day Cinema, 5:24-cv-01019. David Oliver was hit with a copyright lawsuit in North Carolina Eastern District Federal Court. The court action, brought by Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard on behalf of Impostor Pastor Movie LLC, seeks a declaration of non-infringement against the defendant’s accusations that the plaintiff’s Imposter Pastor movie infringes his copyright. The case is Impostor Pastor Movie LLC v. Oliver, 5:24-cv-00115. Innovative Concepts in Entertainment Inc. has been sued for copyright infringement lawsuit in New York Western District Federal Court. The complaint, brought by the Sanders Law Group on behalf of the Watson Music Group LLC, accuses the defendant of uploading the song “Space Jam” by Lemonhead and the 69 Boyz to a social media page without permission. The case is Watson Music Group LLC v. Innovative Concepts in Entertainment Inc., 1:24-cv-00160. The British Broadcasting Corp. was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in District of Columbia District Federal Court. The court case, over the allegedly unauthorized use of the plaintiff’s video on the defendant’s website, was filed by the Sanders Law Group on behalf of Level 12 Productions LLC. The case is Level 12 Productions LLC v. British Broadcasting Corp., 1:24-cv-00500. … Abrams Fensterman LLP filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court against Takeover Industries. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Professional Fighters League, accuses the defendant of owing approximately $1.35 million in damages for defaulting on a sponsorship agreement. The case is Professional Fighters League LLC v. Takeover Industries Inc., 1:24-cv-01335. NFL Enterprises, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, Event Rentals Unltd., Roc Nation and other defendants were sued for wrongful death in Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County. The lawsuit was brought by Morgan & Morgan on behalf of an individual who was on the set-up and take-down crew for last year’s Super Bowl event. The suit contends that an employee of Event Rentals Unltd. negligently jumped into a Kubota vehicle and drove off, causing the decedent to fall 15 feet and be dragged 200 yards across the pavement. The case is Stephens v. Jones, CV2024003226. Paramount Pictures was sued in California Central District Federal Court alleging a violation of the right of publicity. The court action was filed by the Casas Law Firm on behalf of Top Gun actor Barry Tubb who accuses the studio of misappropriating the plaintiff’s image and placing it into the movie Top Gun: Maverick. The case is Tubb v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 2:24-cv-01417. Rap artist Professor Griff, best known as a member of Public Enemy, was named in a lawsuit filed in Florida Southern District Federal Court concerning a copyright dispute. The suit was brought by Wolfe Law Miami on behalf of Lil Joe Records, which asserts that Griff has no legal right to terminate copyright grants for the album Pawns in the Game. The case is Lil Joe Records v. Griffin, 1:24-cv-20672. Universal Music Publishing and other defendants were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court over rapper The Game’s song “No Smoke at the Polo Lounge.” The suit was filed by Anderson and Associates Law on behalf of members of the 1960s musical group the Diplomats, who contend that their song “I’ve Got the Kind of Love” was used without permission to create the defendants’ song. The case is Culley v. Robinson, 1:24-cv-01273. Serendip LLC, which owns the IP portfolio for musical artist and film scorer Wendy Carlos, sued Paul Joseph for copyright infringement in New York Southern District Federal Court. The suit accuses Joseph of posting a cover of the plaintiff’s main theme from the film A Clockwork Orange on the defendant’s YouTube page without permission. According to the complaint, the plaintiff filed a DMCA takedown notice, but the defendant filed a counter-notification eight months later. The complaint was filed by attorney Annemarie Franklin, a longtime collaborator and business partner of Carlos. The case is Serendip LLC v. Joseph, 1:24-cv-01256. Bravado International Group Merchandising Services filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Texas Southern District Federal Court concerning the sale of merchandise associated with the musical artist Olivia Rodrigo. The lawsuit, brought by Mims Kaplan Burns & Garretson, sought to enjoin parties from selling infringing merchandise in the vicinity Rodrigo’s show at Houston’s Toyota Center. The case is Bravado International Group Merchandising Services Inc. v. Does 1-100, 4:24-cv-00585. Musical artist Bad Bunny and Stensrud Inc. filed a trademark lawsuit in Arizona District Federal Court. The suit, brought by attorney Kenneth A. Feinswog, sought to enjoin bootleggers from selling counterfeit merchandise outside venues during Bad Bunny’s upcoming concert tour. The case is Stensrud Inc. v. Doe, 2:24-cv-00334. … Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in New York Eastern District Federal Court on behalf of New York Road Runners, organizer of the New York City Marathon. The suit takes aim at New York City Runs for allegedly infringing the plaintiff’s “Brooklyn Half” and “Brooklyn Half Marathon” marks to promote an event. The case is New York Road Runners Inc. v. New York City Runs Inc., 1:24-cv-01231. Paramount Global and other defendants were sued in Maryland District Federal Court over alleged employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit was brought by the Smithey Law Group on behalf of a former employee who contends that she was discriminated against based on disability and wrongfully terminated in retaliation for reporting deceptive business practices and a hostile work environment. The suit further accuses the defendants of withholding wages after termination. The case is Swain v. Paramount Global, 1:24-cv-00458. Video game company Activision Blizzard, publisher of Call of Duty, was hit with an antitrust lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court over the company’s role in professional gaming leagues and tournaments. The court action, brought by Dynamis LLP and Aaron Katz Law on behalf of Call of Duty players Hector Rodriguez and Seth Abner and HECZ LLC, accuses the defendant of exploiting its intellectual property to monopolize Call of Duty leagues and impose unfair terms on players and teams. The suit echoes claims in a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against Activision, which the company agreed to settle in 2023. The case is Rodriguez v. Activision Blizzard Inc., 2:24-cv-01287. Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, stars of the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet, filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, Criterion Collections and Janus Films in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The suit pertains to a February 2023 digital release of the motion picture that includes digitally enhanced nude photos of the plaintiffs. The complaint alleges that while the plaintiffs did not object to the inclusion of the low-resolution photos in the original film, the plaintiffs never consented to digital enhancements. The suit was brought by the Romaine Lokhandwala Law Group. The case is Hussey v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 24STCV03814. Jim Moskovitz, producer of sports programming that includes The Tim McCarver Show and Game Time with Boomer Esiason, sued Murray Bauer for defamation in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by the Jones Law Firm, pertains to the parties’ IP brokerage agreement under which the plaintiff agreed to pay commissions for introduction to potential buyers of archival footage. The suit contends that after the plaintiff refused to pay commissions to the defendant because he failed to make required payments, the defendant sent harassing messages and threatened to make false statements to the plaintiff’s clients. The case is JOY-CPW Inc. v. Bauer. Warner Music and other defendants were named in a breach-of-contract class action in California Central District Federal Court. The suit, brought by the Preston Law Offices, contends that the defendants violated California’s Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act — which prohibits talent representatives from charging fees to potential clients in exchange for the promise of employment — by charging the plaintiffs $9,000 for their child to participate in a project. The case is Chen v. NYS Corp., 2:24-cv-01172. Diana Copeland, one of R. Kelly’s former assistants, sued Netflix and Lifetime Entertainment Services in Delaware Superior Court, New Castle County, in relation to the documentary Surviving R. Kelly. The lawsuit, filed by the Poliquin Firm and Phillips Murrah P.C., contends that the documentary falsely depicts Copeland as R. Kelly’s co-conspirator and accomplice in victimizing children and young women. The case is Copeland v. Netflix Inc., N24C-02-033. Vanquish Entertainment and other defendants were hit with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Nevada District Court, Clark County, in connection to an event with rapper P-Diddy. The lawsuit, filed by the Law Offices of Mitchell S. Bisson on behalf of JJ Rose, accuses the defendants of procuring an investment in the event by misrepresenting the success of prior shows it held through falsifying financial statements. JJ Rose Inc. v. Vanquish Entertainment LLC, A-24-886519-C.

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