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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Fresh Filings

Notable recent court filings in entertainment law.


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The Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court against a general agent and two senior executives of Rimas Sports, the sports agency founded by recording artist Bad Bunny. The suit, brought by Winston & Strawn, seeks to enforce an arbitration judgment revoking William Arroyo’s MLBPA certification and denying certifications for Noah Assad and Jonathan Miranda in connection with offering incentives to get players to switch agencies and failing to comply with MLBPA investigations. Assad and Miranda participated in the recruitment of Ronny Mauricio of the New York Mets, who ultimately signed with the agency in April 2022. The case is Major League Baseball Players Association v. Arroyo, 1:24-cv-03029.Branding and merchandise company Merch Traffic filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods. The suit, filed by Greer, Burns & Crain, pursues claims against unidentified e-commerce operators for allegedly selling counterfeit Hozier merchandise. The case is Merch Traffic, LLC v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A, 1:24-cv-03269. Musical artist Sebastien de la Cruz and his father Juan de la Cruz were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in Texas Western District Federal Court. The case was brought by Bayramoglu Law Offices on behalf of producer Reynaldo Guzman Barrera, who contends that three of his songs were featured on the defendants’ album El Charro de Oro without consent following a protracted dispute over royalties and writing credit. The case is Barrera v. De La Cruz, 5:24-cv-00435. Music producer and rapper Madlib and other defendants were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court centered on the album cover for Microphone Mathematics, which features an anthropomorphic character known as Quasimoto, or “Lord Quas.” The lawsuit was brought by Ethan Jacobs Law on behalf of Keith Griego, the artist who created the cover art in 1999. The plaintiff asserts that the defendants used the character on subsequent album covers, merchandise and music videos without giving credit or obtaining consent. The case is Griego v. Jackson, Jr., 2:24-cv-03260. Shine TV filed a trademark infringement and cybersquatting lawsuit in Texas Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods associated with the show MasterChef. The case, brought by Bell Nunnally & Martin and Epstein Drangel LLP, accuses MasterChef LLC and Husein Varvani of operating a website which infringes the plaintiff’s mark and logo to sell cooking-related products and imply a false association with the popular show. The case is Shine TV Ltd. v. Masterchef LLC, 3:24-cv-00963. Netflix, Sofia Vergara and Latin World Entertainment Holdings have been sued in lawsuit in Florida Circuit Court, Miami-Dade County, in connection with the Netflix drama series Griselda, which depicts the life of Columbia-born drug lord Griselda Blanco. The court action was filed by Palmers Law on behalf of the Estate of Rafael Antonio Cardona Salazar. The suit contends that the defendants failed to seek consent and/or permission to utilize Salazar’s likeness and image during the promotional period of the series, and claims that Salazar was prominently featured within five episodes. The case is Cardona v. Netflix Inc., 2024-006942-CA-01. … Polsinelli filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Tennessee Chancery Court, Davidson County, targeting I Came Uninvited LLC, I Believe Brewing Co. and Richard Egan. The suit was brought on behalf of DCXV Industries and artist Adrien Saporiti, who sold the rights to his “I Believe in Nashville” mural to Egan, his former manager, under an asset purchase agreement. The suit accuses the defendants of failing to pay all royalties owed under the agreement and failing to provide proper accounting, including for I Believe Brewing beer sales. The case is Saporiti v. Egan, 24-0466-I. Hulu and other defendants were sued in Tennessee Middle District Federal Court for alleged violations of an individual’s privacy and publicity rights in connection with the documentary Monster Inside, about the “extreme” haunted house exhibit McKamey Manor. The lawsuit was filed by Northstar Litigation on behalf of Russ McKamey, who asserts that his voice and likeness are used multiple times in the film and its promotion without his permission, including video and audio recordings surreptitiously taken of him at his workplace. The case is McKamey v. Hulu LLC, 1:24-cv-00037 MJ Duke Solutions sued Beth L. Baum for breach of contract in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by Silverberg PC, seeks nearly $100,000 under a 2013 settlement agreement based on the defendant’s alleged loan default under a film financing agreement. The case is MJ Duke Solutions Ltd. v. Baum. Production company Cricket Film sued screenwriter Tameson Duffy for breach of contract in Oklahoma Western District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Conner & Winters, accuses the defendant of falsely claiming to own a copyright to her screenplay for the film Cricket despite assigning all interests in the screenplay to the plaintiff. According to the complaint, the defendant threatened to pursue legal action against the Sedona International Film Festival, causing the film to be withdrawn from the festival’s lineup. The case is Cricket Film LLC v. Duffy, 5:24-cv-00343. Riot Games, video-game developer and e-sports tournament organizer, and North America League of Legends Championship Series LLC were hit with a securities class action in Florida Southern District Federal Court in relation to their sponsorship deal with FTX, the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange. The suit, filed by Boies Schiller Flexner and the Moskowitz Law Firm, accuses the defendants of aggressively marketing FTX to help FTX gain acceptance as a “mainstream, trustworthy brand” even as it carried out a multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. The case is Garrison v. Riot Games Inc., 1:24-cv-21296. Burton Cummings, lead singer of the Canadian rock band The Guess Who, has sued the City of Daytona Beach and Elko Concerts in Florida Middle District Federal Court. The complaint, filed by Pryor Cashman, arises from the allegedly unauthorized use of the plaintiff’s songs on the defendant’s promotional video for a The Guess Who cover band concert. The case is Cummings v. Elko, 6:24-cv-00649. Former Disney development executive Asta Jonasson sued the Walt Disney Company, ABC Studios, director John Ridley and other defendants in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, in relation to Jonasson’s termination in 2022. The court case, filed by Greenberg Gross, contends that Ridley discriminated against Jonasson and failed to provide equal pay and opportunities based on her gender and race. Jonasson alleges that she was fired in retaliation for issuing a complaint about unequal pay. The case is Jonasson v. The Walt Disney Company, 24STCV08350.

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