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Netflix and producer Katherine Kubler have been sued for defamation in Utah District Court over the documentary series The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping. The complaint was filed by Hepworth Legal on behalf of Narvin Lichfield, an operator of troubled youth programs, who claims that the series misrepresented the plaintiff as engaging in criminal activities, including portraying him as an outright murderer or one that helped to cover up murder. The case is Lichfield v. Kubler, 2:24-cv-00458. Atlantic Recording Corp. has been hit with a digital privacy lawsuit in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The court action — filed by Pacific Trial Attorneys on behalf of Rebeka Rodriguez, “a consumer privacy advocate who works as a ‘tester’ to ensure that companies abide by the privacy obligations imposed by California law” — is part of a string of cases that accuse companies of violating California’s Invasion of Privacy Act by using third-party “trap and trace” software to compile data on anonymous website visitors. According to the suit, through the record label’s operation of www.brunomars.com, the software matches a website user’s geolocation, device information and other data with existing third-party data to reconstruct the user’s identity for marketing purposes without consent. The case is Rodriguez v Atlantic Recording Corp., 24STCV15592. Warner Bros. Discovery, the global entertainment company created through the 2022 merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, was named in a patent infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court. The court action, brought by Kluger Healey LLC and Garteiser Honea PLLC on behalf of Quantum Technology Innovations, asserts a single patent pertaining to a content distribution system. The case is Quantum Technology Innovations LLC v. Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., 1:24-cv-04750. Meanwhile, AMC Networks also was named in a patent infringement lawsuit in New York Southern District Federal Court. The court action, filed by Kluger Healey and Garteiser Honea on behalf of Quantum Technology Innovations, asserts a single patent pertaining to a content distribution system. The case is Quantum Technology Innovations LLC v. AMC Networks Inc., 1:24-cv-04745. Literary agency Foundry Media and Peter McGuigan sued Schulman Lobel LLP and accountant Michael Williams for fraud in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by the Landau Group, accuses the defendants of embezzling nearly $1.7 million from the plaintiffs. The case is McGuigan v. Schulman Lobel LLP. Live Nation Entertainment and its board of directors were slapped with a securities lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court. The court action, brought by Bottini & Bottini, contends that Live Nation’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duties by knowingly allowing anticompetitive misconduct to occur and by failing to comply with a 2010 consent decree. The complaint also contends that the board falsely claimed that the company was cooperating with federal investigators. The case is Williams v. Carter, 2:24-cv-05225. Media company Bloomberg was hit with an employment discrimination lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The lawsuit was filed by the Clancy Law Firm on behalf of Susan Keenan, a 66-year old female, five-time Emmy Award-winning TV journalist. Keenan claims that her position was eliminated and she was “abruptly escorted out of the building” after she raised protected discrimination claims and brought forth evidence of an ongoing pay gap between herself and similarly situated male colleagues. The suit alleges claims for gender discrimination, age discrimination, retaliation and violations of equal pay protections. The case is Keenan v. Bloomberg LP. Sega, multinational video game developer, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods. The suit, filed by TME Law, pursues claims against unidentified online retailers over the allegedly unauthorized sale of “Sonic the Hedgehog “merchandise. The case is Sega Corp. v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A, 1:24-cv-05162. Universal Music Group has been sued for copyright infringement in Tennessee Middle District Federal Court. The action, filed by Buchalter PC on behalf of musician Jon Hume, accuses the defendant of misappropriating the plaintiff’s recordings. The case is Hume v. Universal Music Group Inc., 3:24-cv-00746. The Walt Disney Co. was hit with an employment class action in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The complaint, filed by Lohr Ripamonti LLP on behalf of Disney parks, experiences and products’ employees, alleges that Disney represented that their group would be consolidated in a new campus in Florida and they were required to relocate there and many class-members did so. However, in May 2023 Disney communicated that the new campus was canceled and employees would have until the end of 2024 to return to California. The case is Cruz v. The Walt Disney Co. The Nicotine Dolls, a musical group whose lead singer Sam Cieri appeared on the show America’s Got Talent, were sued by talent manager and producer Lisa Reich for breach of contract in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by Pryor Cashman, seeks reimbursement of nearly $20,000 in funds allegedly advanced to the defendants for hiring a full-time manager and recording a debut album. The complaint also seeks a declaration that Reich is entitled to a percentage of touring and non-touring revenues. The case is Reich v. Cieri. … Whiteford, Taylor & Preston filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on June 18 in Virginia Eastern District Federal Court on behalf of Banilla Games and Grover Gaming. The court action, which takes aim at Habib Enterprise LLC, accuses the defendants of distributing unauthorized versions of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted games using the companies’ “FUSION” marks. The suit further alleges the defendants misappropriated the plaintiffs’ confidential company information by distributing copies of the plaintiffs’ source code. The case is Banilla Games Inc. v. Habib Enterprise LLC, 1:24-cv-01064. Gannett Media, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and other defendants have been sued for defamation lawsuit in South Carolina Circuit Court, Hampton County. The lawsuit, brought by Kent Law Firm on behalf of Richard Alexander Murdaugh Jr, claims statements made tying the plaintiff to the death of Stephen Smith made in Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty, Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty and Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, were defamatory. The case is Murdaugh Jr v. Blackfin Inc., 2024CP2500192. Meomi Design, whose founders Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy created the children’s book series The Octonauts, and Immedium Inc. have sued Vampire Squid Productions and Wanda Kids Cultural Development in New York Southern District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard, pertains to a licensing agreement for distribution of the plaintiffs’ works, which were adapted into a popular television series. According to the complaint, the defendants failed to pay royalties from Chinese revenue streams and creating unauthorized derivative works for streaming on Chinese platforms. The case is Meomi Design Inc. v. Vampire Squid Productions Ltd., 1:24-cv-04613. Merch Traffic filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods associated with musical artist Hozier, known for his 2013 hit song “Take Me to Church.” The suit, filed by Greer Burns & Crain, pursues claims against unidentified e-commerce operators. The case is Merch Traffic LLC v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A, 1:24-cv-04968. Amazon.com was named in an antitrust class action in Washington Western District Federal Court centered on the market for audiobooks and the company’s alleged market power over authors. The suit, filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and Sperling & Slater, contends that Amazon’s “great listen guarantee,” which allows users of the defendant’s Audible platform to return audiobooks for any reason, compels authors to incur 100% of the cost of returned and exchanged books. The suit also accuses Amazon of expanding its anticompetitive power by entering into exclusive agreements with influential authors and imposing restrictions that make it undesirable for customers to use other audiobook services. The case is Reiss v. Amazon.com Inc., 2:24-cv-00851. CBS and Paramount Streaming Services Inc. f/k/a CBS Interactive Inc. were hit with a contract lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The court action, filed by Milbank on behalf of performance rights organization Broadcast Music Inc., alleges that the defendant breached the parties’ licensing agreement by not complying with the requirement to notify the plaintiff regarding any marked increase in the proportion of revenue generated by CBS All Access relative to the revenue generated by CBS’s television network. The case is Broadcast Music Inc. v. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Showtime Networks, the premium cable television network, was slapped with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The court action, filed by Gibbons on behalf of performance rights organization Broadcast Music Inc., alleges that the defendant breached the parties’ licensing agreement by not complying with its audit provisions. The case is Broadcast Music Inc. v. Showtime Networks Inc. WST Global Productions and Twon A. Youngblood were hit with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Nevada District Court, Clark County, in connection with an alleged $1 million investment. The action, brought by Holland & Hart on behalf of RSJ Global Development, accuses the defendants of defaulting under an agreement to produce a hip-hop concert with the money and pay a return on the investment. The case is RSJ Global Development Inc. v. WST Global Productions Inc., A-24-894588-B. Away From Home Touring, musical artist Drake’s production company, has been sued for trademark infringement lawsuit in New York Eastern District Federal Court concerning merchandise associated with his It’s All a Blur tour. The court action was brought by Taddonio Law on behalf of JR Apparel World, which accuses the defendant of selling goods which infringe its “Members Only” marks. The case is Jr Apparel World LLC v. Away From Home Touring Inc., 24-cv-04128. American Guild of Musical Artists and other defendants were sued by a former employee in California Superior Court, San Francisco County, over defamation claims. The lawsuit has been brought by Sansanowicz Law Group on behalf of Nora Heiber, a dance executive and negotiator who claims that the defendants made false accusations about her engaging in an incident of misconduct to such an extent that it resulted in termination and prevented her from obtaining further employment. The case is Heiber v. American Guild of Musical Artists Inc., CGC-24-615249. Digital art collective PleasrDAO sued Martin Shkreli, former pharmaceutical executive convicted in 2017 of committing securities fraud, in New York Eastern District Federal Court. The suit, filed by Reed Smith on behalf of PleasrDAO, contends that the plaintiff paid $4.75 million for a one-of-a-kind album by the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, called Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, only to learn that the defendant improperly retained copies of the album and intends to release them to the public. The case is Pleasrdao v. Shkreli, 1:24-cv-04126. Universal Music Group and other defendants were named in a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court. The court action, filed by Eisner LLP on behalf of songwriter and producer Sebastien Julien Alfred Graux, accuses the defendants of sampling the plaintiff’s recordings without permission. The case is Graux v. Universal Music Group Inc., 2:24-cv-04887. Apple Corp., the owner of the merchandising rights for The Beatles, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Florida Southern District Federal Court. The complaint, brought by attorney Stephen M. Gaffigan, takes aim at online retailers over the allegedly unauthorized sale of Beatles merchandise. The case is 0:24-cv-60990, Apple Corps Ltd. v. The Individuals, Business Entities, and Unincorporated Associations Identified on “Schedule A.” Rapper RiFF RAFF and Jody Highroller Entertainment have sued Universal Music Group and other defendants in Florida Southern District Federal Court alleging breach of contract. The lawsuit, filed by GS2 Law, seeks to recover allegedly unpaid royalties from the plaintiffs’ contributions to the single “The Illest” by artist Far East Movement and the track’s various remixes and editions. The case is Jody Highroller Entertainment Inc. v. Interscope Records, 9:24-cv-80723. Musical artist Annalise Morelli a/k/a Elli Moore, a member of the band Lyre, has sued record label Artbeatz for fraud and breach of contract in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by Fletcher Law, accuses the defendant of failing to provide recording funds, blocking the plaintiff from releasing music to the public and refusing to facilitate live tours. The complaint further accuses the defendant of making poor marketing expenditures, including running ads on the plaintiff’s YouTube videos without permission. The case is Morelli v. Artbeatz LLC.

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