July 22, 2016

Week in Review

By Ben Natter, Rebecca Schwartz, and Matt Wolff

Court Upholds Ban on Russian Athletes

On Thursday, an appeals court upheld the ban on the Russian track and field team. Only the two Russian track and field athletes who currently live in the United States are allowed to participate in the Rio Olympics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/sports/olympics/russia-olympics-ban-doping-track-and-field.html

National Football League Concussion Doctor Retires

For many years, the National Football League (NFL) relied on the knowledge of Dr. Elliot J. Pellman, who has marginal training as a neurologist. As scientific evidence continued to show the connection between head trauma and certain brain diseases, Dr. Pellman refused to recognize the truth.

Independent researchers accused Dr. Pellman, former team doctor for the New York Jets, of promoting "junk science" and consistently putting NFL players at risk by diminishing the results of concussions. The NFL is trying to repair its image, and Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a memo to the league: "We thank Dr. Pellman for his dedicated service to the game and for his many contributions to the NFL and our clubs and appreciate his willingness to aid in this transition over the next few months."

Retired players accused Dr. Pellman, his colleagues, and the NFL of minimizing the effects of head trauma and doing virtually nothing to protect the players. In addition, former players brought a class-action against Dr. Pellman and his colleagues, who "spent hundreds of millions of dollars" to settle.

In 1994, Dr. Pellman spearheaded the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, which was supposed to focus on and analyze every NFL player head injury from 1996 to 2011. However, the New York Times's research revealed that at least 100 concussions were excluded from Dr. Pellman's analysis.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/sports/football/nfl-doctor-elliot-pellman-concussions-retires.html

Rio de Janerio Laboratory reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency After Brief Suspension

The Rio de Janerio lab that was suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last month is clear to test blood and urine samples for the Rio Olympics. WADA's director general, Olivier Niggli stated that: "Athletes can be confident that anti-doping sample analysis has been robust throughout the laboratory's suspension and that it will also be during the Games."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/sports/olympics/wada-clears-rio-drug-testing-laboratory-after-brief-suspension.html

Roger Ailes's Tenure Ends

Fox fired Roger Ailes after investigations into allegations of sexual harassment were made from at least six women. Mr. Ailes will receive $40 million dollars as part of a settlement agreement with the network. Rupert Murdoch will be the interim president until Fox can find a successor. A statement was released that: "We hope that all businesses now understand that women will no longer tolerate sexual harassment, and reputable companies will no longer shield those who abuse women."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/business/media/roger-ailes-fox-news.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/business/media/as-an-internal-inquiry-sinks-ailes-questions-about-fox-newss-fate.html

Pokémon Go Expands as Alarm Grows Around the World

The widely played app Pokémon Go has expanded to 26 more countries just this week, as security and religious authorities around the world expressed fear about the app. In Sauda Arabia, Pokémon Go is deemed "un-islamic." Egyptian officials believe that the game should be banned because of the risk of sharing images of security sites. Other countries have also expressed concern that the app could lead to potential security issues.

"Pokémon Go is the latest tool used by spy agencies in the Intel war, a cunning despicable app that tries to infiltrate our communities in the most innocent way under the pretext of entertainment," said Hamdi Bakheet, a member of Egypt's defense and national security committee in Parliament, according to a report on Al Jazeera."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/world/asia/pokemon-go-saudi-arabia-russia-egypt.html

"Sphere for Plaza Fountain" Returns to the World Trade Center

The powerful sculpture "Sphere for Plaza Fountain" by Fritz Koenig is returning to the World Trade Center. The sculpture will be reinstalled but not "...on the exact spot it occupied on Sept. 11, 2011." The monumental sculpture will be transported by the Port Authority to Liberty Park, which overlooks the memorial. Koenig, now 92, exhibited exuberance about the transportation of the piece.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/nyregion/enduring-sphere-sculpture-to-return-to-world-trade-center-site.html

Italian Tennis players Indicted for Match Fixing

Three Italian tennis players are being investigated for fixing tennis matches. The Italian Federation also suspended Marco Cecchinato, the 143rd ranked player in the world, for 18 months and fined him $44,000.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/sports/dodgers-end-stephen-strasburgs-13-game-winning-streak.html

W.N.B.A. Players Fined

Players on the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, and Indiana Fever were fined by the W.N.B.A. for wearing T-shirts during shoot around on Thursday night that raised awareness for killings by and to police. Many spoke out against the fines, expressing that: "It's unfortunate that the W.N.B.A. has fined us and not supported its players."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/sports/basketball/wnba-players-fined-over-shirts-worn-in-aftermath-of-shootings.html

Christopher Correa, Former Cardinals Executive, is Sentenced to Four Years for Hacking the Astros's Database

In January, Christopher Correa, former scouting director of the St. Louis, plead guilty to five counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer from 2013 to 2014. On July 18, 2016, a federal judge sentenced Correa to 46 months and ordered him to pay $279,038. Authorities first learned about the data breach in June 2014, and found that Correa was able to view 118 pages of confidential information, including notes of trade discussion, player evaluations and a 2014 team draft board that had not yet been completed. Federal prosecutors said the hacking cost the Astros's about $1.7 million.

http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2016%2F07%2F19%2Fsports%2Fbaseball%2Fchristopher-correa-a-former-cardinals-executive-sentenced-to-four-years-for-hacking-astros-database.html%3F_r%3D0

Suit by Haruki Nakamura, Former NFL Player, Puts Concussion Spotlight on Insurers

Haruki Nakamura, who played for five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers, is suing Lloyd's of London to force it to honor a $1 million policy. In August 2013, the former defensive back retired after sustaining a severe head injury during a preseason game with the Panthers. Despite being eligible for the NFL Player's Retirement Plan's "total and permanent disability benefits," Lloyd's denied Nakamura's separate insurance claim for failing to show that the concussion he sustained in 2013 had "solely and independently" led to his permanent disability.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/sports/football/haruki-nakamura-former-nfl-player-sues-insurer-for-denial-of-claim-related-to-head-trauma.html

Synchronized Swimmers Find Danger Lurking Below Surface: Concussions

Recently there has been an increase in awareness of head injuries in synchronized swimming. Concussions in synchronized swimming have become more prevalent because swimmers have tried to amass points by swimming in a closer formation and are performing additional moves in each routine, including throwing teammates in the air. Many swimmers are unaware that they even have a concussion, since many of the symptoms are similar to swimming upside down, or holding one's breath for long periods of time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/sports/synchronized-swimming-concussions.html

July 17, 2016

Week in Review

By Michael Smith

U.S. House Of Representatives Encourages International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Efforts

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday expressing support for the IOC's anti-doping actions, including investigations into the recent accusations of cheating by Russia at the Sochi Olympics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/sports/olympics/us-lawmakers-express-doping-concerns-in-letter-to-ioc.html?_r=0

Gretchen Carlson's Arbitration Clause Includes Virtual Gag Order

Gretchen Carlson is suing Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News, for sexual harassment. Carlson brought the lawsuit in New Jersey District Court, but Ailes is moving to transfer the case to the Southern District of New York, and to compel arbitration under Carlson's employment contract. Of note is the confidentiality provision in the arbitration clause: "... all filings, evidence and testimony connected with the arbitration, and all relevant allegations and events leading up to the arbitration, shall be held in strict confidence." Should the Southern District enforce this provision, a very public lawsuit may suddenly become very private.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/business/media/gretchen-carlsons-contract-could-shroud-her-case-in-secrecy.html

Will Brady Take It All the Way?

Last year, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for four games due to his alleged involvement in Deflategate (the Patriots were accused of underinflating footballs during the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts). Brady tossed the ruling to National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell, who upheld the suspension. Brady ran an end around to the Southern District of New York, where Judge Berman vacated the suspension based on procedural irregularities in the investigation. The Second Circuit intercepted and reinstated the suspension. Brady threw a red flag and sought a rehearing or en banc review. On Wednesday, that challenge was denied. On Friday, Brady announced on his Facebook page that he would not throw a Hail Mary to the Supreme Court.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/07/13/tom-bradys-appeal-request-denied-by-federal-court-so-his-suspension-stands/

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000674937/article/tom-brady-wont-further-pursue-suspension-appeal

Paterno May Have Known About Sandusky Years Earlier

Court documents unsealed by a Pennsylvania court on Tuesday reveal that, in 2014, a man testified that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was made aware that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in 1976. Paterno's family questioned that witness's veracity.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/new-court-documents-suggest-others-at-penn-state-knew-of-jerry-sandusky-abuse/2016/07/12/9752f5a6-4853-11e6-90a8-fb84201e0645_story.html

Harrison Swears That He Didn't Get Drugs from Pharmacist

James Harrison, a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker named by pharmacist Charles Sly in an Al Jazeera America report on performance-enhancing drugs, submitted a sworn affidavit to the NFL denying Sly's allegations. Sly later recanted his statements. The NFL intends to interview Harrison as part of its investigation into those allegations, while the NFL Player's Association contends that there is no "credible evidence" to warrant such an interview.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000674111/article/james-harrison-denies-ped-allegations-in-sworn-affidavit

Will Folk Songs Join Happy Birthday in the Public Domain?

Music publisher The Richmond Organization owns the copyrights to "We Shall Overcome" and "This Land Is Your Land". Mark Rifkin, "the lawyer who successfully challenged the copyright to 'Happy Birthday'", filed two lawsuits challenging those copyrights. Rifkin alleges that "We Shall Overcome" cannot be copyrighted, because it is an adaptation of an African-American spiritual, and that Woody Guthrie and his publisher lost the rights to "This Land Is Your Land" by failing to file for renewal and publishing lyrics without appropriate notice (Guthrie apparently first published the song in a "handmade songbook").

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/business/media/happy-birthday-is-free-at-last-how-about-we-shall-overcome.html

Sharapova Won't Go to Rio

Tennis player Maria Sharapova agreed to defer the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in connection with her appeal of a two-year doping ban until September. Both Sharapova and the International Tennis Federation, the latter of which had initially asked for an expedited ruling, said they wanted more time to prepare their cases. Had the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in Sharapova's favor next week, as originally anticipated, she would have been eligible for the Olympics in Rio and the United States Open this August. This extension of time rules out both possibilities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/sports/maria-sharapovas-appeal-is-delayed-ruling-out-a-trip-to-rio.html

Like Embezzling Candy from a Baby

The New York Times reports that youth sports clubs regularly fall victim to skimming. Most of these clubs have no oversight, and their organizers -- often unpaid volunteers whose community service would seem to put them beyond reproach -- sometimes use them as an ATM, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the Center for Fraud Prevention, an organization whose charter is to eliminate such embezzlement, there have been hundreds of arrests and convictions in the last five years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/sports/youth-sports-embezzlement-by-adults.html

What's in a Name? A Doig by any Other Name Would Sell for Less

Peter Doig is a well-known Canadian artist whose paintings have sold for millions of dollars. Robert Fletcher is a retired corrections officer who says he owns one of Doig's early works. Doig says that, although he was doing LSD at the time the painting was allegedly made, he knows it's not one of his. Fletcher says he bought the painting for $100 from a man named Pete (no r) Doige (with an e), who was an inmate at the prison farm in Thunder Bay where Fletcher worked. Fletcher says Doig is Doige. Doig says Doig is not Doige. Doig says he's never been to Thunder Bay (or to prison); Doige's sister says Doige served time in Thunder Bay, and is certain that Doige painted the work in question. Doige is dead. District Court Judge Gary Feinerman says the facts are messy enough that they need to be decided at trial. "Much confusing; so identity; wow; do try," said Doge.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/arts/design/peter-doig-painting-lawsuit.html

World Anti-Doping Agency Says That It Lacked Authority to Investigate Russian Cheating Earlier

The Senate Commerce Committee says that it independently confirmed that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) knew about government-sanctioned doping among Russian athletes in 2010. WADA began its investigation into claims of such cheating in December 2014. WADA's president, Sir Craig Reedie, told the committee that until January 2015, WADA was authorized only to assist in others' investigations, not institute its own.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/08/us/politics/ap-us-russian-doping.html

Sixth Circuit Upholds Mugshot Privacy

On Thursday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, ruled that federal authorities can withhold mugshots from the public on a case-by-case basis. The majority cited the ease of access to and persistence of images on the Internet and overturning its 1996 decision holding that federal mugshots could not be exempted from the freedom of information act.

http://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/news/sixth-circuit-limits-access-federal-mug-shots

Kardashians Trade Lawsuits with Cosmetics Distributor

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian sued their former licensee for trademark infringement, alleging that the company, Haven Beauty, is continuing to use their names, trademark, and image after termination of a license agreement. The Kardashians allege that they terminated the license for failure to make royalty payments, and that in any event, the license does not permit Haven Beauty to use their names or images without approval. Haven Beauty, which is the successor in interest to original licensee Boldface cosmetics, has for its part filed a breach of contract case against the sisters, alleging that as soon as the license was transferred to Haven Beauty, they stopped promoting the cosmetics line.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/haven-722587-kardashian-line.html

Southern District Dismisses Trademark Claims against Kanye West

"Loisaidas" is the name of a music duo from the lower East side of Manhattan who plays Dominican bachata music. It is also the name of a series of web videos produced by Kanye West and Damon Dash. The music duo sued West and Dash for trademark infringement, claiming that West and Dash's use of the word created confusion between the bachata duo and the hip-hop duo. Southern District Judge Catherine Forrest dismissed the case on Thursday, finding that "Loisaidas" is "an established demonym for residents of a particular Manhattan neighborhood," and thus West and Dash's use of it is protected by the First Amendment.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/judge-tosses-les-duo-trademark-case-kanye-west-article-1.2712026

Dr. Phil Sues Tabloids for Defamation

TV psychologist Phil McGraw (Dr. Phil) and his wife Robin have sued the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc., for defamation. The McGraws allege that American Media continuously attacked them in the tabloids as a way of capturing readership. The complaint seeks $250 million in damages and focuses on allegations made in American Media's magazines that Dr. Phil abused his wife.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/14/dr-phil-and-wife-robin-sue-the-national-enquirer-for-250000-million-citing-defamation/

Ninth Circuit Hands Facebook CFAA Win, Cans CAN-SPAM Claims

Back in 2012, a startup called Power Ventures tried to attract members to its new social network by promising $100 to the first 100 people who could bring 100 new friends to its website. People who click the link gave Power access to their Facebook accounts and specifically allowed Power to send emails and Facebook messages to their friends, inviting them to sign up. Facebook sent a cease-and-desist letter, but Power did neither. The appellate court ruled that Power's actions, specifically continuing to send the messages after Facebook told it to stop, was a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. However, the court found no violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.

http://fortune.com/2016/07/12/facebook-cfaa/

TMZ Tells Delaware Court That the Statute of Limitations Bars Defamation Claims Arising Out Of An Erroneous Report That Wu-Tang Clan Rapper Cut off His Own Penis and Jumped Out Of a Window

So, that happened.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/tmz-moves-cut-down-rappers-910074

Copyright Claim against Cruz Campaign Will Go Forward in Seattle

District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against former presidential candidate Ted Cruz's campaign and Madison McQueen, its ad agency, for unauthorized use of two songs in campaign commercials. The plaintiff alleges that its licensing agreement with Madison McQueen expressly prohibited such use.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7438177/suit-ted-cruz-song-use-audiosocket-going-forward

No New Competency Trial for Sumner Redstone

On Monday, a Los Angeles probate court judge tentatively denied the request of Sumner Redstone's former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, for a new trial to determine Redstone's competency. The judge previously ruled that a competency hearing was not necessary, given clear evidence that Redstone wanted nothing to do with Herzer.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-11/sumner-redstone-ex-girlfriend-won-t-get-new-competency-trial-iqi7zno2


July 8, 2016

Week in Review

By Eric Lanter

Russia Appeals Doping Ban

On Sunday, July 3rd, Russia filed an appeal of the doping ban from the Olympics imposed on the track and field team. The Russian Olympic Committee's spokesman confirmed that the team filed the appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which will be heard on July 19th.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/04/sports/russia-appeals-doping-ban-to-international-sports-court.html?_r=0

Olympics Ease Advertising Blackout

A recent amendment to the Olympic Charter has changed the rules regarding advertising leading up to the Olympics. Now, the floodgates have opened and brands are angling for the public's attention. Some brands have been advertising since earlier in the year, but were required to refrain from mentioning Olympic symbols, such as "Rio," "gold," or even "summer," depending on the context.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/04/business/media/olympics-ease-an-ad-blackout-and-brands-flood-the-field.html

British Soccer Teams Brace for Impact of Brexit

The English Premier League (EPL) is one of the "biggest and most successful soccer" leagues in the world, and Britain's exit from the European Union is set to affect the strength of the 20 teams that comprise the EPL. First, it may be more difficult for EPL teams to acquire talent from European countries, given the regulatory scheme. Second, while wealthy foreigners have sought EPL teams as investments, interest is expected to sag if the British economy slows or if the caliber of the EPL as a whole is compromised.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/sports/soccer/brexit-could-provide-headaches-for-british-sports.html

U.S. Women's Soccer Players Renew Fight for Equal Pay

After not having made progress in federal court and at the negotiating table, the U.S. women's soccer team is hoping to garner support with the public to advance its objective of achieving equal pay with the men's soccer team. Leading up to the Olympics next month, the women's team members will sport T-shirts stating, "Equal Play Equal Pay," and will wear temporary tattoos with the same phrase during their send-off matches. At the heart of the dispute is the pay structure for the men's and women's soccer teams. While the men's team members get extraordinary bonuses and salaries based on their selections to play for the national team, the women's team members get paid a flat salary with less opportunity for bonuses.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/08/sports/soccer/us-womens-soccer-players-renew-their-fight-for-equal-pay.html

Danish Museum Acknowledges That Italian Artifacts Were Stolen

On Tuesday, July 5th, the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum signed an agreement providing for Italian artifacts to be returned to Italy. A portion of those artifacts, which the Danish museum bought in the 1970s, were excavated near Rome. While the Danish museum had initially resisted returning the artifacts, it decided to return them after investigations revealed that the artifacts were illegally excavated and exported without licenses.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/arts/design/those-italian-artifacts-actually-were-looted-danish-museum-now-says.html

Ex-Players Seek Return of Paterno Statue

Over 200 former Penn State University football players signed a letter to the university's trustees and president, Eric Barron, on Tuesday, seeking a re-installation of the bronze statue of Joe Paterno and an apology to Mr. Paterno's wife. Mr. Paterno died in 2012, after his statue was removed in the wake of the conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky for child sexual abuse.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/sports/dwyane-wade-heads-home-to-chicago.html?login=email

National Football League Hall of Famer Paul Hornung Sues Helmet Maker

Paul Hornung, a football player in the 1950s and 1960s, sued Riddell, the company that has made helmets for football since 1939. The complaint was filed in Cook County, Illinois, and alleges that the 80-year-old's dementia is owing in part to the repeated concussions he suffered during his time as a football player, which allegedly came as a result of Riddell's helmets. The lawsuit did not specify any damages.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/07/us/ap-fbn-hornung-riddell-lawsuit.html?_r=0

Lionel Messi Sentenced in Tax Case, But Prison Is Unlikely

A Spanish court found on Wednesday, July 6th, that star soccer player Lionel Messi was guilty of tax fraud for using offshore companies to avoid paying Spanish taxes on advertising contracts. The court fined him 2.1 million euros, or $2.3 million, and sentenced him and his father to 21 months in jail. Mr. Messi is expected to appeal the sentence. It is reported that neither Mr. Messi nor his father are likely to serve any time in jail, however.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/sports/soccer/lionel-messi-taxes-prison-suspended.html

Fox News Anchor Gretchen Carlson Files Suit Against Roger Ailes

Longtime Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson, filed an action against Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News. She asserted that she refused his sexual advances and complained about persistent harassment in the newsroom, to no avail. Mr. Ailes responded with a statement, calling the action a "defamatory lawsuit" that is "not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/business/media/gretchen-carlson-fox-news-roger-ailes-sexual-harassment-lawsuit.html

Bill Cosby's Challenge to Criminal Case Fails

In the Pennsylvania criminal case involving Bill Cosby, the judge ruled on Thursday that Mr. Cosby was not entitled to cross-examine the accuser in that case, Andrea Constand. The judge ruled that the case had sufficient evidence to move forward without having Ms. Constand testify and be subject to cross-examination. Looking forward, the judge set the matter for a September pretrial conference.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/08/arts/television/bill-cosbys-challenge-to-criminal-case-fails.html

July 2, 2016

Week in Review

By Ben Natter

World Anti-Doping Agency Suspends Brazilian Lab

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the global regulator of doping in sports that oversees testing labs around the world, confirmed last week that the laboratory in Rio de Janeiro set to handle testing for the upcoming Olympics is suspended indefinitely. Even though the lab had a history of prior suspensions, the Brazilian government invested approximately $60 million into revamping the lab and training staff. The lab is also housed within a federal university in Rio.

It was unclear whether or not the issues can be resolved prior to the Olympic games. It is customary to have a testing laboratory onsite during Olympic games. In 2014 WADA, with the need for onsite testing apparent, allowed the Sochi lab to conduct testing for the Olympics, despite suspicious results that had prompted a WADA investigation.

The Brazilian lab has the option to file an appeal in Switzerland within 21 days of the suspension.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/25/sports/olympics/rio-drug-testing-lab-is-suspended-by-wada.html

The Department of Justice Will Not Alter Music Industry Royalty Rules

In 2014, ASCAP and BMI, the music industry's two biggest licensing clearinghouses, petitioned the Department of Justice (DoJ)for changes to the regulatory agreements that have governed them since 1941. The request came after both companies went through litigation with Pandora. This week the DoJ denied the petition, and announced that performing rights organizations will shortly have to adopt a policy known as "100 percent licensing," which means that any party that controls a part of a composition can issue a license for the entire composition.

Music industry experts feel that 100% clearance would potentially further lower hard to track royalty rates and further harm an already depressed industry. Many feel that the 100% licensing model would also have a negative impact on creativity as musicians currently work together without regard to performing rights organization. The decision will likely be fought by the performing rights organizations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/media/justice-department-wont-alter-music-industry-royalty-rules.html


Manziel Attorney Slipped Text Reveals Plea Intentions

An attorney representing Johnny Manziel in a domestic violence case in Dallas, in a text message accidentally sent to a reporter from the Associated Press, discussed details of a drug paraphernalia related shopping spree shortly before his client was involved in a hit and run crash. The attorney also indicated that his client would be seeking a potential plea deal.

http://pro32.ap.org/article/text-lawyer-seeks-plea-deal-doubts-manziel-can-stay-clean

Moonshine Maker Loses Case for Kentucky Mist Moonshine in Connection With Apparel

Colin Futz, owner of Kentucky Mist Moonshine in Whitesburg, KY, brought suit in Federal Court in Kentucky in response to trademark oppositions by the University of Kentucky relating to Mr. Futz's application for registration of the Kentucky Mist mark in connection with apparel. Mr. Futz's shirts are sold in the University of Kentucky colors.

The judge felt it was apparent that Mr. Futz, who is attempting to enter into politics, was "attempting to create a controversy" and dismissed the case due to issues with respect to judicial standing. The opposition proceedings are still pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/us/moonshine-maker-loses-kentucky-in-legal-battle-with-university.html

Drug Testing Lab in Kazakhstan Suspended

Just days after suspending the drug testing lab in Rio, WADA also suspended Kazakhstan's lab. This marks this sixth suspension of a lab by WADA in three months. The agency acknowledged that the increased scrutiny was due to tampering with samples from the 2014 Sochi Olympic lab. The lab has 21 days to appeal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/sports/olympics/drug-testing-lab-in-kazakhstan-is-suspended.html

U.S. Antidoping Agency Seeks to Depose Doctor who Treated Track Athletes

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has filed an action in federal court in Houston seeking to depose Dr. Jeffrey S. Brown, an endocrinologist known in the track and field world for diagnosing thyroid conditions in athletes. Dr. Brown is being deposed in connection with an investigation of a Nike affiliated track coach, Alberto Salazar. The filing indicated that athletes affiliated with Salazar had flown great distances to see Dr. Brown, which raised questions about the performance benefits of his treatments. Thyroid medications are not on the WADA list of banned substances and many argue that they can lead to improved performance from athletes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/sports/usada-track-and-field-doping-jeffrey-brown-investigation.html

To Compete Better, States Curbing Noncompete Pacts

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a noncompete reform bill. Other states are also taking proactive measures to limit the scope of noncompete clauses in employment agreements.

Massachusetts, a technology hub in the 1980s, felt the impact of such agreements as technology evolved and its residents were prohibited from continuing their career as previous employers prohibited former employees from competing and/or related companies. In California, noncompete clauses are generally prohibited which has helped the startup culture as employees are free to move throughout Silicon Valley.

The House Bill would require companies to clearly explain noncompete agreements, limit the term to one year and pay 50% of the former employee's salary during the term. The bill would also limit the industries able to use noncompete agreements.

http://fortune.com/2016/06/30/massachusetts-non-compete-passes/

Whistle-Blowing Russian Athlete Gets Reprieve From Doping Ban

World track and field officials ruled that Yuliya Stepanova, a runner who first reported Russian doping at Sochi two years ago, should be allowed to compete in Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Stepanova and her husband, Vitaly Stepanov, who worked for Russia's antidoping program previously, spoke out in 2014 about a state-sponsored doping in Russia. The accusations led to the current investigation.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which oversees track and field globally, announced the decision to allow Ms. Stepanova to compete despite the bar of all Russian track and field athletes from the Rio Olympics.

The ban allows Russian athletes living outside of Russia to potentially compete. Ms. Stepanova is living in the United States (and is also now exempt from the ban). The final decision with respect to Ms. Stepanova's participation in the Rio Olympics lies with the IOC. It is also unclear if she will potentially run under a neutral flag or represent Russia.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/02/sports/olympics/yuliya-stepanova-rio-olympics.html?_r=0


June 30, 2016

Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. Decision

The 11th Circuit's decision in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. certified two questions to the Florida Supreme Court. In addition to whether the state law recognizes a right of public performance for sound recordings, the Court also inquired whether under the Court's 1943 decision in Glazer v. Hoffman there was a divestive publication by virtue of the extensive public performance of the sound recordings.

11thcirflo&Ediedecision.pdf

June 24, 2016

Week in Review

By Michael Smith

IOC Agrees with Exclusion of Russian Track & Field from Rio

The global governing body for track and field (the IAAF) barred the Russian track & field team from competing in the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, after reports of state-sponsored doping. Russia appealed the decision to the International Olympic Committe (IOC), which said that it "welcomes and supports" the ruling and the IAAF's "strong stance against doping."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/sports/olympics/ioc-russia-ban-rio-track-and-field.html

International Trade Commission Upholds Converse Diamond Soles Trademark

On Thursday, the International Trade Commission (ITC) upheld Nike's trademark rights in the distinctive diamond-patterned outsole of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, but found that other aspects of the shoes, including the toe band and toe cap, are not protected. The ITC issued a broad exclusion order barring importation of any shoes that copy the trademarked outsole.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/business/for-chuck-taylor-a-sole-trademark-is-upheld.html

RIAA Amicus Brief Urges Applicability of Pre-1972 State Laws to Remasters

The RIAA submitted an amicus brief in ABS Entertainment, Inc. v. CBS Corp., arguing that even if (as the defendants in that case argue) remastered versions of pre-1972 songs are sufficiently original to be derivative works governed by the Copyright Act, pre-1972 state laws still apply to the original works and, therefore, the defendants cannot exploit such derivative works without authorization from the owners of the underlying works. The RIAA relies primarily on Section 301(c) of the Copyright Act, which exempts pre-1972 recordings from preemption until 2067.

http://www.law360.com/articles/810025/pre-1972-songs-protected-by-state-laws-riaa-tells-court

Wolfe Doesn't Get What He Came for; Zeppelin Needn't Buy "Stairway to Heaven"

A unanimous jury found that Led Zeppelin did not copy the opening riff of "Stairway to Heaven" from an earlier song by the band Spirit. Wanting to be sure, jurors called for both tunes to be played during deliberations. After listening intently, the jury concluded that the compositions were not "substantially similar." Wolfe's attorney expressed misgivings about the ruling, which made him wonder if "money speaks louder than common sense." There are two paths he can go by, and it remains to be seen if Wolfe will appeal the decision, but there is still time to change the road he's on.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-led-zeppelin-copyright-20160623-snap-story.html

Bank Appoints Managers of Prince Estate

Bremer Trust, special administrator of the Prince estate, appointed L. Londell McMillan, a lawyer who represented Prince, and Charles A. Koppelman, former chairman of EMI records, to manage the estate. Their focus is anticipated to be on the management and licensing of unreleased material in Prince's legendary "vault", of which there is expected to be an enormous amount.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/business/media/bremer-trust-hires-2-to-manage-princes-entertainment-assets.html

Viacom to Pay for Redstone Legal Battles; Shareholder Says Pox on Both Houses

Viacom announced that it had agreed to pay expenses incurred by its CEO and President, Phillipe P. Dauman, and director George S. Abrams in connection with litigation over who should control the company. Last month, Sumner Redstone, Viacom's controlling shareholder (through his company, National Amusements), ousted Dauman and Abrams from National Amusements' board. Dauman and Abrams have filed an action in Massachusetts challenging Mr. Redstone's mental capacity.

Viacom also will pay the legal fees of Frederic V. Salerno, Viacom's lead independent director, who filed a lawsuit in Delaware to block Redstone's efforts to replace five Viacom directors. Shareholder Eric Gilbert also filed suit in Delaware (presumably on his own dime), against National Amusement, Viacom, and Viacom directors alleging that they have all breached their fiduciary duties and that the company should be turned over to public stockholders. Viacom released disappointing financial reports on Friday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/business/media/viacom-to-pay-chiefs-legal-bills-in-fight-over-redstone-empire.html

Sony Settles with Aggrieved Nerds

When Sony first shipped the PS3 game console, it came with "Other OS" functionality that allowed users to boot operating systems other than the PS3's native operating system--in particular, flavors of the open source Linux operating system. Citing security concerns, Sony later issued a firmware update that removed that functionality. Several class actions were filed and consolidated and, after six years, a settlement has been reached. Class members who purchased the "Fat" PS3 model intending to use the "Other OS" feature will get $9. Class members who can demonstrate that they actually used the feature will get $55.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/06/if-you-used-to-run-linux-on-your-ps3-you-could-get-55-from-sony/

Musician Alleges Unauthorized Use of His Work in NBA 2K16

Composer John J. Simon filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California on Monday, alleging that portions of his song "Everything You Are to Me" appear in the soundtrack of NBA 2K16, a game published by defendant 2k Games Inc., without his consent.

http://norcalrecord.com/stories/510933071-man-claims-game-nba-2k16-used-song-without-permission

Tencent Acquires "Clash of Clans" Developer

Chinese behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd., the world's largest game publisher, has agreed to pay $8.6 billion for a majority stake in Supercell Oy, the company behind the mobile game "Clash of Clans". Tencent previously acquired Riot Games (makers of "League of Legends") and Epic games ("Unreal", "Gears of War"), and owns a significant share of Activision Blizzard.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/tencent-agrees-to-acquire-clash-of-clans-maker-supercell-1466493612

Penn State General Counsel Told University to Report on Sandusky Complaint

In a deposition transcript made public on Thursday, former Penn State general counsel Wendell Courtney said that he advised the university's vice president in 2001 to report a complaint about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a player to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. He also testified that if he had "any idea that there was even remotely improper conduct with children on any day since the beginning of time, nothing in the world would have kept me from being absolutely certain that it was reported to the police immediately."

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160623_ap_1ebec60af9dc420a8f31c0f3df456624.html

Copyright Alliance Says TVEyes's Copying Not Fair Use

The Copyright Alliance, an advocacy group representing major entertainment companies, filed an amicus brief with the Second Circuit in Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes Inc. The Copyright Alliance says that although it is a "staunch supporter of fair use principles," TVEyes's services go "far beyond the boundaries of fair use," and the group is urging the Second Circuit to overturn the Southern District's ruling that TVEyes's practice of recording live television broadcasts and compiling them into a searchable database was protected fair use. TVEyes has appealed the trial court's decision that TVEyes cannot allow users to download and share video clips.

https://www.copyrightalliance.org/2016/06/far_fair_use_fox_news_v_tveyes#.V2xyPvkrKUl

Netflix Says Bankruptcy Court Won't Let Netflix Speak and is Forcing Netflix to Speak

On Monday, Netflix told the Southern District of New York that the Bankruptcy Court improperly nullified contractual provisions that would have permitted Netflix to distribute two films from debtor Relativity Media. Among other things, Netflix argues that the Bankruptcy Court's ruling constitutes an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech to the extent that it enjoins Netflix from "contending that they have the right to distribute the films" or "collaterally attacking" the order itself. Netflix also contends that the order "force[s] Netflix to 'confirm' the position of other parties--i.e., an order compelling Netflix to speak."

https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/litigation/b/newsheadlines/archive/2016/06/22/netflix-invokes-1st-amendment-in-relativity-streaming-fight.aspx?Redirected=true

DISH Sues Tribune Over 'Dishgusting' Ads

On Monday, DISH Network sued Tribune Broadcasting for breach of contract, alleging that the broadcasting network disseminated "disparaging content regarding DISH, its services and its performance" as a "last-ditch bid to force DISH to accept its terms" in negotiations to renew an expiring carriage deal.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/dish-network-sues-tribune-broadcasting-905147

Frontier Accuses Charter of False Advertising

Telecommunications company Frontier Communications Corp. sued Charter Communications, Inc. claiming that Charter launched a "false and misleading" ad campaign against Frontier in California and Texas just as Frontier was moving into those markets.

http://www.cablefax.com/distribution/frontier-sues-charter

Dance Mom to Plead Guilty to Tax Fraud

Abby Lee Miller, star of the reality TV show "Dance Moms," is expected to plead guilty to tax fraud next week. Miller was indicted in October for concealing $775,000 in income, and was additionally charged on Monday with failing to report foreign currency transfers.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2016/06/22/dance-moms-star-abby-lee-miller-reaches-deal-with-feds-will-plead-guilty/#39b9d684622f

Run the Jewels Not Happy About Run the Jewels

Members of the rap duo Run the Jewels have expressed dismay, and raised the specter of legal action, upon learning that comedian Kevin Hart plans to release a film called "Run the Jewels."

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7415592/el-p-kevin-hart-film-run-the-jewels

News Anchor Fired for Racial Insensitivity Claims She Was Fired Because of Her Race

Pittsburg television station WTAE fired Wendy Bell after her Facebook comments regarding the shooting of five black people were deemed racially insensitive. Bell contends that her comments were "clearly and obviously not intended to be racially offensive," and that "had her race not have been white, Defendant would not have fired her, much less disciplined her."

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wendy-bell-sues-tv-station-says-firing-was-because-her-n596076

Academy: "You're Saving all those Emmys for Us"

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences sued the estate of Whitney Houston for copyright infringement, seeking to block the sale at auction of the singer's Emmy statuette. The Academy asserts that a label allegedly affixed to the award when it was given to Houston in 1986 declared that the figurine remained property of the Academy and that heirs must keep or return the Emmy.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f8a53bf4a17744ca95a908f68065a5ef/tv-academy-sues-block-auction-whitney-houstons-emmy

June 17, 2016

Week in Review

By Eric Lanter

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules on Copyright Use

Capitol Records, LLC, the record company, brought an action against Vimeo, LLC, an Internet service provider where users post videos, for copyright infringement. The Second Circuit, on appeal from the Southern District of New York, held that as to pre-1972 sound recordings, the fact that a video contained a "recognizable, copyrighted sound recording" does not prove knowledge of infringement by Vimeo, LLC and falls under the safe harbor of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As to post-1972 recordings, Capitol Records, LLC did not provide evidence sufficient to show that Vimeo, LLC was willfully blind as to impute knowledge of the infringement.

http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/29833831-a6ea-4d6f-a37c-66a21f8d8afd/1/doc/14-1048_opn.pdf#xml=http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/29833831-a6ea-4d6f-a37c-66a21f8d8afd/1/hilite/

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Legal Fees in Copyright Cases

The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that a Thai student who won a copyright case in 2013 involving imported textbooks should have a second chance to persuade a lower court that the publisher of the textbooks should pay his legal fees. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the Court, stated that while a losing side's position being objectively reasonable was one proper consideration, the lower court gave it too much weight, in light of other considerations: motivation, deterrence, and compensation. Her opinion also seemed to suggest that the student was unlikely to prevail under the current standard, however, that will be for the lower court to decide.

The decision is available to read at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-375_4f57.pdf.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/business/supreme-court-rules-on-legal-fees-in-copyright-cases.html

Court Backs FCC's Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the cable and telecommunications companies with a 2-1 ruling upholding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent regulations. Those regulations include ensuring net neutrality, which prohibits companies from slowing data delivery to consumers. The cable companies indicated that they will appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-appeals-court-ruling.html

Russia's Track and Field Team Barred from Olympics

The global governing body for track and field, known as IAAF, announced on Friday in a unanimous ruling that Russia is barred from competing in this summer's Olympics in Brazil because of the doping conspiracy that has come to light. The International Olympic Committee is set to discuss the decision on Tuesday, however, it would be an unusual move if Olympics officials were to amend the ruling, as they typically defer to governing bodies of the specific sports.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/sports/olympics/russia-barred-rio-summer-olympics-doping.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0


World's Doping Watchdog Did Nothing After Confession of Cheating

Following the news that several of Russia's athletes in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics may have been doping, new evidence has emerged that shows the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) could have been more proactive in investigating Russia's athletes. Following the 2012 Olympics, one Russian athlete, Darya Pishchalnikova, sent an email to WADA disclosing that she was taking banned drugs at the direction of Russian sports authorities, and she pleaded that WADA investigate. Rather than investigate, WADA forwarded the email to Russia's sports authorities and apparently turned a blind eye to the issue, allowing it to fester.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/sports/olympics/world-anti-doping-agency-russia-cheating.html

WADA Accuses Russian Athletes of More Violations

On Wednesday, WADA announced that more violations have occurred in Russian sports in just the past seven months, since the country was accused of government-sponsored doping. A track and field athlete was caught attempting to smuggle a clean urine sample for drug testing, sports officials did not provide a list of athletes who were at a boxing training camp until after an hour of stalling, and armed federal police officers threatened drug testers who sought to collect athletes' urine. These developments call into question whether Russia has taken remedial action since the accusations of government-sponsored doping were revealed seven months ago.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/sports/world-anti-doping-agency-accuses-russian-athletes-of-more-violations.html

Commentary: In Russian Doping Scandal, Time for Punishment to Fit the Crime

In a commentary by Michael Powell, he argues that it is time for there to be a strict, severe punishment for Russia's doping history. Anything short of that, Powell states, would be too lenient, given the deeply ingrained culture of doping and the lengths that the Russian state has gone to in perpetuating the doping. He seems to agree with Sanya Richards-Ross, a gold medal runner, that Russia should not be allowed to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/sports/olympics/russia-doping-scandal-world-anti-doping-agency.html

Picasso Sculpture in Dispute Goes to Leon Black

A heated dispute regarding one of Picasso's sculptures, thought to be worth more than $100 million, has come to an end. Leon Black will take possession of the sculpture, while his adversary, the Qatari royal family, will receive an undisclosed amount in financial compensation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/arts/design/picasso-bust-settlement-leon-black.html

Expelled Yale Basketball Player Sues

Jack Montague, who Yale University expelled in February after a committee found that he had raped a fellow student, filed an action against Yale on June 9th. Montague alleges that Yale used a "deeply flawed process" in making him an example because of criticism that has emerged about the university's handling of sexual assaults on campus. The complaint was filed in federal court in Connecticut, and Yale's spokesman stated that "Yale will offer a vigorous defense."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/10/sports/ncaabasketball/jack-montague-yale-rape-lawsuit.html?_r=0

A Push to Improve Welfare of Horse Racing's Involuntary Heroes

Amidst the growing concerns about animal welfare in places like SeaWorld, horse racing has come under scrutiny as well. With horses sometimes collapsing and dying on the track, and doping a regular occurrence, a piece of federal legislation, the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015, has started to gain momentum. The legislation would put doping under the purview of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which many believe would restore the credibility to horse racing that has been increasingly compromised in recent years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/sports/amid-doping-and-death-a-push-to-improve-the-welfare-of-horse-racings-involuntary-heroes.html

Owner of Modigliani Portrait is Adamant the Work is Not Nazi Loot

Billionaire and art dealer David Nahmad owns a Modigliani portrait that is said to be worth at least tens of millions of dollars. However, an action in New York court brought by Philippe Maestracci challenges his ownership. The complaint claims that Maestracci's grandfather owned it, and that during World War II, the Nazis invading Paris looted it from his grandfather's shop only for Nahmad to later come to wrongfully own it. Now, both parties are attempting to retrace the history of the portrait in the pending action. Nahmad insists that he is ready to fight the action, but he acknowledges that if it is in fact a stolen portrait, he will return it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/arts/design/owner-of-modigliani-portrait-named-in-panama-papers-says-its-not-nazi-loot.html

Maria Sharapova Appeals Two-Year Doping Ban

Maria Sharapova filed an appeal of her two-year doping ban in the Court of Arbitration in Lausanne, Switzerland. She hopes to overturn or at least reduce the suspension imposed by the International Tennis Federation, which was imposed after she tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January of this year. An expedited ruling is expected to be issued next month, before the Olympics in Brazil.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/sports/maria-sharapova-appeals-two-year-doping-ban.html

Russia Faces Threat of Expulsion from Euro 2016 Competition

As a result of violence by Russian fans in the Euro 2016 soccer competition, UEFA has penalized the Russian soccer federation approximately $170,000 and given a suspended disqualification. This effectively leaves the Russian soccer team on the precipice of being disqualified from Europe's most prestigious tournament just two years before Russia hosts the World Cup. Given UEFA's broad definition of "crowd disturbance," which the Russian fans' violence apparently constituted, an act by fans short of violence could still disqualify Russia.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/sports/soccer/russia-euro-2016-suspended-disqualification.html

Cable Industry Mobilizes Lobbying Army to Block FCC Moves

The FCC has proposed new regulations that would permit an opening of the market for cable set-top-boxes, which are currently dominated by the major cable companies. In May, 60 lawmakers signed a letter from the cable industry voicing their concerns about the adoption of such regulations and the impact it would have on the cable companies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/technology/cable-industry-mobilizes-lobbying-army-to-block-fcc-moves.html

Gawker Article on Trump's Hair Draws Threat from Hulk Hogan's Lawyer

Charles Harder, the same attorney who represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker, sent a letter last week to Gawker on behalf of a hair treatment clinic, stating that in a recent article about Donald Trump's hair on Gawker's website, Gawker made "numerous false and defamatory statements about my clients." The letter demanded that Gawker remove the article, issue a public apology, and execute a full retraction of the article, threatening legal action otherwise.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/business/media/gawker-article-on-trumps-hair-draws-lawsuit-threat.html

Foo Fighters File Action Against Insurance Companies

The rock band the Foo Fighters brought a lawsuit against London-based insurance market Lloyd's. The lawsuit comes as the Foo Fighters cancelled four shows in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris in November of 2015, which they expected would be covered under the Terrorism Policy of their insurance with Lloyd's. However, Lloyd's has neither paid nor offered to pay any money for this claim. The Foo Fighters are seeing damages as well as punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7407909/foo-fighters-lawsuit-lloyds-of-london-robertson-taylor-tour-cancellations

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page Testifies in Copyright Trial

On Wednesday, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin testified in a copyright trial, claiming that Led Zeppelin's 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven," was copied from Spirit's "Taurus," a 1968 song. Page insisted that when he heard "Taurus," it sounded "totally alien" to him. This trial comes just a year after Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay $5.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye for their song "Blurred Lines."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/business/media/led-zeppelins-jimmy-page-testifies-in-stairway-to-heaven-copyright-trial.html

June 15, 2016

BEWARE: Recent Decision in CBS Lawsuit Over Pre-1972 Sound Recording Could Wreak Havoc In The Copyright World

By Wallace Collins

Wallace Collins is an entertainment lawyer and intellectual property attorney with more than 30 years of entertainment business experience. He was a songwriter and recording artist for Epic Records before receiving his law degree from Fordham Law School. T: (212) 661-3656; www.wallacecollins.com

The recording artist and songwriter communities should take note of a recent decision in ABS Entertainment, Inc. v. CBS Corporation, et al., a case concerning pre-1972 copyrights - and raise an outcry! The judge in this case held that remastered versions of old songs are entitled to a new copyright, and owners of the originals are not allowed to stop the public performance of them.

Over the past few years, the public performance of songs authored before sound recordings fell under Federal copyright law has become a contentious legal issue. This ABS v. CBS ruling could help immunize terrestrial radio operators and others from lawsuits and disturb many preconceived notions about copyright law. The case arose from a dispute between ABS, owner of recordings by Al Green and others, and CBS Radio, which was dragged into court in this case after other plaintiffs had been successful litigating the theory that pre-1972 songs are protected under State law and could not be broadcast without permission. The ABS lawsuit cut against decades of precedent that songs on the radio served promotional purposes and should not generate compensation for owners. As times have changed, with sales becoming less meaningful to artists, owners have pushed lawsuits and lobbying efforts to shake up the system.

As its defense to the ABS lawsuit, CBS argued that it was not broadcasting the original analog recordings, but rather remastered versions that came out after 1972. Under this specious argument, the specifically performed works would not be protected by State law and CBS would not have to pay anything. ABS argued that what sound engineers accomplish by tweaking timbre, balance and loudness is "mechanical", and not sufficiently original to be entitled to copyright protection. ABS further argued that to accept otherwise would mean that owners of sound recordings would enjoy perpetual copyright over works.

Incredibly, the judge accepted the position of CBS. On the issue of originality, the judge gave credence to the CBS expert, an acoustic engineer and research scientist specializing in forensic investigation of audio evidence, and held that the plaintiffs' pre-1972 sound recordings "have undergone sufficient changes during the remastering process to qualify for federal copyright protection," adding that ABS did not offer sufficient evidence to even make this a contestable point for a jury to decide. As a specific example, the judge referred to the remastered version of Ace Cannon's 1961 recording "Tuff," which the expert found had additional reverberation, was played in a different musical key and at a faster tempo. The judge accepted the proposition that these were not merely "mechanical changes or processes ... such as a change in format, de-clicking and noise reduction," nor were the changes "trivial," making note of the fact that experienced sound engineers were brought in for a reason. "Instead, the changes reflect 'multiple kinds of creative authorship, such as adjustments of equalization, sound editing and channel assignment...'" ABS also tried to argue that sound recordings authored before 1972 cannot serve as a "pre-existing work" for a later derivative work, but the judge found that argument to be unpersuasive. For now therefore, based on this decision, the remastered versions are independently copyrightable.

The holding in this case determined that for some of the recordings in dispute, such as Green's "Let's Stay Together" and Jackie Wilson's "I'm Coming on Back to You": there is no disagreement that the version publicly performed is different from the pre-1972 versions; that for other songs there is no genuine dispute that CBS is performing the post-1972 versions; and that for the remaining songs ABS failed to offer up sufficient evidence that CBS is performing pre-1972 versions. It all adds up to huge victory for CBS, as well as road map for how radio can publicly perform older sound recordings without liability... and it is a horrific, although hopefully temporary, decision for the recording artist community.

Hopefully, this decision will be overturned on appeal so as not to wreak havoc on issues of copyright term, termination rights and its singular determination that sound engineers do copyrightable work when they remaster sound recordings.

June 11, 2016

Week in Review

By Ben Natter

Russian Court Frees Artist Known for Needling Putin Government

A Russian court this week freed Pytor Pavlensky, an artist known for blurring the lines between artistic expression and protest of the Russian government. On November 9th of this past year, Mr. Pavlensky set fire to the front door of Russia's principal intelligence agency. He was held in detention since that time, with prosecutors asking for fines far exceeding the cost of replacing the oak door. A judge ruled that Mr. Pavlensky should only be fined slightly more than the cost of replacing the door. Mr. Pavlensky is best known for nailing his scrotum to crack in a cobblestone in the Red Square as an act of protest and artistic expression.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/world/europe/russian-court-frees-pyotr-pavlensky.html?_r=0

Expelled Basketball Player Sues Yale

Jack Montague, the basketball player who was expelled from Yale in February after being found guilty of rape by a university committee, filed suit against Yale for defamation. The lawsuit alleges that Yale intended to make an example of the high profile athlete and lists both it and two Title IX representatives as defendants.

Montague's expulsion gained media attention after his teammates supported him when it was initially announced that the then captain of the basketball team had "departed" from the team.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jack-montague-yale-basketball-captain-expelled-sexual-misconduct-sues-school-n589311

Hamilton raises ticket prices, doubles lottery seats

The producers of Hamilton raised the price of premium seats to a staggering $849 per seat, but doubled the amount of lottery seats available for $10. The move was made to deter the skyrocketing resale market and steep markups. The box office price for premium seats has set a new Broadway record. A New York Times analysis estimated ticket resellers were making approximately $60 million in revenue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/theater/hamilton-raises-ticket-prices-the-best-seats-will-now-cost-849.html

Sepp Blatter and Deputies Arranged Huge Payouts After Indictments, FIFA Says

On Friday, lawyers for FIFA published some findings from their investigation of Sepp Blatter and other former FIFA officials. The report shows millions of dollars in self-approved bonuses for Blatter (some issued after the recent indictments) and salary increases totaling tens of millions of dollars, all approved by Blatter.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/04/sports/soccer/fifa-corruption-sepp-blatter-jerome-valcke.html

Maria Sharapova is Suspended From Tennis for Two Years

An International Tennis Federation Tribunal ruled on Wednesday that Maria Sharapova unintentionally violated doping rules and will be suspended from tennis for a period of two years. Sharapova faced a suspension of up to four years, which could have been career-ending. Sharapova plans to appeal the suspension.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/36482288

Russian Officials Say Retests Are Flawed

Russian officials are disputing the findings of the IOC's retesting of the samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games that included 55 positive results. Of the 55 positives, 22 are from Russian athletes. Russian officials claim that two of the athletes were cleared when a second set of samples were tested.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/2016/06/08/russia-wants-all-olympic-doping-retests-thrown-out.html

Spotify Hires Troy Carter as Liaison with Artists

Troy Carter joined Spotify as its global head of creator services. Carter was previously the manager of Lady Gaga, and is expected to take on a role being the central contact for high profile artists. Spotify has roughly 89 million users around the world. Carter also previously worked with Puff Daddy and Will Smith.

http://www.recode.net/2016/6/6/11869444/spotify-troy-carter-lady-gaga

Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven to Be Scrutinized in Court

A trial scheduled to begin next week in California will determine whether or not parts of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" were copied from the band Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus". The case focuses on the opening of "Stairway to Heaven", in which an acoustic guitar chords in a descending pattern. The suit argues that the members of Led Zepellin heard Spirit's song early in their careers, and copied the tune. The band members of Led Zepellin claims that they never heard the song.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/06/business/media/led-zeppelins-stairway-to-heaven-to-be-scrutinized-in-court-in-copyright-case.html

Vikings Fight Back Against Wells Fargo

The Vikings' new U.S. Bank Stadium will open this summer. However, across the street and visible from the stadium, are two giant Wells Fargo logos placed on the outside of a mixed use building developed by the bank. Vikings lawyers have called the logos photo bombs, and filed suit in federal court. A federal judge hearing the Minessota Vikings case against Wells Fargo said he will rule by June 24th with respect to whether or not the case can proceed to trial.

http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-vikings-say-wells-fargo-s-new-signs-near-u-s-bank-stadium-are-too-big-and-bright/363378351/

Committee in Albany Reaches Deal to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports

The Chairman of New York State's Gambling Committee said that the legislature made a decision that Fantasy Sports were games of skill and not chance and would be legalized in New York State. Companies like FanDuel and Draftkings will pay a $150,000 fee to operate in New York State, and turn over 15 % of revenues awarded to State residents.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/nyregion/committee-in-albany-reaches-deal-to-legalize-daily-fantasy-sports.html

Senate Bill Would Help Recover Art Stolen by Nazis

A bipartisan Senate group proposed a bill that would lengthen the statue of limitations to six years to prove ownership of works that were looted by the Nazis. The bill was drafted to avoid situations where reclaiming stolen art is barred by legal technicalities and the claims are not decided on the merits.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/arts/design/senate-bill-would-help-recover-art-stolen-by-nazis.html

Sports Arbitration Court Ruling Against German Speedskater Claudia Pechstein is Upheld

Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled that Claudia Pechstein, Germany's most decorated Winter Olympian, received a fair hearing by the arbitration court in 2009 when her blood levels showed an abnormal amount of red blood cells, and she was suspended from speed skating for two years. Olympic Federations require athletes to sign arbitration clauses limiting any claims and punishments to arbitration hearings. Ms. Pechstein's appeals bounced around both Swiss and German courts before the German Federal Court agreed to hear the claim. She challenged the arbitration clauses and specialized sport courts. Ms. Pechstein has a remaining claim pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/sports/sports-arbitration-court-ruling-against-german-speedskater-claudia-pechstein-is-upheld.html?_r=0

Twitter Hoax National Football League Account

The National Football League (NFL) Twitter account was recently hacked, and the hackers announced that Commissioner Roger Goodell had died. Experts think that the hacked twitter account and other accounts that were hacked the same day may be linked to the LinkedIn security breach. The hackers followed up with responses on the NFL account, and Roger Goodell seemed to take the hoax in stride, posting a humorous response.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/sports/the-nfls-twitter-account-just-got-hacked-it-wont-be-the-last.html

June 7, 2016

Center for Art Law Case Law Updates

The following case selection first appeared in this week's Center for Art Law newsletter:

Bennett Goldberg, et. al v. Stephens Institute, 16-cv-02613-JSC (U.S. District Court for Northern District of C.A. May 13, 2016) -- Parents of decedent college student seek class action lawsuit against Stephens Institute (also known as the Academy of Art University) for violating rental ordinances by failing to maintain student housing and deprive students of their right to exercise tenant rights. Specifically, they allege violations of the California False Advertising Law and the California Unfair Competition Law.

General Services Administration v. Matthew Schwartz, (U.S. District Court, N.J. May 23, 2016) -- The federal government is suing New Jersey art dealer Matthew Schwartz to reclaim possession of the painting "1934 Farmer." Schwartz claims he obtained the severely damaged painting from the Chrysler Museum, who disposed of it in 1990, and has since spent thousands of dollars restoring it. The federal government's General Services Administration (GSA) has reportedly been pursuing the painting, which was previously believed to be lost or stolen. Because the painting was made during Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, the federal government allegedly holds full legal title to the artwork. In their complaint, GSA cites conversion, trespass to chattels and unjust enrichment and seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

The Center for Art Law strives to create a coherent community for all those interested in law and the arts. Positioned as a centralized resource for art and cultural heritage law, it serves as a portal to connect artists and students, academics and legal practitioners, collectors and dealers, government officials and others in the field.