November 12, 2018

Week In Review

By Eric Lanter
Edited By Elissa D. Hecker


America Votes in the Midterms

The Democrats secured the House of Representatives and the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate, but there were nuances and there remain elections to be called. In the Senate, Democrat incumbents Claire McCaskill and Heidi Heitkamp of Missouri and North Dakota, respectively were unsuccessful in their re-election bids. In Georgia and Florida, the races for governor are still too close to call, and recounts are underway in Florida as required by law in such a close election result. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was re-elected and a record 117 women won office. With the House of Representatives shifting to Democratic control, it is likely that Nancy Pelosi will take the gavel of the Speaker of the House, and it is also expected that Democrats will begin using their investigative powers, including the subpoena power, soon after being sworn in.

Jeff Sessions Forced Out and Acting Attorney General Has Baggage

The day after the midterm elections, President Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. Then he appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, a move that some have called illegal and unconstitutional without the Senate's consent. Whitaker comes into the position with baggage: He was on the board of a Florida company that a federal judge shut down last year and fined nearly $26 million after the government accused the company of scamming customers. Whitaker has also publicly disputed the need for an investigation. Before Sessions was forced to resign, he signed a memorandum "sharply curtailing the use of so-called consent decrees" that are between the Justice Department and local governments and foster changes in law enforcement and related institutions. The decrees were used during the Obama administration to combat police abuses.

Trump Suspends Some Asylum Rights, Calling Illegal Immigration 'A Crisis'

President Trump issued a proclamation suspending asylum rights for all immigrants who attempt to enter the United States illegally, which officials said was a policy aimed to prevent several thousand migrants traveling north through Mexico in caravans from entering illegally and then applying for asylum. Within hours of the proclamation being issued, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit urging a federal judge in San Francisco to prohibit Trump from moving ahead with enforcing the proclamation, as it would be "in direct violation of Congress's clear command that manner of entry cannot constitute a categorical asylum bar."

Appeals Court Rules Against Trump on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Immigrant Policy

The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked President Trump from immediately ending an Obama-era program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, calling the administration's move one based on a flawed legal theory. While the federal government argued that the program was unlawful in that Obama did not have the authority to adopt it, the 9th Circuit panel disagreed, finding that there was a long history of the federal government using its discretion to not enforce immigration law against certain categories of people stretching back to the Eisenhower administration. The matter may ultimately end up being decided in the Supreme Court.

Inside the Trump Administration's Fight to Add a Citizenship Question to Census

The Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has pushed to add a question to the 2020 census asking whether respondents were American citizens. Backlash began immediately: state attorneys general, cities, and advocacy groups filed lawsuits, and Ross has had to explain how the decision came about. Initially, he said the question was added solely due to a Justice Department request for data to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but it turned out that he requested the Justice Department to add the question. While he has not had to testify (because the Supreme Court blocked the testimony), a trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, which could decide not only the existence of the question but impact how political districts are remapped after the census carrying consequences to the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.

Kentuckian Felons Fight to Restore Right to Vote

Across the country, approximately 6.2 million citizens cannot vote or hold office because they have felonies on their record. Kentucky, Iowa, and Florida impose lifetime bans, and Kentucky has one in 10 of its adults with a felony record. Among African-Americans in Kentucky, one in four have a felony, which prevents them from voting for the rest of their lives and is the highest rate of black disenfranchisement. This situation is due to the "tough-on-crime ethos" of the 1980s and 1990s as it resulted in nonviolent violations such as low-volume drug sales and failure to pay spousal support being the sole cause for disenfranchisement. Efforts are underway in Kentucky and Florida to change the law and reverse the lifetime ban.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized

After taking a fall in her office, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized with three broken ribs. At 85 years old, she is the court's oldest member and "the linchpin of the four-member liberal minority" on the court. The next session of the Supreme Court begins on November 26th, and given her history of returning soon after injuries or illness, it would not be a surprise to see her hearing cases on the first day.

Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 Between Long Island City and Arlington

Amazon appears set to announce that it will establish a second headquarters in two location on the East Coast: Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City near Arlington, Virginia. The two locations will house a total of 50,000 employees. It is rumored that New York State has offered hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the company.

Industries Turn Freedom of Information Act Requests on Their Critics

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and its analogs in states, have long been tools for individuals and companies to hold government institutions accountable. Recently however, they have become used as weapons "in legal and business disputes". For example, when a law professor at the University of California, Davis, criticized H&R Block and Intuit about their making a deal with the Internal Revenue Service for free tax filing services, the companies filed requests with the university. They sought the professor's communications about the companies resulting in dozens of hours and 1,189 pages of documents sent to the companies, and a clear message sent to the professor. The tactic has spread to other industries as well, including activists and industry groups, who have used the requests to undermine the work of researchers in controversial fields.

The Girl Scouts Sue the Boy Scouts

The Girl Scouts organization has sued the Boy Scouts organization for infringing its trademark, engaging in unfair competition, and causing "an extraordinary level of confusion among the public." The cause for the allegations was the Boy Scouts announcing that it will drop "boy" from its program name and welcome girls into the ranks of the organization. The Boy Scouts released a statement, which explained the changes as responding to requests by parents over many years and simply an expansion of programs accommodating girls that have existed within the organization since the 1970s.

Schneiderman Will Not Face Criminal Charges

Prosecutors have announced that they will not charge former New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman. The potential for charges emerged when Schneiderman resigned amidst accusations that he had assaulted four women. The district attorney in Nassau County said that the accusations were credible but that there were legal hurdles to bringing charges against Schneiderman, but the district attorney did not explain the nature of the hurdles other than that the statute of limitations had expired for some of the charges.

Ex-Guard at Nazi Camp Tried in German Juvenile Court

A former guard in Hitler's SS, Johann Rehbogen, is facing trial on charges of assisting in the murder of hundreds of the 60,000 people at the Stutthof concentration camp. The 94-year-old is being tried in a juvenile court, where the maximum sentence is 10 years in prison, and he has been charged with knowing of various methods of killing prisoners and working to enable those methods of killing. The trial is expected to last for the next couple of months, and Rehbogen's attorneys indicate that their client will testify at some point.

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


Cox Cannot Relocate Impending Music Piracy Showdown

Several major labels, including Sony and Warner Bros. Records, have sued Cox Communications, accusing it of deliberately refusing to disconnect persistent music pirates. A federal judge has issued a decision refusing to transfer the case from the Eastern District of Virginia. The case will move forward on the allegations, which include Cox having devised a system that never permanently bars any users from using its internet service to illegally download music, even after hundreds of infringements.

Pharrell Williams Sends Trump Legal Threat Letter for Playing "Happy"

The artist Pharrell Williams has sent a cease and desist letter through his lawyer to President Trump for the latter's playing Williams' song "Happy" at a rally just hours after the shooting at a Jewish congregation in Pittsburgh. In the letter, Williams' attorney confirms that Williams did not provide Trump with permission to publicly perform or disseminate his music, including "Happy", and Trump's actions constitute copyright and trademark infringement.

Led Zeppelin Urges 9th Circuit to Undo "Stairway" Ruling

The band Led Zeppelin is pressing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to undo a ruling last month that revived a copyright lawsuit over the intro of its hit song "Stairway to Heaven". An earlier case ended in a favorable decision for the band at trial, but on appeal, the court determined that the judge during the trial gave misleading information to jurors.

9th Circuit Denies CBS Rehearing on Pre-1972 Songs

On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it will not reconsider its decision that remastered versions of old recordings are not entitled to new copyright protections, despite CBS's vigorous arguments. The trial court in the case had sided with CBS in holding that music owners could enjoy perpetual copyright because each remastered version of a song was independently copyrightable. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed the decision and opened up remastered versions of songs to not be copyrightable despite arguments by CBS that the older recordings were almost invariably distributed in vinyl format and would currently be in a remastered format and eligible for copyright protection.

Cloud Lingers Over Jan Fabre's Show Amid Sexual Harassment Complaints

Former members of Jan Fabre's company have accused him of "demanding sex for solos, asking a dancer to masturbate in front of him, and generally running a performing arts company where 'humiliation is a daily bread.'" Activists have demanded that New York University do more to address the allegations of sexual harassment as the company continues to prepare performances there. The university has stipulated with Fabre that he would not appear publicly in conjunction with the show and offered refunds to all who wished them.


The Supreme Court Will Not Hear Digital Millennium Copyright Act Safe Harbor Case

The United States Supreme Court disclosed that it will not hear a controversial case dealing with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) "safe harbor" clause. The clause provides a safe harbor to Internet Service Providers for unlicensed user uploaded content, and in this case, the adult film industry sought to bring the DMCA to be reviewed by the Supreme Court for the first time in its 20-year existence. The industry argued that the lower courts had scattered results on applying the safe harbor clause.

Judge Refuses to Let Notorious Media Foe Redact 'Copyright Troll' From Ruling

Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York has denied a request by attorney Richard Liebowitz to redact the phrase "copyright troll" from a ruling issued earlier this year. The ruling came after Liebowitz filed a lawsuit and then withdrew it for lack of proof of jurisdiction over the defendant. The defendant moved for attorneys' fees and costs, which Judge Cote denied, but she cautioned Liebowitz against filing any other actions in the Southern District of New York with a frivolous basis for jurisdiction. She then labeled him a copyright troll.

Robert Indiana Estate to Sell Art Valued at Up to $4 Million

Two major pieces of art from the collection of artist Robert Indiana are scheduled to be offered at auction in New York this month. The proceeds will help pay for Indiana's estate's mounting legal fees and repairs to his home. The works to be sold are by Ed Ruscha and Ellsworth Kelly and are expected to bring in around $4 million, according to Christie's. There have been significant legal fees resulting from his business agent accusing a caretaker and publisher of isolating Indiana and selling fake artworks attributed to the artist.

The Satanic Temple Sues Over Statue

The Satanic Temple (ST) has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Netflix alleging that the new "Sabrina" series infringes a copyright protected goat-headed statue belonging to ST. The plaintiff is claiming damages of at least $50 million for each alleged infraction and an injunction barring the companies from distributing the series with the image of the statue. ST is based in Massachusetts and defines its mission to "reject tyrannical authority" and to "encourage benevolence and empathy among all people." The statue it is seeking to protect was designed approximately five years ago and was going to be publicly displayed at the Oklahoma Capitol to counter a Ten Commandments statue that ultimately was outlawed from being displayed.

Jeff Koons Again An Infringer

A Jeff Koons work known as "Fait d'hiver" is a sculpture that bears a striking resemblance to a 1985 advertisement for French clothing brand Naf Naf. The creator of the advertisement, Franck Davidovici, sued Koons in 2015 and attempted to have the work seized. He was not successful in having the work seized, but the court has agreed that there was copyright infringement and awarded Davidovici $170,000.

Chicago Pulls Painting From Auction Following Criticism

Kerry James Marshall's "Knowledge and Wonder" was scheduled to be sold in Chicago at Christie's on November 15th for between $10 million and $15 million. The mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced that the city of Chicago would sell the work with proceeds going to upgrading the library. The artist criticized the move, and public arts advocates unleashed fierce criticism. The city has cancelled the auction.

China Grants Ivanka Trump Initial Approval for New Trademarks

Ivanka Trump has recently received 16 preliminary trademark approvals from the Chinese government, renewing questions about the Trump family's business commingling with President Trump's public office. The trademarked items included shoes, shirts, and sunglasses, which would appear to be related to her fashion brand that closed in July after Trump announced that she would focus exclusively on her role in the White House. Last year, President Trump had dozens of trademarks preliminarily approved after he told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that he would maintain the United States' policy toward Taiwan.

Shadow and Support of Government Follows Hungarian Opera

The Hungarian State Opera and National Ballet brought hundreds of members to New York for six productions, but their arrival was tainted by their government's right-wing Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. Hungary's ambassador to the United Nations, Katalin Bogyay, greeted the audience during the opening series with an attack on the Hungarian president but expressed thanks to Orban for his support of the opera and ballet companies. The government's funding and support of the productions comes from Orban's view of the pieces as a "means to achieve prestige and assert national identity."

Neighbors Take Tate Modern to Court Over Privacy

The Tate Modern's Blavatnik Building opened in London in 2016 and has been popular with visitors. One of the enclosed walkways in the building, however, looks into private homes of residents in luxury apartments. In 2017, four residents sued the museum, and a court has begun to hear their case for "relentless" invasion of privacy by the gallery. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would require the gallery to restrict access or erect a screen.

Writer's Invitation is Pulled, Causing Concern For Hong Kong as a Refuge

Exiled Chinese writer Ma Jian was scheduled to speak at the Tai Kwun Center for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong, but the organization abruptly canceled the event and released a statement: "We do not want Tai Kwun to become a platform to promote the political interests of any individual." They are now seeking "a more suitable alternative venue," but some see the actions as just the latest troubling sign of eroding freedoms in the city. Jian is a well-known author and critic of the Chinese government who just released a book that has been called a "biting satire of totalitarianism that reveals what happens to a nation when it is blinded by materialism and governed by violence and lies."

Scientists Discover Oldest Figurative Painting in the World in Borneo Cave

For over 40,000 years, in a cave nestled in the jungles of Borneo has sat a work of art depicting a "thick-bodied, spindly-legged animal, drawn in reddish ocher." It has recently been discovered and is presently the oldest figurative art known in the world. The findings shows that ancient humans had made a creative transition to art, demonstrating a shift in how humans saw and thought about the world surrounding them. Until now, the oldest figurative artworks were approximately 40,000-year-old ivory figurines. A new dating method was used in determining the age of the cave art: whereas radiocarbon dating is the standard, it has its limits. In the cave, water trickles down and leaves a translucent "curtain of minerals called a flowstone," which contains uranium, an element that decays at a predictable rate into thorium. The method provided precision into dating the art and confirming it as the oldest in the world.


2nd Circuit Delivers Blow to National Football League and Associated Press in Copyright Spat

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the National Football League's (NFL) request to reconsider a decision to revive a copyright suit by photographers with the Associated Press (AP). The case was dismissed for failure to state a claim, but the Second Circuit revived the claims as the NFL has used photographs without licenses from the photographers or AP including, in some cases, on promotional materials.

Documents Discovered at USA Gymnastics Headquarters

USA Gymnastics officials, in the wake of leadership changes, have found a trove of documents that are "central to a sexual abuse investigation and long sought by investigators." The United States Olympic Committee has moved to seize control of the organization, as there is growing alarm about the management. The recently discovered documents are expected to show the extent of knowledge in the organization of the pervasive sexual abuse by team doctor Lawrence Nassar.

PSG Confirms That It Used Racial Profiling in Recruiting Players

At the pinnacle of French soccer, Paris St.-Germain recruits some of the best players in the world, and it has acknowledged that for the previous five years, its scouts have used racial profiling in recruiting. The announcement was made just as an investigative journalism outlet, Mediapart, was preparing a report on the profiling of several top European soccer clubs. In the case of PSG, recruiters evaluated physical and technical skills and then checked a box noting the players' "origin," and the club has announced that it is beginning an internal investigation into the profiling.

Maryland Fires Two Trainers Who Treated Jordan McNair Before His Death

Two University of Maryland athletic trainers have been terminated by the university after their tending to the football player who died of a heat stroke during spring practice. This is only the latest development relating to the player Jordan McNair's death in the spring: last week, the university president fired the head football coach and the board's chairman resigned. An outside medical report regarding McNair's death found that cold-water immersion was not conducted, and more than an hour elapsed before anyone called for emergency personnel.

Thousands of Greyhounds May Need Homes as Florida Bans Racing

Florida voters passed a measure that ended greyhound racing by the end of 2020, after years of efforts by animal activists calling for an end to the sport. The greyhounds were said to be mistreated and subjected to harsh living conditions. Track owners and trainers argued that no such harsh conditions existed, but Florida voters still backed the measure with 69% of the vote. Regardless, there are thousands of greyhounds in Florida, and while many may become pets, it is expected that many will go race somewhere else.

National Hockey League (NHL) Concussion Lawsuit Reportedly Near Settlement

The lawsuit involving more than 100 former players suing the National Hockey League (NHL) with claims of negligence in dealing with head injuries appears to be near settlement totaling $18.9 million. The settlement would compensate each player approximately $22,000 each if the reported terms are consummated. The lawsuit has been pending since 2013, and in July 2018, the judge denied class-action certification for the players, prompting settlement negotiations between the parties. The substance of the allegations is similar to those NFL players have made: the league knew the danger of the conditions and concealed those dangers, which include concussions and the brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.


Facebook and Google to Drop Forced Arbitration in Harassment Cases

Facebook has announced that it will no longer force employees to settle sexual harassment claims in private arbitration just one day after Google announced similar plans. Approximately a year ago, Microsoft made a similar move, and Uber followed suit six months later. The use of arbitration clauses in contracts is pervasive as corporations strive to keep disputes, particularly inflammatory ones, away from public scrutiny.

Booksellers Protest Amazon's Move to Drop Stores From Certain Countries And Win

Amazon's subsidiary bookstore, AbeBooks, announced that it would drop all sellers from several nations, including South Korea, Hungary, and Russia. Within hours, hundreds of antiquarian book dealers in over two dozen countries removed their books from the website. The acrimony shows the power of Amazon but also the increasing attention that Amazon receives. The company's statement chalked up the scaling back to it no longer being viable "to operate in these countries due to increasing costs and complexities." It then changed its policy in light of the protest.

Media Giants Stop Running Trump Caravan Ad Criticized as Racist

Facebook, NBC, CNN, and Fox News refused to air one of President Trump's political ads characterizing the caravan of asylum seekers in Mexico as the ad came under fire for being a racist and misleading spot. Trump claimed to not know of the ad but said to reporters, "We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we're seeing." Some saw its prohibition as getting it a larger audience simply because of the controversy. In the days leading up to the midterms, the ad was "spreading like wildfire - for free" on the internet as networks refused to air it.

Sean Hannity Erased a Line by Taking the Stage with Trump

Sean Hannity, a prime-time star on Fox News, posted on Twitter that he would not be on the stage campaigning with President Trump. Hours later, he was on stage campaigning with President Trump in Missouri. Trump welcomed Hannity onto the stage as someone who was "with us since the beginning" and pointed toward reporters in the back calling out, "By the way, all those people in the back are fake news." Hannity's decision to join a subject of news coverage on stage complicates the relationship between the news network and Trump's presidency.

Twitter Said It Was Ready for the Midterms, but Rogue Accounts Weren't Letting Up

Despite Twitter having a team dedicated to rooting out suspicious activity and working with the Department of Homeland Security, it still was not enough to stop false content from being spread on the site. Last week, researchers found that Twitter had 5% more false content than during the 2016 presidential election. While the correlation between false information on social media and the ballot box is difficult, if not impossible to discern, there remain significant numbers of accounts that are posing as state Republican officials and spreading false information to unknowing followers.

Russian Trolls Were at It Again Before Midterms, Facebook Says

Facebook announced that in the days leading up to the midterm elections, it blocked more than 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts for being linked to the Internet Research Agency, an arm of the Russian government that has had more than a dozen members indicted for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. The agency has used social media platforms to spread false or misleading information in an effort to influence voters and election results.

Trump Administration Uses Misleading Video to Justify Barring CNN's Jim Acosta and Warns of More Retaliation to Reporters Who Don't Show 'Respect'

The Trump administration's attacks on the media continue. Jim Acosta, a CNN journalist, attempted to ask a question of President Trump at a press conference when a White House intern tried to take his microphone away from him and causing "brief, benign contact" between the two. He said, "Pardon me, ma'am." Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted a 15-second video clip that had been edited to zoom in and repeat several frames, having the effect of exaggerating the contact between the two. The White House has removed Acosta's credentials for "placing his hands on a young woman," and President Trump has warned other journalists: "You have to treat the presidency with respect."

World Leaders Echoing Trump's Words and Policies

From Nigeria to Syria to Brazil to Turkey and Europe more broadly, world leaders have adopted many of President Trump's techniques in dealing with the media and events in their countries. In Nigeria, for example, the army has justified deadly shootings on protesters when Trump said that if migrants threw rocks at members of the military, the military should consider those rocks to be rifles. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has said, "We are living in a fake-news era," after his government has been under attack for gassing its own citizens amidst a civil war.

Facebook Admits It Was Used to Incite Violence in Myanmar

While Facebook touts itself as a tool for bringing people together in an effort to make the world a better place, it has acknowledged that the site was used to "foment division and incite offline violence" in Myanmar. While its top-level management agrees the site "can and should do more" to prevent violence as a result of use of the site, human rights activists and analysts do not see the site making an earnest effort to do so. In Myanmar, the violence resulted in not just political and social divisions but ultimately ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Husband of Freed Pakistani Christian Woman Pleads for Asylum

From Pakistan comes a plea from a husband of a Christian woman who was acquitted after spending eight years on death row facing blasphemy charges. The plea from Ashiq Masih is to President Trump for refuge given the danger to the family's lives. The Islamist party in Pakistan blocked major roads in the country's big cities for three days and called for the Supreme Court judges that acquitted Asia Bibi to be killed. The blasphemy charges stem from accusations that Bibi made derogatory remarks about Islam when "neighbors objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim."

Center for Art Law Case Law Updates

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

Pumpkin Season. The Gulbenkian family, one of the biggest names in the art market, is currently being sued before the High Court in London over the claim that it received almost $1.4 million for a Yayoi Kusama sculpture that never materialized.

Sotheby's v. de Saint Donat-Pourrieres, No. 1:17-cv-00326 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 6, 2018). A NY federal judge ordered the seller of a painting of Saint Jerome that had been attributed to Parmigianino to refund Sotheby's after an expert report "conclusively" found that the painting was a "modern forgery." Decision available upon request.

DeLorean v. Delorean Motor Co. (TEXAS), No. 2:18-cv-08212 (D.N.J. 2018). A federal judge rejected John DeLorean Estate's claim for "Back to the Future" royalties, as it found that the estate for the automobile executive signed over the rights to the proceeds of the contract with Universal when it settled an earlier lawsuit.

Viktor v. Top Dawg Entertainment LLC, No. 1:18-cv-01554 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 24, 2018). A New York federal judge refused to give hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar a partial win against a visual artist's claims that the musician copied her artwork for the soundtrack of the movie "Black Panther". The case will move forward to discovery.

Alexander v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. et al., No. 3:18-cv-00966 (S.D.Ill. Oct. 24, 2018). The defendant, a videogame company, moved to dismiss the case brought by a tattoo artist against it, where the artist complains that her work, a tribal tattoo placed on the skin of WWE wrestler Randy Orton, was illegally reproduced in the videogame. This is not the first suit concerning athletes' tattoos reproduced in video-games.

Meaders v. Helwaser et al., No. 1:18-cv-05039 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 8, 2018). This ongoing case is awaiting response from the court on whether a standing stabile by Alexander Calder was lawfully sold to Helwaser Gallery in 2016. A relative of Phyliss P. Meaders was given the Calder as a gift and she argues that her partial ownership of the work entitles her to damages when it was sold by her bother Paul Mead III without her knowledge. Complaint and answer available upon request.

Artemus USA LLC v. Paul Kasmin Gallery, Inc., No. 156295/2018 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.). The Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently being sued by Artemus, a company that allows collectors, art dealers, and other professionals to leverage and monetize artworks through sale-leaseback arrangements and art-secured loans. Artemus alleges that the gallery backdated and falsified invoice in striking a 2016 deal to purchase the piece. Amended complaint available upon request.

Barnet v. Greek Ministry of Culture, No. 1:18-cv-04963 (S.D.N.Y. June 5, 2018). In the case brought by Sotheby's against Greece, the defendants are moving to dismiss. Sotheby's had removed a bronze horse from sale, after a letter from the Greek government castdoubts on its provenance. It is now suing Greece for interference without lawful justification and seeking declaratory relief to declare the respective rights of the parties regarding the Bronze Horse. Complaint and motion to dismiss available upon request.

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. In addition to the weekly newsletter (, the Center for Art Law subscribers receive updates about art and law-related topics through its popular art law blog ( calendar of events ( The Center for Art Law welcomes inquiries and announcements from firms, universities and student organizations about recent publications, pending cases, upcoming events, current research and job and externship opportunities. To contact the Center for Art Law, visit our website at: or write to

November 5, 2018

Week In Review

By Jana S. Farmer
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Supreme Court Reviews Google Class Action Settlement Over Privacy

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments whether it should allow or limit class-action settlements in which class members receive nothing, whereas their lawyers recover millions of dollars.

Dawn Spacecraft Goes Quiet After Over A Decade In Space

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft, in orbit around asteroid Ceres, lost its radio signal. Ceres is one of the two largest asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn was launched in 2007 and lasted two years longer than originally planned. Dawn is also notable for previously orbiting the asteroid Vesta and then leaving its orbit for Ceres.

A Lawsuit Over a Teapot-Dome-Era Tax Provision Possible In Continuing Fight for the Release of the President's Tax Returns

An obscure tax provision dating back to the time of Warren G. Harding's administration may be used to demand the President's tax returns from the Treasury Department. Steven Mnuchin, the Secretary of Treasury, said that his team would analyze any demands for the President's returns and fulfill them if required by law, but some believe that a legal clash over any such request is likely.

Bankers Face Money Laundering Charges

Federal prosecutors announced bribery and money laundering charges against a second Goldman Sachs employee following the guilty plea from one former Goldman Sachs banker as part of the investigation into the alleged embezzlement of billions of dollars from a state-run investment fund in Malaysia. The money was used to buy a Picasso painting, diamond necklaces, and Birkin bags, as well as to pay for the Hollywood blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street".

Special Counsel Mueller Asks FBI To Investigate Emails Offering Women Money To Fabricate Sexual Misconduct Complaints Against Him

Two women claim that they were offered compensation to fabricate sexual misconduct stories about Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller's office asked the FBI to investigate the claims.

U.S. and Great Britain Step Up Pressure For a Cease Fire In the Yemen War

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his British counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, urged Saudi Arabia to cease hostilities in Yemen as criticism of Saudi Arabia has surged over its recent bombing campaign and the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi. Previous calls to cease fire have been unsuccessful.

Justice Department Indicts Chinese Intelligence Officers For Stealing Aerospace Secrets

In the indictment unveiled last Tuesday, the Justice Department accused two intelligence officers who worked in the Jiangsu Province office of the Ministry of State Security, China's primary intelligence-gathering agency, of working with hackers to steal turbofan technology used in American and European commercial airliners.

Pakistani Court Acquits Death Row Inmate In Blasphemy Case

Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman, who was on death row for eight years after an accusation of speaking against the Prophet Muhammad, was freed this week. Her arrest and conviction in 2009 rallied international condemnation of a law that has inspired violence and of lack of evidence against her. Her freedom may come at a cost, however, both for her and the three justices of Pakistan's Supreme Court that acquitted her, as protests erupted in several cities.

Below, for your browsing convenience, are summaries of news reports in categories divided into Entertainment, Art, Sports, and Media


GLAAD Finds That LGBTQ Representation On Television Has Improved

GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) found that the LGBTQ community was better represented on television in 2018. Men and women were equally represented among L.G.B.T.Q. characters on TV.

French Movie Director Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

Abdellatif Kechiche, well known for his film "Blue Is the Warmest Color", was accused by an unnamed actress of sexually abusing her. The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation.

Art and Cultural Heritage

Cleveland Orchestra's Concertmaster Fired As a Result of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

William Preucil, the Cleveland Orchestra's concertmaster, was fired when an investigation concluded that he had engaged in "actions ranging from serious sexual misconduct to sexually harassing behavior" with a number of women. He will also be replaced as the violinist on Suzuki Method instructional materials amid the resulting backlash from music teachers and parents of violin students.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Swap Directors

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) announced the appointment of Thomas P. Campbell, the former director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York, as its new director and chief executive. He will be replacing Max Hollein, the former FAMSF director who took over Campbell's job at the Met earlier this year.

Director of Contemporary Arts Museum In Houston Resigns

Contemporary Arts Museum In Houston director Bill Arning resigned last Wednesday after nearly 10 years at the institution's helm, citing lack of progress and need for director rotation.

Former Owner's Family and a German Art Dealer At An Impasse Over Art Stolen By the Nazis

The family of Paul Rosenberg, a Paris art dealer, was successful in recovering over 400 works the Nazis looted from him. Some artworks, however, elude recovery efforts due to unfavorable national laws. One example is a pastel portrait by Edgar Degas, "Portrait of Mlle. Gabrielle Diot", created in 1890. The family knows that a German dealer tried to sell it several times, although the present possessor of the artwork is unknown. The intervention of the German officials on the Rosenbergs' behalf to find out the possessor's identity has not been successful. German law experts comment that the country's law is not conducive to recovery of looted artwork; although the law states that a good faith purchaser cannot pass good title to a stolen work, theft claims must be made within 30 years. Furthermore, after 10 years, the law recognizes the possession rights of the current holders unless it can be shown they knew the work had been stolen when it was purchased. Meanwhile, selling the portrait is difficult because it is listed on several international databases of looted art.

Venice Museums Reopen After The Flood

After the worst flood in 10 years, with water rising more than five feet, Venice's museums reopened last week. Piazza San Marco, home to the Basilica di San Marco and Doge's Palace, was submerged during the flood. Early reports indicated that the cultural institutes suffered no damage. The Architecture Biennale reopened as well, its venues not affected by the flooding. The floods came less than a month after a UNESCO report warned that the city was at a severe risk due to climate change. Venice hopes to prevent future flooding by building underwater barriers that would be raised when tides reach a certain level, but the project is behind schedule by several years.

Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro May Thwart Rio Museum's Reconstruction Efforts

Brazil's Newly-Elected President wants to remove the country's Ministry of Culture, which may have an impact on rebuilding the National Museum. Meanwhile, UNESCO launched an emergency mission to help the Rio Museum assess the damage and rebuild its collection after the devastating fire this summer as the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), the Royal British Columbia Museum, and the embassies of several countries pledge their support.


University of Maryland In Upheaval Following Death of Football Player

The University of Maryland's president announced his retirement, the football coach, DJ Durkin, was fired, and the chairman of the university's governing board resigned following the death of a 19-year-old football player Jordan McNair. McNair died from heatstroke after practice in the sweltering heat in May.

WNBA Players' Union Opts Out of Its Labor Deal

The WNBA players' union announced last Thursday that it would opt out of the league's collective bargaining agreement after the 2019 season, seeking higher pay and financial transparency. Players and WNBA have long been at odds over the league's pay scale and allegedly poor working conditions.

FIFA Acknowledges Hacking, Braces For Possible Scandal From Anticipated Leaks

FIFA revealed that its computer systems were hacked again this year and that it may have suffered a data breach. A prior hacking incident led to the publication of a list of failed drug tests by soccer players, among other revelations. The group Football Leaks reportedly originally obtained the documents.


U.S. Officials Take a Wait and See Approach In the Investigation Into the Killing of Saudi Writer

U.S. officials are waiting to see the results of a Saudi investigation into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that the administration was "reviewing putting sanctions on the individuals . . . engaged in that murder."

Social Site Gab Did Nothing To Control Hate Speech By the Man Who Became the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter

Gab, an alternative social media website, welcomed all speech, no matter how offensive. After revelations that Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter who was indicted on 44 counts, aired his hatred on the platform, the company's web hosting provider, Joyent, the domain name provider, GoDaddy, and payment processing platforms Stripe, and PayPal either cancelled Gab's accounts or suspended service. Bowers entered a plea of not guilty to all 44 counts against him and requested a jury trial.

"Not O.K., Google", Say Company's Workers Worldwide As They Protest Its Handling of Harassment

About 20% of Google's employees staged walkouts in 50 cities after the New York Times reported that Google paid Android co-founder, Andy Rubin, $90,000,000 as part of the exit package after he was accused of sexual harassment. The protesters demanded change in how Google handles sexual harassment, including ending its use of private arbitration in such cases.

Following Journalist's Effective Exclusion, Hong Kong's Future As A Civil Rights Haven In Asia Is In Question

Hong Kong declined to renew the visa of a journalist for The Financial Times, Victor Mallet, after the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong decided in late July to invite a political activist to speak at its event and Beijing demanded that the club cancel the speech. These developments raise questions about the city's future as a haven for rule of law and civil rights in Asia.

Petra Laszlo, Camerawoman Filmed Kicking Refugees, Was Cleared

Hungary's highest court overturned the conviction of Petra Laszlo, who was convicted of disorderly conduct for kicking refugees fleeing the war in Syria. The court acknowledged that Laszlo's conduct was "morally deplorable and against the law," but found that she should have been charged with "disturbance" instead, a regulatory offense usually punished by a fine. The statute of limitations for the lesser charge has expired, however.

October 29, 2018

Week In Review

By Angela Peco
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

Eleven Killed in Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

A man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 congregants and wounding six others. The attack is among the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States and at least the third mass shooting in a house of worship in three years. Federal officials charged the assailant, Robert Bowers, with 29 criminal counts, including obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs - a hate crime. Bowers had been spewing his anger in anger in numerous web posts, all marked by anti-Semitism and anti-refugee attitudes.

New York State Sues Exxon Mobil For Deceiving Investors About Risk of Climate Change Regulations

New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil (EM) this week for allegedly defrauding investors by withholding information and downplaying the financial risk that future climate change regulations might pose to the company. Prosecutors say that EM kept two sets of books when accounting for the effects of climate change - the company told the public that it was prepared for the more stringent regulations that would inevitably be required to combat global warming, while in reality its internal estimates discounted the potential future costs of climate policies.

Justice Department Tells Supreme Court That Discriminating Against Transgender Workers Is Not a Violation of Federal Law

In a brief filed this week, Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the U.S. Supreme Court that a civil rights law banning sex discrimination in the workplace does not cover transgender bias. This position contradicts the Equal Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) interpretation of the law that it is tasked with enforcing. The brief is in connection with a lawsuit filed by the EEOC seeking to enforce Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination against a funeral home employer in Michigan.

"Transgender" Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration

The Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance. The agency's proposal would narrowly define gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, in an effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people.

President Trump is Considering Closing Southern Border to Migrants

President Trump is weighing an executive order to close the southern border to migrants, including asylum seekers, as part of push to rally supporters ahead of the midterm elections. He is expected to invoke the same section of immigration law used in last year's travel ban to bar certain foreigners from entering the U.S. on national security grounds.

Key Government Agencies Were Surprised by Administration's "Zero Tolerance" Immigration Policy

According to a report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, Congress's nonpartisan investigative arm, the Trump administration did not tell key government agencies about its "zero tolerance" immigration policy before publicly announcing it in April, leaving the officials responsible for enforcing the policy unprepared to handle the resulting separations of thousands of children from their families.

Florida Man Arrested in Attempted Bombing Spree; Suspect Found Identity in Political Rage and Resentment

Cesar Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida man with a long criminal record, was arrested after a wave of crudely built explosive devices were sent to several prominent Democrats and Trump critics. Last week, the Time Warner Center was evacuated because of a pipe bomb sent to CNN. Sayoc was a fervent Trump supporter and posted frequently on right-wing social media groups, often railing against Democratic figures.

President Trump Proposes Big Reduction in Medicare Drug Prices

President Trump unveiled a plan to overhaul how Medicare pays for certain drugs. The proposal would bypass Congress by using a pilot program to test three ways to lower the cost of drugs, including benchmarking U.S. drug prices against 16 other developed nations where target drug prices are collectively 44% lower. The administration also wants to allow private sector vendors to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. The proposals will only apply to drugs administered in doctors' offices and outpatient hospital departments and will not affect most prescriptions bought by patients at pharmacies.

Russia Issues Warning Following President Trump's Intention to Withdraw from 1987 Nuclear Treaty

Trump has announced that the U.S. intends to pull out of a 1987 agreement banning short- and intermediate-range missiles that are launched from land, accusing Russia of cheating on the deal and criticizing the deal from not including China as a signatory. Russian President Putin warned that European nations will be at risk of a possible counterstrike if the U.S. deploys new intermediate-range missiles in Europe after withdrawing from the treaty.

Microsoft to Sell Pentagon Artificial Intelligence and Other Advanced Technology

Microsoft said that it will sell the military and intelligence agencies advanced technologies to strengthen defense, just months after Google announced that it would not renew its Pentagon contract for artificial intelligence (AI) work. The debate about military AI among U.S. tech companies comes as the Pentagon is in a race with China to develop next-generation weapons.

Amazon Met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials Over Facial-Recognition System to Identify Immigrants

According to newly disclosed emails, Amazon pitched its facial-recognition system to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials this summer as a way for ICE to target or identify immigrants. The platform Rekognition faced scrutiny earlier this year after the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that it was already being used by some local police departments, despite a disproportionate error rate for people of color.

Trump Refuses to Give Up His Unsecured Personal iPhone Despite Warnings That Russian and Chinese Spies Are Listening

President Trump reportedly continues to use his unsecured personal iPhone, despite being told that his communications are regularly monitored by Russia and China. White House officials are growing increasingly frustrated with the President's casual approach to electronic security. Reports say that China is relying on Chinese businessmen to reach others with ties to Trump's contacts, hoping that their views will eventually be delivered to the president by trusted voices.

U.S. Begins First Cyberoperation Against Russia Aimed at Protecting Elections

In the first known overseas cyberoperation to protect American elections, the U.S. is targeting Russian operatives to try to deter them from spreading disinformation to interfere in the midterm elections.

Judge Rules That Trump Does Not Have to Answer Questions About Multiple Sexual Harassment Claims

A state judge in Manhattan denied Summer Zervos's request to force Trump to turn over evidence related to other women towards whom he allegedly made unwanted sexual advances. Zervos alleges that Trump defamed her when he denied her allegation during the 2016 election. Judge Schecter said Trump must respond to questions directly related to Zervos's allegations, and that the evidence about the other women's claims was not needed to show that he knowingly made a false statement about her.

Sandra Day O'Connor Leaves Public Life with Plea for Bipartisanship

Sandra Day O'Connor, the retired justice who was the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, announced in a letter that she has the beginning stages of dementia and is no longer able to participate in public life. In her letter, O'Connor called for a renewed commitment to nonpartisan values, one that requires putting country and the common good above party and self-interest.

The #MeToo Movement Brought Down 201 Powerful Men and Nearly Half of Their Replacements Are Women

A New York Times analysis found that since the publishing of the Weinstein exposé, at least 200 prominent men lost their jobs after public allegations of sexual harassment. Nearly half of the men were succeeded by women and the #MeToo movement is still shaking power structures in society's most visible sectors.

Saudi-led War is Pushing Yemenis to the Brink of Starvation

Saudi airstrikes have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen and a harsh economic war risks tipping the country into famine. The Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni allies have also imposed punitive economic measures aimed at undercutting the Houthi rebels who control northern Yemen, destroying food production and distribution and displacing about a million Yemenis.

Saudi Arabia Rejects Turkey's Extradition Request in Khashoggi Killing

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister rejected a call by President Erdogan of Turkey to try the suspects in the killing of dissident commentator Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, saying that the men arrested would be prosecuted in Saudi soil. Erdogan argued that Saudi rulers face a conflict of interest in overseeing any trial because the killing was ordered and directed from within the Saudi government for political reasons. Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor acknowledged for the first time this week that the killing was premeditated.


NBC Cancels Megyn Kelly's Morning Show Following Controversial Blackface Comments

NBC confirmed that Megyn Kelly's Today show hour has been cancelled following Kelly's offensive comments regarding blackface Halloween costumes. A major outstanding question is what will happen to Kelly's $69 million, 3-year contract.

Bill Cosby's Bid for a New Trial is Rejected by Pennsylvania Judge

Bill Cosby continues to shuffle his lawyers, hiring his 12th firm and 20th lawyer. In its latest move, Cosby's legal team requested a new trial on the grounds that the prosecution had not proved the assault took place within a 12-year statute of limitations, and that a tape recording introduced as evidence had been tampered with. Cosby also asked for reconsideration of his 3-to-10-year prison sentence, arguing that the court erred in imposing the sentence on the basis of finding an undue risk that Cosby would reoffend, even though his actual risk of
reoffending, he argued, was near zero. Both requests were denied.

Tracy Chapman Files Suit Against Nicki Minaj for Copyright Infringement Over Unauthorized Sample

Tracy Chapman has sued rapper Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California. Chapman calls for a jury trial, seeking injunctive relief and damages, over Minaj's use of an unauthorized sample. Chapman has a blanket policy against allowing her work to be sampled and had previously denied Minaj's sample request.

Rapper Tekashi69 Sentenced to Probation in Sex Video Case

Rapper Daniel Hernandez was sentenced to four years' probation and 1,000 hours of community service for violating a 2015 agreement in which he admitted to taking part in making and disseminating videos that featured a 13-year-old girl having sex.


Harassment Reports Tarnish London's King of Retail Fashion, Philip Green

Green has used nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence five former employees who accused him of sexual harassment and racist abuse. He also secured an injunction to block publication of a months long investigation of those charges by a newspaper. Strong privacy laws in England have long allowed public figures to block negative reporting in the press, but the revelations about Green come at an important moment in Britain, as Prime Minister Theresa May is considering banning the legal practice of issuing NDAs in such cases.

First Artificial Intelligence-Made Painting is Sold for $432,500 at Christie's Auction

The painting, named "Edmond de Belamy," is the creation of a Paris-based collective called Obvious. The signature of the "artist" at the bottom of the canvas is the actual algorithm used to create it. A set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries were fed through the algorithm to produce the portrait.

Hungary Turned Far Right and That's Meant Millions for Its Opera

Hungary's rightward turn has led to the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars into the arts by the increasingly autocratic right-wing government of Prime Minister Orban, who has descried Hungary's theaters, opera houses, and concert halls as "temples of national culture." This investment brings with it growing political influence on the performing arts. The governing party sees culture as an important component of national identity and has moved to exert more control over cultural appointments in recent years.

Man Arrested Trying to Steal the Magna Carta From UK Cathedral

A man armed with a hammer tried to smash the glass display case surrounding the Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral. It is one of four surviving originals. The document, granted by King John in 1215, is considered the founding document of English law and civil liberties, compelling an English king to act according to the rule of law.


Former Adidas Employees and Sports Agent Found Guilty on Fraud Charges in College Basketball Recruiting Scheme

A jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts against two former Adidas employees and an aspiring sports agent. The three were found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud after a three-week trial. The defendants funneled money to the families of college basketball recruits in exchange for the prospects' commitment to teams sponsored by Adidas. Under the NCAA's amateurism rules, college players are prohibited from accepting payment beyond scholarship and related costs. There are still two other trials stemming from the charges to come, involving four assistant coaches accused of plotting to direct players to various agents in exchange for kickbacks.

Brother of Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Files Motion to Remove Trustee from Power

Bill Bowlen, younger brother of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, asked a Colorado District Court on Thursday to remove the three-person trust in control of the team "due to their failure to uphold Pat Bowlen's wishes and act in the best interest of Pat Bowlen, his family and the Broncos." Bowlen was removed from power in 2014 due to his ongoing battle with Alzheimer's. The trustees are in charge of the team's future, including finding the next controlling owner.

Labor Dispute Could Put Start of National Lacrosse League Season in Jeopardy

The start of the regular season in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) is in jeopardy, with the players and owners battling over their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Average player compensation has not increased on a per game basis since 2012 and the NLL had promised players in previous CBAs to give a share of expansion fees.

National Basketball Association, Union Struggling to Agree on Lowering League's Minimum Age

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on lowering the NBA's minimum age to 18. The NBA is pressing the NBPA to agree to conditions: 1) to ending the one-and-done NBA draft era, 2) that player-agents furnish all teams with medical information on draft prospects, and 3) that the NBA can mandate players' attendance and some level of participation in the pre-draft combine. Sources say that the league wants a mechanism where teams can minimally get pool doctor reports shared among several organizations, but the union has felt significant pressure from the agent community to resist the NBA's push on ceding control of medical information.

WNBA Players Vote on Whether to Opt Out of CBA

While the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) would not comment on whether it has considered opting out of the current CBA, the players' union has put the issue to a vote. WNBA players are growing dissatisfied with the widening pay gap and say they are not provided with the same platform and resources to succeed. The CBA went into effect in March 2014 and runs through October 2021. Both sides have the right to opt out until October 31st, which would terminate the CBA after the 2019 seasons.

Google Turns Over Identities of Bloggers on Portuguese Soccer Team Benfica

Google and other internet service providers have turned over confidential user information to a Portuguese soccer team that may help it identify anonymous bloggers who have written about allegations of wrongdoing against the team. The club filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California, claiming that the details published online were "trade secrets," and issued subpoenas to Google and a handful of other companies. The suit is similar to others brought by large organizations confronting the public disclosure of damaging information - strategic lawsuits brought to silence activists, journalists, and critics.


Women Reluctant to Talk to CBS Harassment Inquiry

Investigators have spoken with more than 250 people in a probe to find out how a culture of sexual harassment was allowed to thrive at CBS, but some women say they are reluctant to talk because they do not trust the company. Others have chosen not to speak with investigators because of non-disclosure agreements they signed with the company. The latter group feels that it has not received sufficient assurance from CBS that the individuals will not be sued for talking.

Google Protected Android Creator Accused of Misconduct

Android creator Andy Rubin left Google in 2014 with a $90 million exit package after being accused of coercing a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013. Google found the woman's claims credible and asked Rubin to resign. Following his departure, the company invested millions into Rubin's next venture. Google employees rebuked the company for protecting executives accused of harassment and offering massive payouts following claims of sexual misconduct.

Facebook Removes Iranian Network Found to be Spreading Disinformation

The company took down more than 82 pages, groups, and accounts followed by more than one million users in the United States and Britain. The Iran-linked accounts frequently posted about emotionally charged topics like race relations and President Trump.

Pakistan Supreme Court Reinstates Ban on Indian Television Content

Pakistan's Supreme Court restored a ban on the broadcast of Indian content on local television. The Chief Justice said the ban was satisfied as India was damming rivers that flow into Pakistan. More than 80% of irrigated agricultural land in Pakistan depends on the river Indus and its tributaries. The country first imposed a ban on Indian films following the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. The ban was lifted in 2008 but has been sporadically reintroduced.

October 22, 2018

Week In Review

By Leslie Berman
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Saudi Arabia Says Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed in Consulate Fight

Saudi Arabia finally admitted that its agents strangled Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident journalist, during a fistfight inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. 18 men were arrested in the case, including some who were sent to confront the journalist, one driver, and two consular staff members. Saudi state media reported the dismissal of a close aide to the crown prince, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and
other high-ranking intelligence officials.

In Shift on Khashoggi Killing, Trump Edges Closer to Acknowledging a Saudi Role

Last week President Trump finally said that he believed the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dead, and expressed confidence in intelligence reports from multiple sources that strongly suggested a high-level Saudi role in Khashoggi's assassination. The shift in the president's tone came shortly after a briefing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In Break With U.S. Intelligence, Trump Says Saudi Explanation of Journalist's Death Is Credible

President Trump broke with U.S. intelligence agencies claiming that Saudi Arabia's explanation that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by accident during a fistfight was a credible report, although the president said the killing of Khashoggi was "unacceptable." United States' spy agencies were increasingly convinced that Kashoggi was assassinated on high-level orders from the Saudi royal court.

Elizabeth Warren's DNA Results Draw Rebuke from Trump and Raise Questions

President Trump's unrelenting mockery of Senator Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" -- questioning her claims about having Native American heritage -- prompted Warren to release the results of a DNA test that provided "strong evidence" that she has Native American pedigree "6-10 generations ago," according to a document she released from Dr. Carlos Bustamante, a renowned geneticist. The error rate is less than one-in-a-thousand, he said.

Trump Embraces Foreign Aid to Counter China's Global Influence

President Trump, in a significant reversal, has embraced a major expansion of foreign aid that will bankroll infrastructure projects in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, hoping that financial diplomacy will help counter China's growing global influence. A new foreign aid agency, the United States International Development Finance Corporation, has authority to provide $60 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to companies willing to do business in developing nations. Previously, the President harshly criticized foreign aid, proposed slashing $3 billion in overseas assistance, backed eliminating funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and took steps to gut the United States Agency for International Development, the State Department agency that dispenses $22.7 billion a year in grants around the world.

Ex-Senate Aide Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI About Contacts With Reporter

James A. Wolfe, a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide who was its director of security, agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI during an investigation into leaks of classified information related to coverage of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Wolfe had been in charge of receiving and managing classified information provided to the oversight panel by the executive branch for 28 years.

Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania Face Federal Inquiry Into Sexual Abuse

Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania that are accused of covering up sex abuse for decades are being investigated by the Justice Department, which is a significant escalation of scrutiny of the Catholic Church. The investigation comes two months after the Pennsylvania attorney general's office released an explosive grand jury report charging that bishops and other church leaders had covered up the abuse of more than 1,000 people over a period of more than 70 years.

Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students

Last year, one out of every 10 students lived in temporary housing during the school year, according to Advocates for Children of New York, a group that provides legal and advocacy services for needy students. The number of school-age children who are homeless has sharply increased in the last eight years, along with a rise in homelessness over all.

'Horseface,' 'Lowlife,' 'Fat, Ugly': How the President Demeans Women

Adding to his long list of demeaning language directed at women, President Trump referred to the pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford as "Horseface" in a tweet last week. The President often attacks women by demeaning their looks, mocking their bodily functions or comparing them to animals. This gloating assault was prompted by a federal judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Clifford, who is known professionally as Stormy Daniels.

What's at Stake in the Harvard Lawsuit? Decades of Debate Over Race in Admissions

A trial began last week to determine whether or not Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants, by setting a quota for acceptance of Asian-Americans, and holding them to a higher standard than applicants of other races. Asian-Americans are divided on the case, with some saying that they are being unfairly used as a wedge in a brazen attempt to abolish affirmative action.

A Conservative Group's Closed-Door 'Training' of Judicial Clerks Draws Concern

Recent law school graduates who would be clerking for federal judges were invited to an all-expenses paid training camp organized by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative group that has played a leading role in moving the courts to the right. One caveat - participants were required to keep all teaching materials secret and "pledge not to use what they learned for any purpose contrary to the mission or interest of the Heritage Foundation." Now legal experts say that efforts by the Heritage Foundation to train and influence law clerks raises serious ethical questions and could undermine the duties the clerks have to the justice system and to the judges they will serve.

Israel Can't Deport U.S. Student Over Past Support for Boycott

Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to admit Lara Alqasem, an American woman, into Israel on her student visa, over objections by the Interior Ministry, which sought to deport her for pro-Palestinian rights advocacy she was involved in as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. Alqasem had been held in a cell at Ben Gurion Airport for more than two weeks while she fought deportation. She will now be allowed to follow through on her plans to enroll in the law school at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she hopes to study for a master's degree in human rights and transitional justice.

McGahn, Soldier for Trump and Witness Against Him, Leaves White House

Donald F. McGahn II departed as White House counsel last week, after leading some of President Trump's most significant political accomplishments, including two appointments to the Supreme Court, while juggling often conflicting roles of counselor to the President, protector of law enforcement officials such as Robert S. Mueller III, and witness in the investigation into whether the President obstructed justice. He has told associates that he stopped Trump from firing Mueller and from forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to retake control of the Russia inquiry after he recused himself from oversight of it.

Liberal Upper West Siders Get Their Revenge: Trump Place Sign Comes Down

Condo owners in the TrumpPlace residential complex joined with three neighboring buildings in a successful bid to remove the offensive lettering on their building, which will now be known simply as 200 Riverside Boulevard. Residents at other Trump-branded condominiums have considered taking similar actions, but were stymied by a lack of support and fears of costly litigation or a drop in the value of their homes.

'Cavalier With the Truth': Report Finds City Watchdog Abused Authority

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides are reviewing a report prepared as part of an independent whistle-blower inquiry that portrays City watchdog Mark G. Peters as a bully who abused his authority, raged at underlings, and may have given intentionally misleading testimony to the City Council.

Jared Kushner Paid No Federal Income Tax for Years, Documents Suggest

Confidential financial documents indicate that President Trump's son-in-law and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner paid almost no federal income taxes for the years 2009 through 2016, while his family company spent billions of dollars buying real estate and his personal stock investments soared to a net worth of almost $324 million. He was able to avoid paying taxes by losing money - on paper - as his real estate has depreciated in amounts far in excess of his personal cash earnings.

Justice Dept. Accuses Russians of Interfering in Midterm Elections

Federal prosecutors have accused Russians working for Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and close ally of President Vladimir Putin, of waging an elaborate campaign of "information warfare" to "sow division and discord" in America's midterm elections. Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg has been charged as the accountant of the project, of managing a multimillion-dollar budget to buy internet domain names, Facebook and Instagram ads, Twitter accounts, and paying to promote divisive posts on social media. Prigozhin was one of 13 Russians indicted in February by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, on charges of interfering in the election two years ago.

Ex-Minneapolis FBI Agent Is Sentenced to 4 Years in Leak Case

Terry J. Albury, an African-American field agent for the FBI, has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty last year to unauthorized disclosures of national security secrets for sending several documents about FBI recruitment of potential informants in Minnesota's Somali-American community to The Intercept, which published the files with a series titled "The F.B.I.'s Secret Rules." Albury who is the son of an Ethiopian political refugee, became disillusioned about "widespread racist and xenophobic sentiments" in the FBI and "discriminatory practices and policies he observed and implemented" while working for the Bureau.

Senate Truce Collapses as G.O.P. Rush to Confirm More Judges Begins Anew

Republicans on the Judiciary Committee convened another hearing to consider more conservative federal court nominees while the Senate was technically in recess. Democrats boycotted the proceedings, but that did not prevent candidates for the bench from taking a crucial step toward confirmation. This action ended the attempted peace-making bipartisan agreement entered into after the bloody battle of Justice Brett Kavanagh's seating.

After Dismissal of Stormy Daniels Suit, Trump Lawyers Target 'Apprentice' Contestants

Soon after Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit was dismissed, President Trump's lawyers appeared before the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division to argue that the president could not, while he is in office, be sued for defamation by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's show "The Apprentice," who said that Trump had made sexual advances to her. In March, a trial court judge in New York ruled Zervos's case could go forward because President Trump's comments had nothing to do with his official duties. The ruling set up the possibility that the president might be deposed under oath about allegations he sexually harassed Zervos and several other women.

The Latest: Judges Weigh State Court's Power Over Trump

Appeals court judges weighing President Donald Trump's bid to shut down a former "Apprentice" contestant's defamation suit against him are asking a hypothetical question: Could a New York court order the president to jail if he were to buck an order in the case? Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz said the hypothetical scenario illustrated his argument that a sitting president can't be sued in a state court over non-official conduct. Zervos attorney Mariann Wang said that it's unlikely the hypothetical would ever happen and the case should proceed.

The Leaders Who Unleashed China's Mass Detention of Muslims

Communist party officials, including a local propaganda official and a party functionary in China's Xinjiang region, warned colleagues to steel themselves for the task of detaining large numbers of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities of which they were secular members. The government's goal was stated as a purge of "extremist" ideas, they were warned they must support the detention campaign for the good of their people.

Philippines Wins New Term on U.N. Rights Council, Drawing Outrage

The Philippines has won a three-year term on the United Nations Human Rights Council, despite condemnation by international groups and officials outraged by President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war. It will be one of 18 member states to join the 47-seat council through 2021. Human Rights Watch accused president Duterte of overseeing a "killing frenzy" and said the vote for the country to retain its seat on the council risked undermining the body's credibility and effectiveness.

Poland Ordered to Reverse Purge of Supreme Court

The European Court of Justice, in an interim judgment, demanded that Poland's leaders reinstate more than two dozen judges who had been removed by the ruling party without warning, posing a fundamental threat to the rule of law, and compromising the independence of the judiciary. The Court also ordered suspension of a new law that allows a sweeping purge of the nation's Supreme Court. Poland's government has placed reshaping the courts at the center of its agenda and had vowed to defy any efforts by the European court to interfere.

The following stories have been divided into categories Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media, for your convenience.


Chinese Internet Star Detained for 'Disrespectful' Version of National Anthem

Yang Kaili, a Chinese live-streaming star with tens of millions of followers, was detained for five days for singing the national anthem in a "disrespectful" manner while broadcasting live. According to the police, Yang was detained under China's National Anthem Law, implemented last year, which threatens up to three years of detention for people who disrespect the anthem.


Strike Over, Lyric Opera of Chicago Can Resume Business

Less than a week after going out on strike, the musicians in the Lyric Opera orchestra ratified a new labor agreement that would reduce their guaranteed weeks of work and the size of the orchestra but increase their weekly salary. The ratified agreement reduces the number of guaranteed weeks of work for the players in the orchestra to 22, from 24, and reduces the number of full-time orchestra members through attrition to 70, from 74. These terms were substantially in line with what management was asking for.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum Will Not Use Saudi Money for Programs on the Middle East

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met)nand the Brooklyn Museum would not use Saudi money for programs on Middle Eastern art that had originally been supported by groups tied to the Saudi government. The programs, a three-month exhibition about Syrian refugees at the Brooklyn Museum, and a seminar at the Met next week about curating Middle Eastern art, are part of a yearlong "Arab Art & Education Initiative." After Turkish officials accused Saudi operatives of killing the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, some participants in the initiative began reconsidering their involvement.

Anna Burns Wins the Man Booker Prize for 'Milkman'

The Man Booker prize was awarded to Anna Burns for her novel "Milkman," which is set in an unnamed city during "the Troubles," a prolonged civil conflict in Northern Ireland that gave rise to sectarian violence and guerrilla warfare. The judges, chaired by New York Times ethics columinist, writer and philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, cited Burns's use of dark humor to explore weighty themes like the perils of tribalism, state-sponsored terrorism, social division and the ways that sexual and political oppression often overlap. "None of us had ever read anything like this before," said Appiah in a statement. "It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humor."


USA Gymnastics Interim CEO Quits After Anti-Nike Tweet

Mary Bono resigned as interim chief of USA Gymnastics only four days into the job, after she drew fire for a tweet she sent criticizing Nike Inc's use of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. In a letter posted on Twitter, Bono said she stepped down after "personal attacks" and defended her First Amendment right to tweet a photo of her marking over the Nike logo on her golf shoes at a benefit tournament for armed service families.

Simone Biles Criticizes Anti-Nike Tweet by Mary Bono, New U.S.A. Gymnastics Leader

Simone Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Olympics and who will compete for the United States in this year's world championships, resurfaced Mary Bono's September anti-Nike tweet with a critical post of her own.

Steve Penny Asked FBI to Help Protect U.S.A. Gymnastics' Image During Sex Abuse Case

Steve Penny, former president of U.S.A. Gymnastics, discussed the possibility of a top security job at the United States Olympic Committee with an FBI agent who was investigating Dr. Lawrence Nasser, the national team's doctor, on charges of widespread sexual abuse over many years. Penny worried about the organization's image and also sought advice from federal investigators on the wording of public statements about the investigation. Penny's lawyer confirmed that the U.S.O.C. position had been discussed with the investigator but insisted there was no conflict of interest.

Steve Penny, Former U.S.A. Gymnastics Chief, Arrested on Evidence Tampering Charge

Steve Penny, the former president and chief executive of U.S.A. Gymnastics, was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of evidence tampering in a Texas investigation into sexual abuse by Lawrence G. Nassar, the imprisoned former doctor for the national gymnastics team. A grand jury in Walker County, Tex., indicted Penny on allegations that he had ordered the removal of documents from a national team training center after learning that an investigation had begun into Nassar's behavior.

N.B.A. G League to Offer Prospects $125,000 as Alternative to 'One and Done'

When the N.B.A. raised the minimum eligibility age for basketball players from 18 to 19 years old in 2005, players such as Kobe Bryant and
LeBron James who would have gone into professional basketball straight from high school began to join N.C.A.A. ranks for a "one and done" year at college, declaring for the N.B.A. draft after their first years in school. Now the N.B.A. has announced that, beginning next year, select players will have an alternative to "one and done" - they would be able to earn $125,000 to play in the N.B.A.'s development league, the G League, for a year before entering the draft.

Racial Abuse, Then a Beating, on a French Soccer Field

Current and former players of France's multicultural world champion men's national soccer team say that amateur soccer in France is marred by racism and discrimination. A month before the World Cup, Kerfalla Sissoko, an amateur soccer player from Guinea, was brutally attacked after a fight broke out during a league match near the northeastern city of Strasbourg. Sissoko and several black teammates said that rival players and fans had directed racist insults at them during the game. Sissoko was cornered as he tried to leave the field, and was beaten by players and fans, who broke his cheekbone. Then league officials suspended him for 10 games for provoking the melee.


New York Attorney General Expands Inquiry Into Net Neutrality Comments

New York's Attorney General, Barbara D. Underwood, is investigating whether telecommunications trade groups, lobbying contractors, and Washington Advocacy organizations submitted millions of fraudulent public comments to sway a critical federal decision on internet regulation. The regulations, made under President Barack Obama, were meant to guarantee full and equal access to the internet, a principle known as net neutrality. The telecommunications industry bitterly opposed them and enthusiastically backed a repeal under President Trump. The fake comments appear to have favored the telecommunications industry, while all of the unique comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission opposed repeal of net neutrality.

A Genocide Incited on Facebook, With Posts From Myanmar's Military

A systematic campaign was waged on Facebook by members of the Myanmar military targeting the country's mostly Muslim Rohingya minority group, inciting murders, rapes, and widespread migration of Rohingya. Facebook took down the official accounts of senior Myanmar military leaders in August, but the breadth and details of the propaganda campaign hidden behind fake names and sham accounts went undetected.

Facebook's WhatsApp Flooded With Fake News in Brazil Election

Facebook efforts to crack down on misinformation on its main platform ahead of the October 28th Brazilian presidential run-off between right-winger Jair Bolsonaro and leftist Fernando Haddad have been unsuccessful, as their popular messaging application WhatsApp has been flooded with falsehoods and conspiracy theories. Haddad alleges that businessmen supporting Bolsonaro have been paying to bombard voters with misleading propaganda in violation of electoral law, which Bolsonaro denies.

Julian Assange Says That He is Suing Ecuador for 'Violating His Fundamental Rights'

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who has taken asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012, announced that he was suing the Ecuadorean government for "violating his fundamental rights," claiming that his longtime hosts at the country's embassy in London are limiting his contact with the outside world and censoring his speech.

Saudis' Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider

Before he was murdered in a Saudi embassy in Istanbul, the Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi woke each morning to reach the words of Twitter trolls who had been ordered to attack him and other influential Saudis who had criticized the kingdom's leaders. Khashoggi's online attackers were part of a broad effort dictated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his close advisers to silence critics both inside Saudi Arabia and abroad. Hundreds of people work at a so-called troll farm in Riyadh to smother the voices of dissidents. The vigorous push also appears to include the grooming -- not previously reported -- of a Saudi employee at Twitter whom Western intelligence officials suspected of spying on user accounts to help the Saudi leadership.

Khashoggi Warns in Last Column of Free Rein to Silence Media

The Washington Post published a column by Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in which he warned that governments in the Middle East "have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate." Khashoggi first began writing for the Post's opinion section in September 2017, and his columns criticized the prince and the direction of the Saudi kingdom. In the op-ed, titled "Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression," Khashoggi recounted the imprisonment of a prominent writer who spoke against the Saudi establishment, and cited an incident in which the Egyptian government seized control of a newspaper.

October 18, 2018

Center For Art Law Case Law Updates

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

Accent Delight International Ltd. et al v. Sotheby's et al, 1:18-cv-09011-JMF (Oct. 2, 2018).
In another international and voluminous case, now against Sotheby's, the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev claims that Swiss businessman and art dealer Yves Bouvier defrauded him in connection with the purchase of a world-class art collection, to the tune of approximately $1 Billion. The Complaint alleges that Sotheby's aided and abetted the fraud. It is available upon request at

US v. Chowaiki, 1:18-cr-00323 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2018).
Manhattan art dealer Erza Chowaiki pleaded guilty to charges of fraud (, and was sentenced to spend 18 months in prison. This is the end of a procedure following his bankruptcy and three years of supervised release for defrauding art dealers and collectors of millions of dollars. He was also ordered to give up his interest in more than 20 works of art involved in the fraud, including pieces by Picasso and Alexander Calder.

Adrian Falkner v. General Motors Company et al., 2:18-cv-00549 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2018).
A California federal judge allowed the street artist Adrian Falkner to move forward in his copyright lawsuit against General Motors (GM) over an advertisement that incorporated his work. GM failed to convince the judge on summary judgment that the mural was inseparable from the parking garage ( This sets aside the classification of the mural as an architectural work, which copyright law permits as pictorial representations. Nonetheless, the court denied Falker's punitive claim for punitive damages. The Order is available upon request at

Matter of Salz, 2018 NY Slip Op 04965 (App. Div. July 5, 2018).
New York's First Department Appellate Division affirmed the Surrogate's court decision to dismiss the petition for discovery by a newly-appointed administrator of the Sam Salz Estate on the grounds that fraud, which might have been conducted in settling the affairs of the renowned private art dealer, should have been discovered sometime after 1999. It was the second ruling from the court in connection with the Salz estate, see Matter of Salz, 80 A.D.2d 769, 436 N.Y.S.2d 713 (App. Div. 1981).

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. In addition to the weekly newsletter (, the Center for Art Law subscribers receive updates about art and law-related topics through its popular art law blog ( calendar of events ( The Center for Art Law welcomes inquiries and announcements from firms, universities and student organizations about recent publications, pending cases, upcoming events, current research and job and externship opportunities. To contact the Center for Art Law, visit our website at: or write to

October 15, 2018

Week In Review

By Nick Crudele
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Haley Resigns Post as U.N. Ambassador

Nikki Haley will step down as U.N. Ambassador at the end of the year. No reason was given for her resignation.

Interpol President Resigns Amid Bribery Allegations

Interpol's President Meng Hongwei resigned days after he was reported missing in China. Hongwei was detained by Chinese authorities who accuse him of corruption. China said Meng Hongwei is being investigated for allegations of bribery. Meng maintained his role as China's vice minister of public security while serving as Interpol's president.

The World Health Organization Struggles to Define Dangers of E-Cigs

The World Health Organization's (W.H.O.) tobacco treaty negotiations at its regular biannual session to update its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control tackled the question of what to do with the explosive growth of e-cigarettes and other no-burn devices. The W.H.O. maintains that the treaty's current wording covers all forms of tobacco, including non-traditional cigarettes, but the treaty does not officially cover e-cigarettes because they are not defined as tobacco products yet.

Tech Workers Want Say In Where Their Work Is Used

Employees at technology companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are demanding greater insight into how their companies are deploying the technology that they are paid to build. Engineers and technologists are asking whether the products they are working on are being used for surveillance in places like China or by the U.S. or other militaries.

U.S. Spies Stop Russian Attempt to Subvert Balkans Vote

U.S. officials intercepted communications in June showing Russian attempts to undermine an agreement between Greece and Macedonia that would have paved the way for Macedonia to join NATO, which Greece has long objected. American officials turned over the intercepts to the left-leaning Greek government in attempt to undermine Russian attempts. The Greek government responded by expelling two Russian diplomats from Athens and barring the entry of two more.

More Women, People of Color Running For Office

More women and people of color are running for political office than ever before. Since 2012, women of color candidates for Congress have increased by 75%, and white women candidates by 36%. The number of men of color running has increased 8%.

Supreme Court Through the Years

114 justices have been appointed to the Supreme Court since it was established in 1789. All but six were white men. It took 178 years before a person of color joined the Court and 192 years for a woman to be seated. The first Catholic Justice joined the Court in 1836 and the first Jewish Justice was seated in 1916. A majority of justices have been Protestant, but the Court has had a Catholic majority since 2006.

Entire Communities Destroyed By Hurricane Michael

Entire communities in the Florida Panhandle were wiped off the map and an Air Force base suffered "catastrophic" damage by Hurricane Michael, which now ranks as one of the four most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Mexico Beach, Florida, a town of about 1,000 residents, was almost completely destroyed by the 155 mph winds.

Rosenstein Faces Congressional Investigators

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to talk to Congressional investigators about a 2017 episode where he suggested using a wiretap to record President Trump's communications. Rosenstein told then-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe that he wanted to secretly record the president to help explore whether he had obstructed justice.

UK Supreme Court Backs Bakery Refusing to Make Gay-Themed Cake

The United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled that a Belfast bakery run by evangelical Christians was not obliged to make a cake emblazoned with the message "support gay marriage." The unanimous decision was greeted as a victory for free speech but condemned by gay rights groups and the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland as a backward step in combating discrimination. The baker refused to produce the cake, featuring the Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie, for a patron who supported the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Rick Gates Sought Online Manipulation Plans

Rick Gates, a top Trump campaign official, allegedly requested proposals in 2016 from an Israeli company to create fake online identities, to use social media manipulation and to gather intelligence to help defeat Republican primary race opponents and Hillary Clinton. The campaign's interest in the work began as Russians were escalating their efforts to influence the election.

U.S. Economists Win Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Two U.S. economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, received the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for "significantly broaden[ing] the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge." Nordhaus of Yale University developed two computer simulations that weigh the costs and benefits of taking various steps to slow global warming and argued for taxes on the carbon content of fuels to get businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Romer of New York University argued that government policies, such as funding for research and development, can stimulate technological advances and the presence or absence of such policies helps to explain national differences in wealth and economic growth.

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


Judge Drops Weinstein Charge

A Manhattan judge dropped one of the criminal counts against Harvey Weinstein after new information was revealed by the prosecutors that contradicts claims by one alleged victim who said that Weinstein sexually assault her. The new information also suggests that the New York Police Department withheld the contradictory information from the prosecutor.

Cosby's Legal Battle Shifts to Civil Court

10 women who claimed that Bill Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted them sued the comedian in civil court. The civil suits were on hold while Cosby's criminal trial played out.

Fyre Festival Organizer Sentenced to Prison

The organizer of last year's Fyre Festival was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty in March to two counts of wire and bank fraud. William McFarland defrauded festival investors and ticket vendors out of about $26 million using a "sham ticket scheme", in which he sold bogus tickets to fashion, music, and sporting events.

Bollywood Has Its Own #MeToo Moment

The #MeToo movement has reached Bollywood with a decades old sexual misconduct allegation against popular Bollywood actor Nana Patekar being reported to police and a Netflix partnership dissolved amid allegations against a founder. This has sparked a flood of Twitter allegations of inappropriate behavior by prominent men in India.


Banksy Painting Worth More After Shredding

A picture by street artist Banksy of a girl reaching out for a red balloon that sold at a Sotheby's auction for $1.4M and was immediately shredded by a shredder built into its picture frame may be worth more now than the auction price. The stunt, of which Sotheby's denies involvement, may cause the price to soar. The winning bidder says that she will keep the painting.

Meier Steps Away From Firm

Six months after a New York Times exposé detailed how architect Richard Meier allegedly sexually harassed five women, Meier is stepping away from day-to-day operations of the firm he founded, Richard Meier & Partners.

Opera Orchestra Goes on Strike in Chicago

The Lyric Opera Orchestra went on strike in front of the Chicago Civic Opera House amid shrinking audiences and declining revenue. Management wants to cut 5 positions in the orchestra to reduce costs and pursue other cost cutting measures.

Artists Join Effort to Swing U.S. Elections

The artist and activist organization "For Freedoms" started a 50 state initiative aimed at producing public art programs centered around civic engagement in a lead-up to the November midterm elections. More than 200 institutions and 400 artists have joined the effort.

Accusations Filed in "The Satanic Verses" Shooting

Norwegian police filed accusations against several suspects in the 1993 shooting of author Salman Rushdie's Norwegian publisher, in what was a procedural move to keep the case active before a statute of limitations ban comes into force on the shooting's 25th anniversary. Iran's then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa in 1989 calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie and others associated with his book The Satanic Verses. Rushdie's publisher William Nygaard was subsequently severely wounded in an attack outside his home in Oslo by foreign citizens now living abroad.

Non-Profits Question Ties to Saudi Arabia

Nonprofits, like museums and major universities, have been strengthening their ties with Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Middle Eastern countries as a way to broaden their offerings, foster cross-cultural dialogue, and obtain access to their considerable wealth. However, some are questioning whether the possible murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a reason to shun Saudi Arabia, or if the country is simply too wealthy and important to ignore.

Shrine Found at Pompeii

A perfectly preserved ancient shrine 'frozen in time' in volcanic ash for 2,000 years was found in the ruined city of Pompeii. Archaeologists described the altar space, known as a lararium, as 'marvelous and enigmatic.'

Maryse Conde Wins Literature Prize

Maryse Conde from the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe won the New Academy Prize in Literature. The New Academy said that Conde's work "describes the ravages of colonialism, and the post-colonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming."


Protesters Disrupt Advertising on Sydney Opera House

Protesters put a sea of light on the Sydney Opera House to disrupt a controversial advertisement projected on the famous Opera House. The UNESCO World Heritage site displayed an advertisement for the Everest Cup horse race on the side of the building and sparked a fierce divide among the city residents.


Social Media Fights Domestic Misinformation

Both the left and right are flooding social media with domestic disinformation. Since Facebook and other social media companies have adopted measures to hunt for and remove foreign interference on their sites, domestic sites have gained traction. The shift toward domestic disinformation raises potential free speech issues when these social media sites find and curtail such accounts.

Deadly Year for Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least 43 journalists have been killed around the world as a result of their work, outpacing last year, and does not include 17 other deaths in which the motives have not been confirmed. Reporters Without Borders puts the figures for 2018 at slightly higher number, and says that more journalists have been killed in connection to their work this year than in all of 2017.

Facebook Breach Smaller Than Expected

Facebook said that hackers accessed 29 million accounts as part of a security breach disclosed two weeks ago, which is fedwer than the 50 million initially believed. The hackers accessed names, email addresses or phone numbers from the 29 million accounts, according to Facebook. Hackers obtained even more data from 14 million of them, such as hometowns, birthdates, the last 10 places they checked into, or the 15 most recent searches.

Possible Evidence of Journalist Killed Inside Saudi Consulate

Turkish authorities claim to have audio and visual evidence showing that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The supposed evidence shows that there had been an assault and a struggle inside the consulate along with evidence that Khashoggi was killed. Foreign intelligence service who have seen the evidence say that it is "shocking and disgusting." Washington Post columnist Khashoggi was last seen going into the consulate a week age to get paperwork allowing him to marry his Turkish fiancée, but has not been seen since.

China Denial of Visa to Journalist Sends a "Chilling Message"

The Financial Times said that China was sending a "chilling message" to the people of Hong Kong by denying a visa to one of its journalists. Victor Mallet was told that that his visa renewal was denied weeks after he hosted a pro-independence activist in his role as vice president of the city's Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC). The editorial board of the The Financial Times said: "No criticism has been offered of his work as a journalist. In the absence of any proper explanation for the decision, it is therefore hard to resist the conclusion that it amounts to retribution for his role as (FCC vice president)."

Suspect Arrested in Rape and Killing of Bulgarian Journalist

German police arrested a suspect in connection with the rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova whose slaying elicited global condemnation and accusations that she was targeted for her investigative journalism. However, Bulgarian prosecutors said the motive was likely sexual assault and not related to her professional activities. A 21-year-old man with an extensive criminal record has been charged in absentia.

October 8, 2018

Week In Review

By Eric Lanter
Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

General News

After White House Tells the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Interview Anyone Necessary for Kavanaugh Inquiry, Then Trump Taunts Blasey, Senate Confirms Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

The Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court after a tumultuous week for his nomination. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBIS) completed its investigation into allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted or harassed multiple women, and apparently its report sent to the White House and Senate satisfied enough senators to not block the confirmation. The investigation came at a time when even President Trump, a teetotaler, vacillated on his own nominee at times, questioning how Kavanaugh seemed to have forgotten many of the details surrounding his partying days during school. Regardless, Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Justice and set to preside over cases on Tuesday.

After Watching Kavanaugh Hearing, Woman Names State Senator She Says Raped Her

Following Christine Blasey Ford's testimony in Washington, a woman in Seattle, Candace Faber, announced that she had been raped by a Washington state senator in 2007. Senator Joe Fain represents a district south of Seattle and has denied the allegation. Faber credited Ford's bravery in testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee as giving Faber the courage to step forward with her own story.

Justices Appear Divided in First Case with Vacant Seat

The Supreme Court's term opened with a vacant seat, and the Court appeared to be split in a case concerning an application of the Endangered Species Act in Louisiana. The case involved a timber company suing the federal government over the government's designation of an area of timberland as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. It is unclear how the Court will rule. The Court also struggled to deal with a case of an inmate who cannot recall the 1985 murder that sent him to death row in Alabama. Nonetheless, the inmate understood the accusations and the punishment that the state has planned for him.

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes

A blistering piece reveals the numerous ways in which Donald Trump's father, Fred Trump, organized transferring most of the family's assets to the former as the latter Trump was aging. The transfers began when Donald Trump was three years old and only grew with time, as he made himself the heir apparent to the family empire. The transfers were disguised through phantom ownership and management of properties throughout New York City, but more than anything, came through inflated prices on products and services that a "management company," owned by Donald Trump and his siblings, supposedly delivered to Fred Trump's properties. While criminal charges are unlikely given the statute of limitations, civil penalties may be a possibility.

Internal Revenue Service Tax Fraud Cases Plummet After Budget Cuts

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has pursued far fewer tax evasion cases now than it had 10 years ago. The chief of criminal investigations for the IRS admitted it to be a "startling number" of cases, as the cases are meant to recover lost money and also to shape taxpayer behavior for hundreds of millions of Americans. Analysts fear that the only reason for the lack of filing new cases is the budget cuts to the IRS, and the result is a tremendous loss in revenue, which may of course lead to additional budget cuts.

Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to Texas Tent City

A tent city in a West Texan desert has been the destination for cross-country journeys for hundreds of migrant children. Undocumented children typically were held in shelters throughout the country, but the tent city, where there is no school, has become the temporary home of the children until their cases are processed. Some have called the tent city an illustration of the broken immigration system as the conditions leave groups of 20 children sleeping in bunks, whereas in other facilities throughout the country children slept two or three to a room. The Department of Health and Human Services, however, has pointed out that the number of detained migrant children has grown fivefold since last year and has necessitated creating facilities like the one in West Texas.

U.S. Bans Diplomatic Visas for Foreign Same-Sex Domestic Partners

The Trump administration announced that it will no longer issue family visas to same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats. Advocates in the LGBT community quickly criticized the administration for its policy, even as it went into effect on Monday. To obtain a diplomatic family visa, proof of marriage must be provided now, but of the United Nations' 193 member states, few have legalized same-sex marriage.

Scientists Behind Cancer Immunotherapies Win Nobel Medicine Prize

American James Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their work in using the immune system to fight cancer. The treatment that they created, known as immune checkpoint blockade, has changed the outcomes for advanced cancer patients, as it uses the body's main immune cells to attack tumors. The medicines that they created have reached sales of approximately $15 Billion this year, and analysts expect revenues to eventually reach $50 billion.

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Scientists Who Put Light to Work

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a trio of scientists, Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou, and Donna Strickland, for their work in using pure light as a microscopic force that has been called "optical tweezers." The laser beam can manipulate microscopic objects, such as viruses and bacteria, and light can also be used to drill tiny, precise holes similar to that which is done in Lasik eye surgeries.

Chemistry Nobel for Using Evolution to Create New Proteins

Three scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in creating new proteins using a "sped-up version of evolution." The proteins have been used in medications and biofuels and have had the impact of reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes. The method involved creating random mutations in DNA that were then injected into bacteria and further mutated, which allowed the result to be highly effective for making medications and other substances, like renewable fuels.

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Yazidi Activist and Congolese Doctor

Nadia Murad, who has been an activist in the fight against sexual slavery, and Dr. Denis Mukwege, who has treated thousands of women in the Congo, once called the rape capital of the world, have won the Nobel Peace Prize for their campaigns to end the use of mass rape as a weapon of war. They dedicated the prize to "woman of all countries bruised by conflict and facing everyday violence." Murad had been sold into slavery under ISIS, and since her liberation, had been leading a worldwide campaign against rape and sexual slavery.

U.S. Withdraws from 1955 Treaty with Iran

The United States announced that it is pulling out of a 1955 treaty with Iran that "provided a basis for normalizing relations between the two countries." The move came just hours after the International Court of Justice ordered the U.S. to ensure that its sanctions did not "prevent food, medicine and aircraft parts from reaching Iran." The withdrawal from the treaty, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is seen as the latest effort in reversing policies pursued under Barack Obama's administration. Much of the treaty's contents, such as its creating commercial relationships, tax structures, and access to each other's court systems has not applied since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, but nonetheless some analysts say that the move hurts U.S. interests and unnecessarily escalates tensions between the U.S. and the Middle East.

American and Chinese Warships Narrowly Avoid Collision

As the trade war between the United States and China continues to grow, a massive collision nearly occurred between two warships in the South China Sea. The Pentagon has accused the Chinese Navy of an unsafe maneuver that brought a ship within 45 yards of an American destroyer that was in the middle of a "routine mission in international waters." The South China Sea has been a contentious area, as American ships being present in the sea are interpreted in China as a threat to sovereignty and security.

Senators Call for Investigation of Children's Apps

Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal have called for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether thousands of apps may "improperly track children and collect their personal information." The apps may have been labeled as "child-friendly", which is misleading, as the apps may have been mining data that was then used in a way that could violate users' privacy. The law requires that parents approve the collection of personal details about their children who are under 13 years old.

Four Arrested in Virginia Violence and Called 'Serial Rioters'

Four men from California have been arrested for being "serial rioters" part of Rise Above Movement, a militant white supremacist group. The men are alleged to have flown from California to Virginia last year and violently attacked counterprotesters in Charlottesville and also participated in violent rallies in California. Some of their violence had resulted in serious injuries, and each of them face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges of traveling to incite riots and conspiracy to riot.

How Sheldon Silver Manages to Brush Off Challenges, Including Prison

Sheldon Silver has had a career of surprising his enemies, and he pulled off another surprise as he avoided prison pending the appeal of his conviction on corruption charges. A federal appeals panel agreed to stay his surrender date and granted his request for bail. It is expected that the decision on appeal will come around the end of the year.

Women Assured a Win in New York Senate Races

New York's State Senate races may be making history this election cycle: there are 10 women running against another female candidate, the "highest number of two-woman races in recent memory, if not ever." This development is part of a nationwide movement of women running for public office. Many of the candidates have cited their own personal backgrounds for being the impetus to run, while others cite the result of the 2016 election as the main reason for running for office.

Russia Targeted Investigators Trying to Expose Its Misdeeds

Russian intelligence officers launched cyberattacks against organizations around the world that had been critical of Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin. Officers had hacked into "the British foreign ministry, antidoping agencies in Colorado Springs and Colorado, and investigators examining the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine in 2014." Officials in Washington, London, and Amsterdam have released detailed accounts of how Russian officers executed their cyberattacks, and the Department of Justice announced its indictment of seven Russian officers.

Indonesia Tsunami Survivors are Burying the Dead and Desperate for Aid

Following the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and 20-foot tsunami that hit Palu, Indonesia, the community has been working to identify the dead and repair the widespread damage. At least 1,000 people died in the disaster, and the week since then has been filled with rescue efforts as well as securing the area and stopping looters.

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


Music Modernization Act to be Signed Into Law

A bill promoted as "the most significant improvement of music copyright law in more than a generation," entitled the Music Modernization Act, is ready to be signed by President Trump. It is expected that the act will speed up royalty payments and lead to increased revenues for creators and copyright owners. Additionally, it will open up music royalties for pre-1972 songs and allow royalties for music producers and engineers.

Cardi B Charged with Misdemeanor Assault

Belcalis Almanzar, known by her stage name Cardi B, turned herself into the police and faces one charge of assault and two charges of reckless endangerment for her role in a fight at a New York strip club. She has no prior arrests, and her attorney told reporters that she did not cause "anybody any harm" in the fight. The fight was suspected to be part of a feud between Cardi B and her two sisters who work at the strip club, one of whom may have had an affair with Cardi B's husband.

'Jersey Shore' Star Sorrentino Sentenced to Eight Months for Tax Evasion

Star of the reality television show "The Jersey Shore", Mike Sorrentino, has been sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion. Prosecutors charged that he and his brother, Marc, had avoided taxes on $8.9 million by trying to classify purchases of clothes, vehicles, and personal items as business expenses.

CBS Fires Brad Kern After Accusations Emerge of Misconduct

CBS fired the former producer Brad Kern after he was accused of misconduct "ranging from mistreatment of women to racially insensitive comments." More broadly, CBS is going through a cleansing process the likes of which the company has not seen. It has had a recent shakeup in its board of directors and a series of high-profile people in the organization dismissed, from chief executive Leslie Moonves, to executive producer of "60 Minutes" Jeff Fager, to host of "CBS This Morning" Charlie Rose.

China's Most Famous Actress Facing Huge Fines in Tax Evasion Case

China has accused Fan Bingbing, the country's most famous actress, with evading millions of dollars in taxes. The move comes as it is suspected those in the television and film industry may also be avoiding taxes as well. Fan faces a fine of nearly $70 million comprised of unpaid taxes and penalties after finding that she under-reported her earnings from films. She has pledged to pay the fine and has dropped from public view since the announcement of the evasion.


Central Figure in Nobel Scandal Jailed for Rape

Jean-Claude Arnault has been found guilty of raping a woman in 2011 and will be imprisoned for two years. Arnault was at the center of the scandal that resulted in cancelling the Nobel Prize in Literature. As a French photographer, he had an established career in the arts, but was found to have forced a woman into oral sex and intercourse in 2011. There will be no literature prize for the first time in nearly 70 years because of his conviction.

Judge Rules That Cafe Must Change Its Name

MoMaCha, a cafe and art gallery, has had to change its name, logo, and website after the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) filed suit against it and obtained a preliminary injunction from Judge Louis Stanton of the United States District Court. MoMA alleged that the use of the name MoMaCha diluted and infringed the museum's trademarked name. The preliminary injunction prohibits the cafe from using MOMA or MOMACHA marks, and since the ruling, the cafe has changed its name to MAMACHA.

Vulgar Texts and Dancer Turmoil Force City Ballet to Look in the Mirror

The New York City Ballet has been the premier ballet in the country, and it is now grappling with the era's #MeToo movement. Its leader retired amidst allegations of physical and emotional abuse, and three of its 14 principal male dancers have been accused of sharing sexually explicit photographs of women. Whereas more corporate industries have already put safeguards in place to prevent such occurrences from happening, the performing arts, "where autocratic personalities often hold sway," is beginning to move toward more safeguards including terminating relationships with those who have committed wrongful acts.

Statue in California, Icon or Insensitive Relic, Is On Its Way Out

On the campus of California State University, Long Beach, sits a statue named Prospector Pete, harkening back to 1849 when prospectors came looking for gold and land. Many find the statue to be a harmless figure of that time, while others find it to be approval of the brutal treatment of indigenous people during that era. The university's president has announced that the statue will be moved.

Kuwait Steps Up Book Burning

Kuwait's government has literary censors that have banned the most surprising books, including an encyclopedia with a picture of Michelangelo's David and a Disney version of "The Little Mermaid". While some Kuwaitis view their country as a bastion of freedom in a region not known for such, critics point to the bans on books as a prime example of why the country is more regressive. Since 2014, the government announced that at least 4,390 books have been banned, including major works of literature. While demonstrations have showed the outrage, it has not slowed the pace, as hundreds of books were already banned in 2018.

Jailed Ukrainian Film Director to End Hunger Strike

Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov has vowed to end a hunger strike that lasted 144 days as he faced force-feeding due to his health condition. In 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years in a Russian jail for charges of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism. He had been an outspoken critic of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. Before his imprisonment, he achieved notoriety for his film, "Gamer", which was shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2012. He began his hunger strike to demand the release of Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russian jails.

The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman's Tale of Hiding in Her Home

Elsa Koditschek, a Jewish resident of Vienna, fled the city after receiving a deportation edict telling her to go to a Polish ghetto. While she instead chose to flee to homes of non-Jewish friends, she left behind in her home a landscape by Egon Schiele. She eventually returned in secret to her home where she found herself hiding from a tenant, an SS officer, Herbert Gerbing. The painting was sold during the war, and now her heirs will share in the proceeds with the current owners of the painting when it goes up for auction at Sotheby's for an estimated $12 million to $18 million.


Las Vegas Police Reopen Investigation Into Ronaldo Sexual Assault

Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit against football star Cristiano Ronaldo in Nevada, claiming that she received $375,000 to settle her claims against him relating to a 2009 rape that he is alleged to have committed against her. On the day of the alleged rape, she reported the incident to police but did not name the perpetrator at that time. The Las Vegas police have announced that she requested last month for the case to be reopened, and the police department has so done. When the story first made headlines, Ronaldo said in an Instagram video that it was "fake news".

Ivy League Football Saw Large Reduction in Concussions After Rule Change

In 2016, the Ivy League changed its rules regarding kickoffs: the lines for kickoff and touchback were moved by five yards. Those five yards led to a fall in concussions from 11 per 1,000 kickoffs to just two per 1,000 kickoffs. This study result was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and has identified that kickoffs lead to an outsized number of concussions as opposed to other plays. The results of the study are likely to bolster the push to adjust kickoff rules at all levels of football.

Family of Junior Seau Settles Case Against the National Football League

Junior Seau, the Hall of Fame linebacker who committed suicide and was found to have CTE, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head, had his family succeed him in fighting the National Football League (NFL). This week, the parties settled the matter and ended a six-year legal drama. After his death in 2012, the family filed a wrongful death action against the NFL, and this week dismissed the lawsuit, as it reached a confidential settlement with the NFL for an undisclosed sum.


Facebook Hack Puts Thousands of Sites at Risk

Facebook announced that it recently experienced the largest hack in the company's history. Hackers obtained account entry keys of over 50 million Facebook users, and those credentials (which are part of Facebook Connect) may have compromised those users' accounts on other sites, as the credentials were shared between Facebook and external sites. Facebook forced 40 million users who had been hacked to log out and reauthenticate their credentials, but it remains unclear the extent of the hack, as Facebook has not disclosed whether related sites were accessed by hackers.

Facebook Post May Haunt $5 Million Donor Ole Miss Alumnus

Ed Meek, an alumnus of Ole Miss, posted on Facebook a photograph of two young black students and wrote that the students or people who look similar "were responsible for the problems on campus and in town." While many in the community and around the country expected that The University of Mississippi would struggle to deal with the situation, given that Meek has a building named after him, the Chancellor of the university announced that he would expedite the process of removing Meek's name from the building.

Hong Kong Plans to Expel a Financial Times Editor

The Financial Times has disclosed that the Hong Kong government declined to renew the visa of one of its journalists, resulting in his expulsion and raising concerns about the "deterioration of media freedom in the semiautonomous Chinese city." The newspaper noted that this was the first instance of a visa denial, and the government did not give any reason for the denial. The government has refused to comment on the case. These actions are more in line with what occurs within mainland China and that resemblance has concerned others in the media, such as The New York Times, which has an office in Hong Kong.

Pakistani Journalist Treason Trial Signals New Pressure on Media

As part of the new government's effort to intimidate the news media, a Pakistani journalist has been ordered to face accusations of treason in court. The journalist, Cyril Almeida, wrote an article about the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his potential involvement in aiding militants who attacked Mumbai in 2008 and left more than 160 dead. Analysts see the government's approach to Almeida's article as in line with the military's actions leading up to the July election, when the military censored the news media and pressured candidates to have its favored candidate, Imran Khan, win the election. The president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Afzal Butt, called this era "the darkest period of journalism in the country's history, no doubt about it."

The Artist's Copyright and the Art of Its Protection

Join a panel of skilled attorneys as they discuss copyright as it applies to working artists. Topics will include the fine points of the copyright application and copyright registration, in addition to strategies that unrepresented artists and artists working with a gallery all can employ to protect their work from infringement. Information and insights will be constructive, sensible and anything but abstract!

October 16, 2018 | 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


31 Mamaroneck Avenue, 9th Floor White Plains, NY 10601


Betsy Dale, Esq., Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller

Betsy is an attorney practicing in the corporate, litigation, and intellectual property and art law practice areas, with a concentration on disputes, contracts and intellectual property matters.

Jana S. Farmer, Esq., Wilson Elser

Jana is an art lawyer representing art market participants in all stages of the creation, licensing, sale, lending, gifting, merchandising and display of art.

Julie A. Hopkins, Esq., Hopkins IP

Julie provides counseling, registration, and enforcement of trademarks and copyrights to clients in the fashion and apparel, arts, food, beverage, technology, and healthcare industries.


Nisa Lynn Ojalvo, Vice President Legal Affairs, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc.

Nisa is a corporate transactional lawyer with a specialty in intellectual property. Prior to joining LVMH in 2001, Nisa worked at Millbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in Hong Kong and at Fuji Television in Japan. She is also an internationally published photographer.

Space is limited. RSVP to Kristina Maldonado at or 518.487.5588.

October 2, 2018

Center For Art Law Case Law Updates

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

Shepard v. European Pressphoto Agency, 291 F. Supp. 3d 465 (S.D.N.Y. 2017).
The plaintiffs, courtroom artists, illustrated many high-profile criminal trials. Their works were published without their consent by the defendants, an international news services and a stock photo agency. Claiming copyright infringement, breach of licensing agreement, and unfair competition, the court granted the motion to dismiss on two last claims, as they are preempted under the Copyright Act 1976. The court denied the motion on the copyright claim. The case was ultimately settled in April 2018.

Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art, 897 F.3d 1141 (9th Cir. 2018).
Lucas Craner the Elder's "Adam and Eve" painting was the subject of a long battle between the family of the original owners and the Norton Simon Museum in California. The Renaissance painting was forcibly sold by Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish art dealer in the Netherlands during WWII, but the Dutch court denied the heirs' claims based on their failure to state a claim before the statute of limitations ran for Nazi-era looted art restoration. The Ninth Circuit court ruled in favor of the museum, to avoid overruling the Dutch decision.

Williams v. Nat'l Gallery, No. 17-3253-cv, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25519 (2d Cir. 2018).
The New York Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the restitution of a Matisse painting, entitled "Portrait of Greta Moll", about one of the painter's muses. The painting was in the possession of the National Gallery in London and Moll's heirs sought to have the piece back, claiming that it was stolen from her home in 1947. The Court denied the claim on grounds of lack of jurisdiction, because the alleged theft would have occurred two years after the end of WWII.

Tobin v. Rector, Church-Wardens, & Vestrymen of Trinity Church, No. 17-4010-cv, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23761 (2d Cir. 2018).
The Second Circuit denied Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) claims to Steven Tobin, the artist behind a 9/11 memorial at the Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. The claimant sought relief for the removal of his "Trinity Root" sculpture from the church site to a Connecticut seminary, which he claims violated his moral rights. However, the court held that he had signed a contract with Trinity, where he waived any such right.

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. In addition to the weekly newsletter (, the Center for Art Law subscribers receive updates about art and law-related topics through its popular art law blog ( calendar of events ( The Center for Art Law welcomes inquiries and announcements from firms, universities and student organizations about recent publications, pending cases, upcoming events, current research and job and externship opportunities. To contact the Center for Art Law, visit our website at: or write to