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Week in Review

By Martha Nimmer

A Losing Bet

Siding with the NCAA and the NFL, a New Jersey federal judge has struck down a law that was set to legalize sports betting in the state. Both the NCAA and the NFL sued to prevent the law from going into effect, which was signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in January 2012. The law permits betting on professional and college sports at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos.

The petitioners, which include the NCAA, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and MLB, argued that the law, if permitted to go into effect, would undermine the integrity of professional sports. The petitioners also relied on a federal law from 1992 that required states to restrict sports betting. Specifically, the U.S. Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 bans sports betting in all but four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.

New Jersey, in turn, argued that the 1992 law was unconstitutional. Unfortunately for New Jersey, the court did not agree: "[a]fter careful consideration, the Court has determined that Congress acted within its powers and the statute in question does not violate the United States Constitution," wrote U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp. To make matters worse for the Garden State, the judge also issued an injunction prohibiting the state from "sponsoring, operating, advertising, promoting, licensing, or authorizing a lottery, sweepstakes or other betting, gambling, or wagering scheme" based on college or professional sports.

The case is National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Christie, 12-4947, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).


Mad Model

Even though the photo in question was taken more than half-a-century ago, former fashion model Gita Hall May is not pleased that her image is being used in the Emmy winning television show, "Mad Men".

May rose to fame as a fashion model and actress in the 1950's and 1960's. The photo in question, taken by acclaimed photographer Richard Avedon, was used in a Revlon advertisement in the early 1960s. Fast forward more than fifty years, and the photo, according to the complaint, is the centerpiece of the hit show's opening credits. According to May, she only gave permission to Revlon to use the photo in connection with the promotion of cosmetics, and did not "agree to allow, forty years later, her image to be cropped from the photo [. . .] and inserted as a key element in the title sequence of a cable television series, without her consent and for commercial purposes." The former model seeks compensation for "the value her image contributed to their property or the revenues that her image contributed to their profit." According to the complaint, "Mad Men" has earned over $1 billion to date.

Although the series has been on the air since 2007, the suit explains that May only learned about the alleged unauthorized use of her image in 2012, when the show became available on home video. Apparently, May did not know that the show was on cable TV...


"Born This Way"...Except in Indonesia

As it turns out, Lady Gaga cannot count conservative Islamic groups among her fans, but she probably will not lose sleep over that. Her tour promoter, however, is pretty upset. The Mother Monster was scheduled to perform in Jakarta on June 2, 2012 as part of her Born This Way tour, but backed out following protests and threats from various Islamic groups. Specifically, the Jakarta Globe reported on May 17, 2012 that the "hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) said it would dispatch 30,000 of its members to prevent Gaga from entering Jakarta." Now, Live Nation LGTours is trying to collect on part of the tour's insurance policy.

Citing millions of dollars in losses, Live Nation has sued a Lloyds of London syndicate in California federal court for not living up to the terms of a "Terrorism Policy," calling the defendant's conduct "despicable." The plaintiff states that this conduct subjected it "to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of the Plaintiff's rights... with the intent to vex, injure or annoy the Plaintiff, such as to constitute oppression, fraud or malice..." According to the lawsuit, the concert was canceled in order "to prevent bodily injury and property damage and to protect the lives and safety of Lady Gaga, all members of the Born This Way Tour, and the public." Following the cancellation, Live Nation tried to collect on its "Terrorism Insurance" policy. The language of the policy, according to The Hollywood Reporter, stated indemnification for the "ascertained net loss" for cancellations due to "the sole and direct result of Terrorism and/or Sabotage or Threat."

The plaintiff is seeking punitive damages and damages of at least $75,000 of "Ascertained Net Loss" for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.


Read the complaint here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/128664504/Gov-uscourts-cacd-555670-1-0

Dotcom Defeat

The walls may finally be closing in on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Last Friday, a New Zealand appeals court overturned a lower court decision, ruling that the United States government does not have to turn over documents as part of its claim that Dotcom participated in a "mega conspiracy." The appeals court also "offered key guidance" that will likely make it easier for the U.S. government to secure Dotcom's extradition to a Virginia for prosecution on racketeering and copyright infringement charges. An extradition hearing is set for August.

The documents originally ordered to be handed over by American officials were "copyright ownership records, records obtained from covert operations by agents to identify infringements on Megaupload's network, communications between copyright holders and Megaupload and more." The documents were sought by Dotcom's legal counsel to bolster their argument that the company, shut down in January 2012, cannot be held liable for copyright infringement because of the absence of intent. The attorneys also cite protections for Internet Service Providers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

If the U.S. is to secure Dotcom's extradition, the government will have to convince a New Zealand judge that there is a "prima facie case that justifies extradition in the same manner that would persuade a judge to allow a trial in New Zealand." The hearing, according to the appeals court, involves only a "limited weighing of evidence," and the U.S. is presumed to be a reliable party. The defendant is permitted, however, to challenge that assumption.

Enjoy your freedom for now, Dotcom, and see you in August.


Read the decision here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/127949910/Usa-v-Dotcom-1

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 8, 2013 8:47 AM.

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