« Week in Review | Main | Center For Art Law Case Updates »

Week in Review

By Eric Lanter

Bill Cosby's Wife May Have to Testify Against Him in Spite of Spousal Privilege

In the context of the Massachusetts defamation action filed against Bill Cosby, his wife, Camille Cosby, is facing the prospect of testifying against her husband of over 50 years. The point of contention is whether the spousal disqualification rule in Massachusetts prohibits Mrs. Cosby from testifying against her husband. At the first deposition of Mrs. Cosby, her attorney directed her not to answer 98 questions on this basis, leading the adversary to pursue a second deposition on the basis that there is no spousal disqualification. The Massachusetts court must decide whether Mrs. Cosby will be forced to answer questions about Mr. Cosby's sexual activities, which forms the basis for the action.


The Prices and Scarcity of Tickets for Broadway's Hit 'Hamilton'

Broadway Producer Jeffrey Seller faces a dilemma in managing the success of "Hamilton", a Broadway smash hit. Pricing and selling tickets has been complicated for Mr. Seller, as there has been recent growth in the number of ticket brokers, which have effectively legalized ticket scalping. Mr. Seller grapples with how many tickets to make available in one batch, given the fact that some ticket brokers' bots can and do buy up as many as 20,000 tickets at a time. As the Richard Rodgers Theater only has 1,300 seats, one can understand how Mr. Seller is having difficulty, given the extremely high resale values that "Hamilton" tickets garner.


After Panama Papers, New Questions for FIFA

After the release of the Panama Papers, a slew of documents from the prominent Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, and a raid by Swiss authorities on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), it has come to light that the organization's newly elected leader, Gianni Infantino, may have been involved in the allegations of bribery and corruption against FIFA. Mr. Infantino has said he would usher in a "new era", however, given those allegations, Mr. Infantino may be another casualty to the reform FIFA is undergoing.


Panama Papers Expose Secrecy in Art Market

The Panama Papers have also exposed the art market's level of secrecy, shedding light on its inner-workings. In the 11 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, the art industry's thin international regulations are revealed, as the pervasive use of "freeports" is resplendent in the papers. A freeport is a location that does not require art owners to pay import taxes or duties, and the oldest and most oft-used is Geneva, Switzerland. These freeports, and the art they protect, forms the basis for a significant amount of litigation dealing with these works.


New York State Judge Rejects Kesha's Claims in Dr. Luke Case

The pop singer Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, lost the battle for asserting eight counterclaims against producer Dr. Luke, whose full name is Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald. Kesha originally filed an action in Los Angeles in October 2014, alleging that Dr. Luke had emotionally and sexually abused her after he signed her in 2005; however, Dr. Luke filed the subject action in New York State Supreme Court, alleging defamation and breach of contract against Kesha and her mother. Kesha filed eight counterclaims for infliction of emotional distress, gender-based hate crimes, and employment discrimination. Justice Shirley W. Kornreich dismissed all of those counterclaims, without the possibility of amending them.


Germany Geared Up to Enact New, Widespread Cultural Protection Laws with Questionable Logic

The German government has proposed legislation that seeks to tighten export regulations, requiring all artworks, even those traveling within the European Union, to have government-issued export permits if the works are older than 70 years and valued over approximately $326,000. This has created outrage in the German art industry, as it will complicate the flow of art through Germany for the sake of German cultural heritage. There will be a second debate of the bill later in April, which, if approved, will proceed to a vote in Parliament.


Sweden's Highest Court Rules That Wikimedia's Art Database Violates Copyright Laws

Sweden's Supreme Court ruled that organizations and individuals do not have the right to post images of public artworks on the website Wikimedia, absent having the artists' permission. However, there is a question as to how far this ruling extends. Wikimedia Sverige hosts a website, www.offentligkonst.se, which was the subject of the action. The Swedish lobby group, Bildkonst Upphovsratt i Sverige, argued that the holding only applies to Wikimedia Sverige's website, and not to all individuals who have images of public artworks and wish to post them online.


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 8, 2016 11:29 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Week in Review.

The next post in this blog is Center For Art Law Case Updates.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.