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Week in Review

By Eric Lanter

SiriusXM Agrees to Pay Up to $99 Million to Settle Copyright Lawsuits

SiriusXM, the satellite radio company, agreed to settle a group of copyright lawsuits relating to recordings from prior to 1972. The Turtles, a band from the 1960s, brought lawsuits against SiriusXM, because the former allowed its channels to play the band's songs without permission. The settlement terms provide that SiriusXM is to pay the plaintiffs for the unlicensed use of the songs and to now have a 10-year license with a 5.5ยข royalty rate. It is estimated that the license is worth between $45 and $59 million, depending on the growth of SiriusXM's revenues.


Former English Youth Soccer Coach Faces Sexual Assault Allegations and Sexual Abuse Claims in England Prompt Wider Inquiry

Barry Bennell, a former English youth soccer coach, was accused of eight counts of child sexual assault dating back to his work in the 1980s and 1990s. The chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association announced that more than 20 former players came forward with sexual abuse claims. Not all of those claims were against Bennell, however. Some of the largest soccer teams in England, like Manchester City, said that they will assist in the police investigations.

In addition, the Professional Footballers' Association announced that it was widening its inquiry. It hired Kate Gallafent, a lawyer experienced in handling sexual abuse cases, to lead the investigation. This is a landmark move for the Association, which had not previously made significant public comments about sexual abuse within the youth soccer programs in England.



More Law Degrees for Women but Fewer Good Jobs

In the aggregate, throughout the country, women sit in approximately half of all law school seats. However, new research indicates that female law students are more concentrated in lower-ranked law schools. This concentration resulted in women obtaining lower paying jobs, less job security, and less opportunity for advancement in their careers than men. This trend is not confined to law students. When women apply to law schools, they are also less likely to be accepted than men.


Facebook Runs Up Against German Hate Speech Laws

Facebook, with its 1.8 billion users, is facing increasing criticism in how it deals with offensive communication, such as hate speech in Germany. Germany has vigorous protections in place for minorities, and its laws can be used to punish those who deny the existence of the Holocaust. Recently, a far-right group posted a list of Jewish businesses and individuals, with their contact information, prompting a flood of insulting hate speech to the individuals on that list. Facebook deleted the group's page, prompting outrage from its supporters, but praise from those who believe Facebook should not permit such communication. A similar debate also recently arose in the U.S., with the advent of so-called "fake news" being spread on the social media platform. The role of Facebook in dealing with these forms of speech continues to be a hotly debated subject.


Sotheby's Tries to Block Suit Over a Leonardo da Vinci Sold and Resold at a Big Markup

Sotheby's, the prestigious auction house, filed a lawsuit in federal court against three New York art traders in a preemptive move to protect itself. The art traders approached Sotheby's to sell a Leonardo da Vinci work for $80 million. However, just days after the sale, the painting was resold for $127 million to a Russian billionaire. The traders inquired with Sotheby's as to how the painting was so quickly resold for an exceptionally higher price, alleging that they had been defrauded. Rather than wait for a lawsuit, Sotheby's filed a lawsuit alleging it was unaware that the painting would be resold at a higher price.


New York Poised to Host Grammy Awards in 2018

Following negotiations between Mayor Bill de Blasio's office with the Recording Academy, it is expected that the City of New York will announce that the city is hosting the 60th Grammy Awards, after a 13-year hiatus. While it is more expensive to host the Grammy Awards in New York than in Los Angeles, many are pleased with the awards show being held in Madison Square Garden.


Judge Adds $5 Million to McQueary's $7 Million Verdict Against Penn State

Former assistant football coach at Penn State Mike McQueary filed a lawsuit against the university, alleging that it retaliated against him for his whistleblowing regarding unlawful sexual acts of Jerry Sandusky, a fellow assistant football coach. A jury delivered a verdict in his case for $7 million for McQueary, and the judge revised that award upward by $5 million, noting that the alleged conduct arose only after McQueary openly discussed Sandusky's sexual misconduct.


Major League Baseball Deal Struck, Averting Work Stoppage

Major League Baseball and the players' union have announced that they reached a new five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA), averting a work stoppage, which have previously plagued the sport. The new CBA revises rules for free-agent compensation and raises the threshold for payrolls subject to luxury taxes. Additionally, players will have more afternoon games on the days that they travel, and the 162-game schedule will fit into a 187-day window, a four-day increase from last season.


Awash in Fakes, China Rethinks Counterfeit Hunters

Counterfeit hunters are increasingly prevalent in China, especially as the government created a law incentivizing hunters to buy and report fake goods. In China, counterfeit goods are commonplace, and the Chinese government, recognizing that, designed the law to protect consumers from being duped. While this has happened to an extent, an industry has emerged of counterfeit hunters that make a living solely hunting counterfeit goods. The Chinese government, wanting to balance protecting consumers with keeping costs low, has indicated that the law may be revised to eliminate payouts for counterfeits turned in "for commercial purposes."


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 3, 2016 11:35 AM.

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