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Week in Review

By Michael Smith

YouTube Settles with Music Publishers

On Thursday, YouTube announced that it reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers' Association in a dispute over unpaid songwriting royalties. As part of the settlement agreement, YouTube will give publishers access to a list of songs for which YouTube has missing or incomplete rights data, for which YouTube will then pay accrued royalties.


World Anti-Doping Agency Releases Russian Doping Report

Richard McLaren, the independent investigator appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to head an investigation into allegations made by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov of Russian doping, released a 151-page report implicating more than 1,000 athletes in at least 30 sports in a conspiracy involving the Russian Ministry of Sport to manipulate the doping testing system. The WADA report was released two days after the International Olympic Committee announced that it was extending its sanctions against Russia indefinitely.


Trump Executive Producer Role in "The New Celebrity Apprentice" Raises Questions

"The New Celebrity Apprentice," the latest iteration of the Mark Burnett unscripted series originally starring Donald Trump, is set to begin airing next month, this time starring actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although Trump is not hosting, and says he will devote "ZERO TIME!" to the show, he is an executive producer and has, in his own tweeted words, "a big stake in it." Trump's significant financial stake in the show is one of many business entanglements that have raised questions about the President-Elect's ability to govern independently.


'Skittles' Photographer Drops Trump Suit

UK Photographer David Kittos voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Mike Pence, and Trump's presidential campaign for the unauthorized use of his photograph of a bowl of Skittles. During the presidential campaign, Trump Jr. incorporated the photo in a tweet comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles.


Chinese High Court Awards Michael Jordan His Own Name

In a landmark trademark decision, the Supreme People's Court of China ruled that basketball superstar Michael Jordan owns the legal rights to the Mandarin transliteration of his name. The decision resolves years of uncertainty regarding the extent to which personal names are protected under Chinese trademark law.


East Timor Accused of Playing Ineligible Athletes

The East Timor Football Federation was suspended from the upcoming Asian Cup and World Cup campaigns for using forged documents to field ineligible Brazilian players to the East Timor national soccer team.


Spanish Police Arrest Tennis Players and 28 Others, in Match-Fixing Inquiry

34 people arrested in Spain last week are suspected of fixing tennis matches in Spain and Portugal as part of a criminal gambling ring. The players were not named, but police said they were not "well-known."


Hundreds Report Abuse by Youth Soccer Coaches

British police said that at least 350 people have reported that coaches molested them when they were participants in youth soccer programs. Last month, several professional soccer players went public with allegations of molestation.


Harvard Puts Students on Probation for Poor Use of Excel

Harvard University placed its men's cross-country team on probation in the wake of findings that, in prior years, the team had produced "crude and sexualized" spreadsheets rating the appearance of members of the women's team. Earlier this year, Harvard canceled its men's soccer season after similar documents were brought to light.


King Barnes Implicated in Assault

Sacramento Kings basketball player Matt Barnes is being sought for questioning in connection with the assault of a woman at a Manhattan night club


Cosby Drug Testimony Ruled Admissible

On Monday, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that testimony actor Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit would be admissible in his upcoming criminal trial for sexual assault. Cosby testified in the civil suit that he obtained hypnotic sedatives in aid of his efforts to have sexual intercourse with women. Cosby's lawyers argued that Cosby had been induced to give the testimony by false promises of non-prosecution from the district attorney. Judge Steven T. O'Neill found no evidence of any non-prosecution agreement.


Polish High Court Rejects Polanski Extradition

The Polish Supreme Court rejected a request by the Krakow prosecutor's office (on behalf of Los Angeles County) for the extradition of filmmaker Roman Polanski. Polanski pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl in 1978, but fled the United States prior to sentencing.


Heirs Sue Bavaria for Return of Looted Paintings

The heirs of Jewish-German art dealer and collector Alfred Flechtheim filed suit in the southern District of New York against the German state of Bavaria, seeking the return of eight paintings allegedly looted by the Nazis. Bavaria contends that Mr. Flechtheim sold the paintings in 1932.


German Panel Says Nazis Stole Violin

The Limbach Commission, a German panel established to mediate disputes over cultural objects stolen by Nazis, determined that a 300-year-old violin was looted during the Third Reich. The panel recommended that the Franz Hofmann and Sophie Hageman Foundation, which currently has possession of the instrument, pay the heirs of the violin's last legitimate owner $105,000 (2/3 of its estimated value), but that it keep the violin for use in regional performances.


Celebrity Email Hacker Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Alonzo Knowles, the man who hacked the email accounts of various celebrities and tried to sell their personal information and unreleased scripts, was sentenced to five years in prison. Knowles pleaded guilty earlier this year, and subsequently sent emails from jail promising to publish a book revealing the celebrities' secrets when he is released. Those emails figured into the sentence, which is twice what is recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines.


New Bill Would Outlaw Ticket Bots

On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives passed the "Better Online Ticket Sales Act" or "BOTS Act", which would make it illegal to use "bots" (computer programs that snap up online tickets faster than humans can with their clumsy meat digits) to circumvent security on ticketing websites, and grant the Federal Trade Commission authority to enforce the law. High-demand tickets purchased by bots are typically resold at a substantial markup.


Bob Dylan a Gracious No-Show at Award Ceremony

Robert Zimmerman, a/k/a Bob Dylan, did not personally attend the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm last Saturday, but did send a note (read at the ceremony by the American ambassador to Sweden) thanking the Swedish Academy for awarding him the 2016 prize in literature. This is the first time the Academy has awarded the prize to a songwriter.


Bankruptcy Court OK's Legal Malpractice Suit by Real Housewife

"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice has reached a settlement with her creditors that will allow her to pursue a legal malpractice lawsuit against her former lawyer. Any recoveries from that lawsuit will be split 55/45, with the smaller portion going to pay off any remaining creditors.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2016 10:33 AM.

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