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Week in Review

By Eric Lanter

SiriusXM Wins New York Appeal Over Older Songs

The New York Court of Appeals sided with SiriusXM in ruling that common law did not protect the public performance of songs composed prior to 1972. The Turtles, a band popular in the 1960s, challenged SiriusXM, a satellite radio company, as its stations were playing the Turtles' songs without paying royalties. This comes just a month after SiriusXM settled a counterpart case in California, also involving the Turtles, where SiriusXM agreed to pay up to $99 million.


Prominent Antiquities Dealer Accused of Selling Stolen Artifacts

Nancy Wiener, a prominent New York art dealer, was arrested on charges that she made millions of dollars from selling stolen artifacts "by creating fraudulent documents to camouflage their history." She, along with other conspirators, are alleged to have engaged in fraudulent activity since at least 1999. Her attorney, Georges G. Lederman, reported to the New York Times that he and his client were examining the charges and would respond when appropriate.


Rutgers Football is Facing National Collegiate Athletic Association Inquiry

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) informed Rutgers University that it is investigating potential rule violations in the football program. Allegedly, one former coach at Rutgers, Kyle Flood, took steps to ensure that an academically struggling player received extra-credit work. Additionally, it is alleged that 16 players on the football team roster were allowed to compete even when they tested positive for banned substances. This investigation comes just a year after six Rutgers football players were dismissed for suspected involvement in criminal activities.


Bob Stoops Revisits Handling of Joe Mixon's Assault Case

Bob Stoops, the coach of the Oklahoma Sooners' football team, said that if his star player Joe Mixon had punched a woman now, he would have been removed from the team (rather than taking no action, which is what occurred over two years ago, when Stoops believed that Mixon would redeem himself). Now, Stoops has said that he hopes even players at the high school level understand that discipline is necessary for such misconduct.


Russian Cyberforgers Steal Millions a Day with Fake Sites

A group of Russian cyberforgers created over 500,000 fake internet users and 250,000 fake websites so that advertisers would pay nearly $5 million a day for advertisements that were never watched on some of the web's most popular sites, including Fox News and CBS Sports. White Ops, a computer security firm, released a report announcing these findings and informed "170 advertisers, ad networks and content publishers" of the result of its investigation. The cyberforgers exploited known loopholes with advertising and devised robots to perform the tasks at a volume not previously known before.


Judge Dismisses Case Against Motherwell Foundation

A New York State Supreme Court judge in Manhattan dismissed a lawsuit where the plaintiff was a former director and curator for the Dedalus Foundation. The Dedalus Foundation represents the interests of the artist Robert Motherwell, and the plaintiff, Joan Banach, sued for wrongful termination after being accused of stealing the artist's work and selling it for her own benefit. Her lawyers said that they will appeal the court's decision.


U.S. Blacklists Alibaba Unit Over Counterfeit Sales

The United States Trade Representative announced that it was placing Alibaba's Taobao marketplace on its blacklist, for permitting the sale of fake or pirated goods. While there are no penalties that come as a direct result of being blacklisted, Alibaba has been working to shed its reputation for selling fake goods. Alibaba has responded, questioning whether the blacklisting was done as a result of factual circumstances or the political climate between China and the United States.


FBI Agent's News Leaks May Doom Federal Case

In the Southern District of New York, Judge P. Kevin Castel held a hearing in a major insider trading case involving a Las Vegas sports bettor, William Walters. The case against Walters is set to unravel, as it has come to light that a federal agent leaked confidential information to the media. The agent claimed that the leak was made solely to draw attention to the case and the dangers of insider trading. The judge expressed shock in response to the leak of information, and suggested that Walters' lawyers file a motion to dismiss the case. If the matter is dismissed, it would be a blow to Preet Bharara, who is the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, and has an established reputation for vigorous insider trading prosecutions.


North Carolina Fails to Repeal Bathroom Law that Prompted Boycotts

North Carolina legislators went home on Wednesday after failing to repeal the state law that "prompted economic boycotts, lawsuits, political acrimony and contributed to the defeat of the Republican governor." House Bill 2, which requires transgender individuals to use a public restroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate, has been a contentious law in the state. Just days before the new governor, Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is set to be sworn in, the Republican-majority legislature was unable to make any change to the law. The impetus for change comes as a result of several businesses and artists, such as the NCAA and Bruce Springsteen, have boycotted visiting North Carolina.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 24, 2016 4:27 PM.

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