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Week in Review

By Michael Smith

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Art, Sports, and Media. First, of general interest:

Eleventh Circuit Adopts "Registration" Approach to § 411(a)

The Eleventh Circuit has joined the Tenth Circuit in holding that a copyright owner must plead that the Register of Copyrights has acted on its application as a prerequisite to filing a copyright infringement action. The Ninth and Fifth Circuits follow the "application" approach, which requires only that the owner allege that it has properly submitted the application. The Eighth Circuit also has endorsed the "application" approach, albeit in dicta. The Seventh Circuit is split, and the First and Second Circuits are ambivalent as to whether an application or registration is sufficient.



China Approves 116th Trump Trademark

China's Trademark Office granted preliminary approval for Donald Trump's application to trademark the use of his name in connection with the sale of apparel. President Trump faces a lawsuit in the U.S. that alleges that his business interests constitute collection of foreign tributes in violation of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.


Frye Festival Organizers Face Lawsuits, Criminal Investigation

Frye Media, the partnership between rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland, is facing over a dozen lawsuits and a federal investigation after a supposed luxury music retreat turned out to be a post-apocalyptic millennial nightmare. In the wake of that disaster, which McFarland and Rule blamed on weather and other external factors, patrons, investors, vendors, talent, and employees are accusing McFarland of fraud.


Cosby Jurors Selected; Racial Bias Claimed

Nearly three thousand potential jurors were summoned to the Pittsburgh courthouse where the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby will take place, and earlier this week a 12-member jury was empaneled. The jury is made up of seven men and five women. The New York Times reports that the majority of the jurors appear to be between the ages of 20 and 40, and that 10 appear to be white. Cosby's lawyers accused the prosecution of "systematic[ally] exclu[ding] African-Americans," but the court upheld the prosecution's peremptory challenges.


Ringling Brothers Pack Up Big Top

The legendary Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, which began in 1871, performed its last show last week, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.



Legal Battle over Pier 55 Continues

For several years, the Hudson River Park Trust has tried to build a $200 million performing arts center on the Hudson River, but the project was stalled by legal obstacles, including several lawsuits filed by the City Club of New York. In March, Judge Schofield of the Southern District found that the Army Corps of Engineers had failed to consider the affect of the project on a protected fish and wildlife sanctuary. On Monday, the Corps appealed that decision. In the meantime, the Trust filed a revised permit application that it says addresses Judge Schofield's concerns.


Stolen Art Bounty Increased

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is offering $10 million for the return of 13 works stolen from the museum in 1990 by thieves posing as police officers. The museum initially offered $1 million, raising the reward to $5 million in 1997. The stolen works are collectively valued at around $500 million.


Edward Albee Estate Criticized for Blocking Production with Black Actor

The estate of playwright Edward Albee drew criticism for and sparked debate over its refusal to grant a production company rights to put on a performance of Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," which would have cast a black actor as a character Albee wrote as white. The estate's decision is consistent with Albee's historical refusal to permit such "nontraditional" casting of his play. The producer, Michael Streeter, said: "I do not question the motives of those that made the decision -- I think they have some fealty to a sense of integrity to Edward Albee's desires.... But I had hoped the negative aspects of Albee would die with him."



Child's Injury Stokes Debate Over Safety Netting

On Wednesday, a young boy sitting near the third-base dugout at Yankee Stadium, was struck in the head by the barrel of a shattered bat. A bill pending before the New York City Council that would require the Yankees and the Mets to extend the protective netting behind home plate to both foul poles will come up for debate in September. Opponents to the bill are concerned that extended netting would affect fans' views.


Former Soccer Official Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

Costas Takkas, former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, plead guilty to facilitating millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for marketing and broadcast rights. Takkas faces up to 20 years in prison, and will be sentenced by Judge Chen in the Eastern District in September.


Russia Paralympics Ban May Persist

The International Paralympic Committee, which suspended Russia's entire team from the 2016 Paralympics for doping, said on Monday that Russia still had not met all the criteria necessary for reinstatement. The Committee's president said that it would revisit Russia's compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency's standards in September.


Former Barcelona Soccer President Arrested

Former Barcelona football club president Sandro Rosell is one of five people arrested by the Spanish police as part of a money laundering investigation concerning audiovisual rights to Brazil's national soccer team.


Rio Medals are Rusting

More than 80 U.S. athletes asked for replacement medals as the ones they were awarded at the Rio Olympics are flaking and rusting. Author's aside: There is no word yet on whether the U.S. Olympic Committee intentionally issued defective medals as a metaphor for the ethical corrosion eating away at international sports.



E.U. Parliament Member Found Guilty of Defamation

Mario Borghezio, an Italian member of the European Parliament, was found guilty last week of defamation and ordered to pay over $50,000 in damages to Cécisle Kyenge, Italy's former minister of integration, after he made racist and sexist remarks about her during a radio interview in 2013. Borghezio said in that interview that Kyenge wanted to "impose her tribal traditions from the Congo," called her a "good housewife, but not a government minister," and said that Kyenge, a doctor, had taken the job of an Italian doctor. The conviction comes after the Parliament voted to lift Borghezio's immunity.


Fox News Retracts Conspiracy Theory About a Democratic National Committee Aide's Murder

On May 16th, Fox News published an article on its website suggesting that Seth Rich, a staff member of the Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.), was shot to death in July in retaliation for sharing D.N.C. emails with WikiLeaks. A week later, Fox News issued a curt retraction, saying that the article "was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting." Notwithstanding the acknowledged lack of evidence, several Fox News personalities, including Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Geraldo Rivera, continue to espouse the theory.


Embattled Fox News Fires Yet Another Host

Last week, Fox News fired Bob Beckel, co-host of "The Five", after an employee accused Beckel of making a racist remark. The employee, who came to Beckel's office to fix his computer, says Beckel left the room and said he was doing so because the employee was black.


Hannity Advertisers Not Fleeing Fake News

Recently, advertisers fled from Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly after the accusations of sexual harassment that have followed him for decades became too numerous and public to ignore. Sean Hannity has not yet suffered the same fate, despite his recent promotion of a conspiracy theory that Fox News has stated has no basis in fact.



Fox News Seeks Sanctions for Allegedly False Fake Twitter Allegations

A lawsuit filed against Fox News by former host Andrea Tantaros alleges that the network used fake Twitter accounts to make false claims about her. Fox is fighting back, claiming that those allegations are themselves false and easily disprovable, and asking that Tantaros and her attorney be sanctioned.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 27, 2017 7:43 PM.

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