September 24th, 2013
The Emmys were on Sunday night. I actually missed most of them, unfortunately, but am happy to report a full list of the winners:
Winner: Breaking Bad, AMC
Nominees: Breaking Bad, AMC; Downton Abbey, PBS; Homeland, Showtime; Game of Thrones, HBO; House of Cards, Netflix; Mad Men, AMC
Winner: Modern Family, ABC
Nominees: The Big Bang Theory, CBS; Girls, HBO, Louie, FX; Modern Family, ABC;30 Rock, NBC; Veep, HBO
MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: Behind the Candelabra, HBO
Nominees: American Horror Story: Asylum, FX; Behind the Candelabra, HBO; Phil Spector, HBO; Political Animals, USA; The Bible, History; Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel
LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Nominees: Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC; Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime; Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS; Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC; Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC; Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix
LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
Nominees: Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC; Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO; Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC; Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime; Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, CBS
Nominees: Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, Netflix; Louis C.K., Louie, FX; Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime; Jim Parsons,Big Bang Theory, CBS; Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
Nominees: Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO; Laura Dern, Enlightened, HBO; Tiny Fey, 30 Rock, NBC; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO;Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra, HBO
Nominees: Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra, HBO; Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra, HBO; Toby Jones, The Girl, HBO; Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End, HBO; Al Pacino, Phil Spector, HBO
LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime
Nominees: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story, FX; Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime; Helen Mirren, Phil Spector, HBO; Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals, USA; Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Nominees: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO; Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC; Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC; Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO; Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
Nominees: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC; Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS;Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO; Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS;Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Tony Hale, Veep, HBO
Nominees: Adam Driver, Girls, HBO; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family, ABC; Ed O’Neill, Modern Family, ABC; Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC; Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live, NBC; Tony Hale, Veep, HBO
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie, Showtime
Nominees: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory, CBS; Jane Lynch, Glee, Fox; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family, ABC; Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC; Merritt Wever,Nurse Jackie, Showtime; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock, NBC; Anna Chlumsky, Veep, HBO
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals, USA
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX; Charlotte Rampling, Restless, Sundance; Imelda Staunton, The Girl, HBO; Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals, USA; Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias; Lifetime
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Nominees: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX; Zachary Quinto,American Horror Story: Asylum, FX; Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra, HBO; John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime; Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel
Winner: The Voice, NBC
Nominees: The Amazing Race, CBS; Dancing With the Stars, ABC; Project Runway, Lifetime; So You Think You Can Dance, Fox; Top Chef, Bravo; The Voice, NBC
Winner: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
Nominees: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central; The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central; Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC; Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, NBC; Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO; Saturday Night Live, NBC
Winner: Louis C.K.: Oh My God, HBO
Nominees: The Kennedy Center Honors, CBS; Louis C.K.: Oh My God, HBO; Mel Brooks Strikes Back! With Mel Brooks And Alan Yentob, HBO; Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One), NBC; 12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief
DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: House of Cards, Netflix
Nominees: Boardwalk Empire, HBO; Breaking Bad, AMC; Downton Abbey, PBS;Homeland, Showtime; House of Cards, Netflix
DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Modern Family, ABC
Nominees: Girls, HBO; Glee, Fox; Louie, FX; Modern Family, ABC; 30 Rock, NBC
DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: Behind the Candelabra, HBO
Behind the Candelabra, HBO; Ring of Fire, Lifetime, Phil Spector, HBO; The Girl, HBO; Top of the Lake; Sundance Channel
WRITING FOR A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Winner: The Hour, BBC America
Behind the Candelabra, HBO; Parade’s End; HBO, Phil Spector, HBO; The Hour, BBC America; Top of the Lake; Sundance Channel
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Winner: Saturday Night Live, NBC
Nominees: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central; The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central; Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC; Portlandia, IFC; Late Show with David Letterman, HBO; Saturday Night Live, NBC
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Winner: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
Nominees: The Colbert Report, Comedy Central; The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central; Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC; Portlandia, IFC; Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO; Saturday Night Live, NBC
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Homeland, Showtime
Nominees: Breaking Bad (“Dead Freight”), AMC; Breaking Bad (“Say My Name”), AMC;Downton Abbey, PBS; Game of Thrones, HBO; Homeland, Showtime
WRITING FOR COMEDY SERIES
Winner: 30 Rock (“Last Lunch”), NBC
Nominees: Episodes, Showtime; Louie, FX; The Office, NBC; 30 Rock (“Hogcock!”), NBC; 30 Rock (“Last Lunch”), NBC
GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES (presented at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys)
Winner: Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Nominees: Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory, CBS; Nathan Lane, Modern Family, ABC; Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie, Showtime; Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live, NBC; Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live, NBC; Will Forte, 30 Rock, NBC
GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES (presented at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys)
Winner: Melissa Leo, Louie, FX
Nominees: Molly Shannon, Enlightened, HBO; Dot-Marie Jones, Glee, Fox; Melissa Leo, Louie, FX; Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live, NBC; Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live, NBC; Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock, NBC
HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM (presented at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys)
Winner: Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Project Runway, Bravo
Nominess: Ryan Seacrest, American Idol, Fox; Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, NBC;Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars, ABC; Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn,Project Runway, Bravo; Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance, Fox; Anthony Bourdain, The Taste, ABC
GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES (presented at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys)
Winner: Carrie Preston, The Good Wife, CBS
Nominees: Margo Martindale, The Americans, FX; Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones, HBO;Carrie Preston, The Good Wife, CBS; Linda Cardellini, Mad Men, AMC; Jane Fonda, The Newsroom, HBO; Joan Cusack, Shameless, Showtime
GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES (presented at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys)
Winner: Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal, ABC
Nominees: Nathan Lane, The Good Wife, CBS; Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife, CBS;Rupert Friend, Homeland, Showtime; Robert Morse, Mad Men, AMC; Harry Hamlin, Mad Men, AMC; Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal, ABC
August 31st, 2013
There have been a LOT of moves this month! All the details below…
TuneCore laid off Julian Groger, VP Marketing.
Sony Music hired Celine Joshua to be the new SVP of Digital Sales and Scott Van Horn SVP, Sales, Commercial Music Group.
Ivan Shulman was promoted to President of Radiate Media.
Warner/Chappell Production Music named Randy Wachtler President/CEO, replacing Randy Thornton.
Les Hollander joined Spotify as Senior Director/Audio Sales U.S.
ZUUS Media bought on Chris Gannett as its Chief Marketing Officer, Karma Gardner as VP of Strategic Sales, Andrew Schiffman as VP of Music Programming and Artist Relations, and Eric Turpin, VP of Affiliate Relations.
Ramsey Dean joined Groupon as Arts & Entertainment Buyer.
Universal Music Group Distribution promoted Linda Kury to VP, Sales.
Kobalt Music Group promoted Sas Metcalfe to the newly-created slot of President, Global Creative, from Executive Vice President Creative.
Other news at Kobalt- Kobalt Label Services (part of the Music Group) has tapped David Emery as UK Marketing Director. Emery, now a Beggars Group alum, will oversee UK marketing campaigns for KLS releases and operate out of London.
Ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard just moved to Twitter, as Head of Commerce.
Spotify hired Jorge Esspinal as Head of Global Business Development.
Buzz Casey left his position as Director/Operations at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.
Warner/Chappell Music has hired Ann Sweeney as EVP/Digital Strategy & Policy, Stephen Dallas as VP/Digital Legal Affairs & Business Development, and Iain Morris as Head of Digital/Europe.
July 19th, 2013
The 2013 Emmy nominations were announced this week.
“American Horror Story: Asylum” is the most nominated program with 17 nominations. HBO also did well on the whole, with 108 nominations in total, 16 from “Game of Thrones.”
Personally, I’m rooting for anything “Downtown Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Mad Men.” I also was impressed with “Top of the Lake,” although generally unimpressed with Elisabeth Moss’s New Zealand accent.
Here is the full list:
“Game of Thrones”
“House of Cards”
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Connie Britton, “Nashville”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Damian Lewis, “Homeland”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Morena Baccarin, “Homeland”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire”
Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad”
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife”
Linda Cardellini, “Mad Men”
Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife”
Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife”
Rupert Friend, “Homeland”
Robert Morse, “Mad Men”
Harry Hamlin, “Mad Men”
Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal”
“The Big Bang Theory”
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Laura Dern, “Enlightened”
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development”
Louis CK, “Louie”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Jane Lynch, “Glee”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie”
Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock”
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Adam Driver, “Girls”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Molly Shannon, “Enlightened”
Dot-Marie Jones, “Glee”
Melissa Leo, “Louie”
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
Kristen Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”
Elaine Stritch, “30 Rock”
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”
Nathan Lane, “Modern Family”
Bobby Cannavale, “Nurse Jackie”
Louis CK, “Saturday Night Live”
Justin Timberlake, “Saturday Night Live”
Will Forte, “30 Rock”
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW HOST
Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol”
Betty White, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”
Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With the Stars”
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, “Project Runway”
Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
Anthony Bourdain, “The Taste”
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
“The Amazing Race”
“Dancing With the Stars”
“So You Think You Can Dance”
OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES
“The Colbert Report”
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”
“Real Time With Bill Maher”
“Saturday Night Live”
OUTSTANDING TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
“American Horror Story: Asylum”
“Behind the Candelabra”
“Top of the Lake”
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C: hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton, The Girl
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: hereafter
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake
February 28th, 2012
Paul Tarascio, former stage manager of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” has sued Jimmy Fallon for gender discrimination, claiming that after he was fired in 2010 he replaced by a “totally incompetent woman.”
Sister Sledge is suing Warner Music Group in an attempt to re-categorize digital sales as licenses, a change that could mean millions in extra royalties.
Kenny Rogers is also suing his label, Capitol/EMI, over the issue of digital royalty calculations as well as false accounting. His suit additionally alleges that Rogers received no compensation following EMI’s successful settlements with Limewire, Grokster, and Napster. For a full description of Rogers’ claims against Capitol, check out this Digital Music News article.
An anti-merger lawsuit was filed against SAG and its officers, alleging that that proposal to merge the two unions omits “necessarily due diligence” and is “deceptive.” The merger would merge the unions, but not the pension and health plans, which are legally separate entities. Plaintiffs include Martin Sheen, Edward Asner, Ed Harris, Valerie Harper, Nancy Sinatra, former guild president Alan Rosenberg and current board members Anne-Marie Johnson and David Jolliffe.
A federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought by Michael Jordan against Jewel-Osco for a congratulatory ad the company ran when Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame three years ago. The court rejected Jordan’s argument that the ad infringed upon his trademark and instead determined that the advertisement was “noncommercial speech,” protected by the First Amendment, and that there was no indication of a “commercial transaction” in the ad.
Paramount Pictures has sued the estate of Mario Puzo, author of the book The Godfather on which the iconic films are based. The estate released sequels to the book in 2004 and 2006 and is set to release another one later this year. Paramount is seeking damages and preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the sequel’s release, arguing that the sequels violate its trademark and copyright interests in the Godfather franchise and story.
January 30th, 2012
EMI is suing MP3 reselling startup ReDigi.
More EMI lawsuits.. The company (via the Irish Music Rights Association) has now sued the entire country of Ireland in a High Court action for not doing enough to require ISPs to block websites that are engaging in piracy.
The Velvet Underground has sued the foundation that manages the legacy of Andy Warhol arguing that the artist of their iconic ‘banana’ album cover artwork has no copyright or trademark ownership over the image.
PacketVideo and Spotify have settled the lawsuit brought by PacketVideo, alleging that Spotify infringed its patent relating to streaming music from a central source. Details of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Former Disney executive VP Glen Lajeski filed a lawsuit against the studio alleging that his contract was breached when the company fired him last June. Lajeski was let go purportedly without any cause and without the opportunity to cure. His employment contract was not due to expire until January 1, 2013.
December 30th, 2011
Croatian journalist James Braddock has sued Angelina Jolie for copyright infringement of his book, The Soul Shattering (his website discusses the legal dispute in detail). Braddock claims Jolie’s directorial-debut documentary, In the Land of Blood and Honey, infringes upon his 2007 book. Braddock allegedly discussed the book in detail with the Bosnian producer of the film before the film was made. The movie commenced production in 2010, and Braddock only recently filed the lawsuit, just weeks before the scheduled release. Because of the late timing, the judge seemed reluctant to grant Braddock’s motion for a temporary restraining order and Braddock withdrew the motion before the decision was finalized. The case was filed with the federal court in Illinois, but the judge has indicated a likelihood he will transfer it to California, given that the parties – Croatian and Californian – have pretty much no connection to the midwest state.
The Meester family will be having a peaceful Christmas, now that the Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester and her mother Constance Meester have resolved their legal dispute. The suit began over Leighton alleging that Constance misused the actress’s money, then developed into the issue of whether Constance was entitled to compensation for her alleged role in guiding her daughter’s career. Most recently, Constance withdrew her claims leading to a default judgment in favor of Leighton.
The estate of Bruce Gary, drummer of the band The Knack (best known for the song “My Sharona”) has sued Capitol Records, claiming unpaid royalties for digital downloads. The issue is whether digital downloads on platforms such as iTunes count as a ‘license’ of the master or a ‘sale’ of the phonorecords under the recording agreement. Phonorecords implies the physical album sale, rather than digital and the label pays significantly lower royalties to artists on sales than licenses. For a license, the royalty rate could be up to 50%, whereas for a sale the rate would likely be closer to 12%.
2011 has been a rough year for The Hangover II. Earlier this year, Tyson’s tattoo artist sued over the use of the iconic face tattoo. Now Louis Vuitton is suing, claiming that the bag carried by Zach Galifianakis marked LVM was a fake. In the scene, Galifianakis says, ” “Careful, that is.. that is a Louis Vuitton.” LV is suing under state and federal claims for unfair competition, false designation of origin, and trademark dilution. The full complaint can be read here.
October 5th, 2011
The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Black Law Students Association, the Office of Career Services and Black Women in Entertainment Law present:
“Show me the Money! Understanding what areas of entertainment law have been expanding and how to transition into them”
Monday, October 10, 2011
7:00-9:00PM, Moot Court Room, Cardozo Law School, 55 Fifth Avenue (corner of 12th Street), New York, NY
President and CEO of RightsFlow
Marilyn Haft Esq.
Marilyn G. Haft, P.C.
SVP of MTV’s Digital Global Business and Legal Affairs
Erika Munro Kennerly Esq.
Senior Director of Business Affairs at truTV/Turner Entertainment Networks
Earn 2 NYS MCLE transitional/non-transitional credits in the area of professional practice.
Fee: $0 **
To RSVP, please send your name and company info via email CardozoBWEL2011@gmail.com by October 6th, 2011
** Note from me: the email I got said zero dollars. This seems like it might be a typo though.
September 30th, 2011
Sacha Baron Cohen and NBC Universal won a lawsuit brought by Richelle Olson and her husband, owners of a bingo hall which was filmed as part of the movie Bruno. Cohen, acting as the character Bruno, selected the bingo numbers and after each number related the number to a fact about his former male partner. Here is a more detailed description, from a footnote in the opinion: “After Cohen called out the Bingo number 36, he states that “36″ was the age of his former male partner. Later, when he calls out the number 3, he says that his former partner’s birthday was “May 3.” When he later calls out the number 59, he remarks that 59 was the number of his hotel room he stayed in when he met his former partner, and a few minutes later when he announces number 42, Cohen offers that “42 inches was his partner’s chest size. Finally, after Cohen announces the number 7, he comments that he met his partner on “July 7.” Some members of the audience can be heard laughing after each comment.” The comments enraged Ms. Olson and Cohen was escorted by security from the building, after which Ms. Olson went unconscious while hysterically crying and hit her head on the concrete floor causing two brain bleeds and and leaving her wheelchair-bound. The California Appeals Court sided with Cohen though, claiming that his statements were protected by the Constitution as free speech in making the film and touched upon a socially important issue – homosexuality, gay culture and homophobia. The Olsons are now responsible for paying Universal and Cohen’s attorneys fees for the case.
“The singing of a song does not create a trademark,” according to a California judge that Madonna may not have clothing line trademark rights in the phrase “Material Girl.” Madonna and her company, Material Girl Brand, are being sued by LA Triumph, an L.A.-based clothing company that claims to have sold “Material Girl” clothing since 1997 and has a registered trademark. Madonna sold $85 million dollars of “Material Girl” merchandise in the 80′s but the judge, in denying her motion to dismiss, found that merchandise sales ancillary to her music career did not necessarily create a trademark in the brand for clothing. The case will go to trial in October where a jury will hear all of the facts and make a final decision.
Napolean Pictures, the production company behind Napoleon Dynamite, is suing Fox Searchlight for $10 million for allegedly underreporting royalties, taking improper revenue deductions, breach of contract, and negligent misrepresentation in connection with the hit 2004 indie comedy. Searchlight had agreed in a term sheet to pay 31.66 percent of net profits on home video, but the plaintiffs claim that a 2008 audit reveals that Fox was only paying net royalties on home videos at a 9.66 percent rate, in addition to underreported royalties and improper deductions.
Bruno Mars filed suit in the Central District of California Superior Court, in an attempt to get out of his publishing deal with Bug Music. Mars alleges that the contract has actually been terminated because Bug did not properly exercise an option to renew the deal.
The Saul Zaentz Co., producer of the 1996 best picture winner The English Patient, has sued distributor Miramax and its former owner the Walt Disney Co. for $20 million in profits from the hit drama, alleging that the companies hid revenue, improperly allocated and deducted expenses and fees, and engaged in self-dealing with respect to the film.
Pandora, the web service that allows users to customize radio stations based on listening preferences, is facing a class action lawsuit in Michigan. The lawsuit claims that Pandora is breaching customer privacy by making users’ profile pages, including favorite songs and listener history, publicly available and searchable online. Additionally, the class action asserts that Pandora is violating privacy by integrating users’ listening records with their Facebook accounts. These acts purportedly violate Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act and Consumer Protection Act. The plaintiffs are demanding statutory damages of $5,000 per person.
Charlie Sheen, Warner Bros. and Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre are settling their $100 million legal dispute. An official statement from WB: “Warner Bros. Television, Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen have resolved their dispute to the parties’ mutual satisfaction. The pending lawsuit and arbitration will be dismissed as to all parties. The parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality over the terms of the settlement.” Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but $25 million has been the rumor, which includes a reinstatement of the revenue stream from past episodes of Two and a Half Men (even those filmed before his media meltdown) that WB had denied Sheen after he filed the lawsuit.
In August, Lady GaGa submitted a complaint to the National Arbitration Forum that alleged that the website ladygaga.org was registered in bad faith and in violation of her trademark. The owner of the site responded that it was merely a non-commercial, unofficial fan site for Gaga that “does not have any sponsored links or links to third-party websites which market and sell merchandise bearing Complainant’s trademark.” The owner of LadyGaga.org got her reward on Wednesday when three panelists at the National Arbitration Forum ruled that Lady Gaga had failed to show that respondent lacked legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
And event more Lady Gaga drama – The latest lawsuit targets Excite Worldwide LLC, which is using the Gaga name to sell cosmetics and jewelry.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is suing former COO Thomas Emrey for allegedly breaching his contract and fiduciary duties by leaving the company for DineEquity, which operates IHOP and Applebee’s. Universal says his employment contract ran through May 2012.
September 14th, 2011
On September 20th and 21st, Gotham Writers’ Workshop is offering 1 hour writing classes for free. Sign up here soon, as the classes are already filling up. Classes include songwriting, tv writing, screen writing, creative writing 101, stand up comedy writing, and memoir writing, to name a few.
September 1st, 2011
Florida rapper J.R. Bricks changed the name of his song ”Waffle House” to “After the Party” after he received a cease-and-desist letter from Waffle House, Inc. Despite the title change, the Waffle House reference remains in the chorus.
Lady Gaga is being sued by Rebecca Francescatti who claims the singer and her producing partner stole her song, “Juda,” to create the hit “Judas.” The plaintiff says she introduced her song to her former bass player and a sound engineer who was working with Gaga. How similar are the two tracks? You be the judge. “Juda” is available here. Gaga’s “Judas” here.
As I wrote about in a previous post, Spotify was caught using some nasty cookies that track customers even after they’ve tried to delete the cookies. Now, the popular music streaming service that just launched in the U.S., is one of the latest targets of a class action over breaches in privacy laws stemming from their use of the cookies.
The Writers Guild of America filed a claim against Bring It On: The Musical on behalf of Jessica Bendinger, the screenwriter of the 2000 Universal film on which the new musical is based. The confidential arbitration demand asserts that Beacon Communications Corp. and Beacon Communications, LLC are exploiting Bendinger’s dramatic rights in the cheerleader-themed Bring It On without her consent, in violation of the guild agreement’s “separated rights” provisions. It seeks damages and an injunction against Bring It On: The Musical, which is being coproduced by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Beacon Communications and others. Bendinger had been working on developing her own stage version of the story for the past six years and found out through the rumor mill that the show was being shopped without her involvement.
Dr. Phil and CBS have settled a lawsuit by Shirley Dieu and Crystal Matchett who alleged they were lured by promises of getting personal counseling from Dr. Phil himself, only to be locked during a 2007 filming of the show in a “mock house” on a sound stage and “forced to be in the same room with a completely naked live man while he exposed his entire naked body, genitals and all.” Last January a California judge denied CBS’ anti-SLAPP motion and determined that the women showed a likelihood of success. The details of the settlement have not been released.
Lindsay Lohan has sued rapper Pit Bullfor defamation and exploiting the Logan name in the song “Give Me Everything.” The lyric at issue: “Hustlers move in silence, so I’m tiptoein’, to keep blowin’. I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.” Lohan is seeking an injunction and damages.
Maria Menounos has been sued for defamation, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and intentional infliction of emotional distress by her former stylist, Lindsay Albanese, who claims that the ex-Access Hollywood host cost her clients by telling people she’s a thief.
20th Century Fox has won $40,000 in attorney’s fees from writer James Muller who sued the studio in 2009 claiming that the script for Alien vs. Predator infringed upon Muller’s script titled The Lost Continent. In an order granting Fox’s motion for attorney fees, the judge gave three reasons why Muller’s claims were “frivolous and objectively unreasonable.” The stories were different, the alleged similarities were ill-conceived, and any similarities were not protectable by copyright, like stock themes.
Vampire Weekend settled a lawsuit with model Kirsten Kennis who accused the popular indie rock band of violating her publicity rights by using an old photo of her on the 2010 Contra album cover. According to the complaint, the band obtained the photograph from the photographer, Todd Brody, who was accused of forging Kennis’s signature on the release form. The details of the settlement are not disclosed but Kennis was seeking $2 million in damages.
Katherine Stockett, author of The Help, was awarded summary judgment in a lawsuit claiming that Stockett had based a character in the book on Ablene Cooper without her permission. Cooper sought $75,000 in damages, but the summary judgment was granted in favor of Stockett because the one year statute of limitations had already elapsed when Cooper filed the suit.
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) are facing legal action from R&B singer Syl Johnson for allegedly not clearing a sample from Johnson’s 1967 song “Different Strokes,” which appears on the track “The Joy” on their new album, Watch the Throne.
Miles Davis‘s estate is suing a Manhattan jazz club called Miles’ Cafe for infringing his allegedly trademarked first name.