Problem Exists between keyboard and chair

podcast-logoDue to an unexpected “error between keyboard and chair“, the recording of Episode 7 cannot be published. For those interested, however, the show notes for what would have been our December 2009 episode are here.


Entertainment Law Update podcast episode 7

First, a word about Google Scholar This service from google offers a wealth of legal research tools for folks interested in the law. Case law from state and federal courts is online, and a rudimentary “how it’s cited” feature gives a good sense of whether a case is ‘good law’. Not a substitute for ‘True’ legal research tools, but a great starting point, if you don’t want to incur charges. I use it to get started on things for clients, and in preparing for this podcast. SCHOLAR.GOOGLE.COM

Story Links:

  • The U.S. officially has a new “IP Czar” (Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator) – Victoria Espinel
      • Espinel will chair an interagency intellectual property enforcement advisory committee, comprised of representatives from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (where Espinel previously worked as an Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property and Innovation, as well as Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property and as Associate General Counsel at USTR), the Patent and Trademark Office, the Copyright Office, and others, that will develop a Joint Strategic Plan. The plan was supposed to be submitted to Congress no later than October 13, 2009 (12 months after the law’s enactment), but because Espinel was not confirmed until recently this deadline was delayed.
  • Libel Tourism: British Government may rewrite libel law
    • What is Libel Tourism?
      • Forum Shopping, selection of UK courts to pursue defamation claims that wouldn’t stand up in US, due to 1st Amendment, etc.    UK courts are favorable because of the presumption that derogatory statements are false, the difficulty of establishing fair comment and “the caprice of juries and the malice of judges” (Geoffrey Wheatcroft)
      • Two other critics of English defamation law, the US lawyers Samuel A. Abady and Harvey Silverglate, have cited the example of Irish-Saudi businessman Khalid bin Mahfouz, who has sued or threatened suit 33 times in England against those who accused him of knowingly funding terrorism. George W. Bush advisor Richard Perle threatened to sue investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in London, because of a series of critical articles Hersh had written about him. In 2006 American actress Kate Hudson won a libel action in England against the British edition of the National Enquirer magazine after it published an article suggesting she had an eating disorder.
    • What’s the current proposal?
      • A member of the House of Lords is preparing a bill that would, among other things, require foreigners to demonstrate that they have suffered actual harm in England before they can sue here.
    • Why is this important?
      • Current law is archaic, makes it easy for a plaintiff to bring suit and succeed, etc., quashes publication of scientific and critical speech.
  • Quick Takes:
    • Tiger Woods – Endorsement contracts and ‘Morals Clauses’. (He made estimated $105 Million last year)
      • Is Tiger Woods at risk of losing his endorsement contracts? There are no court decisions involving a termination under a morals clause for adultery. Most commentators have stated that to justify discharge under a morals clause, the employer must prove that the employee’s conduct would have resulted in actual losses to the employer if the employment continued. Thus, the endorsee would have to show that the alleged marital infidelity would have affected the endorsee’s bottom line. Given the popularity of an athlete like Tiger Woods, it would be difficult to prove that marital infidelity could actually affect an entire business. Tiger can rest assured that his millions of dollars in endorsement contracts are secure.
      • So Far, Nike, Gatorade, Pepsi & Gillette have stuck with Tiger… despite his admission of marital infidelityNike- Tiger is still prominent on their webpage and they are sticking by him. (owned by Pepsi)- Tiger’s drink line has been discontinued, however Gatorade says this was a planned phase-out prior to the scandal.  Has not officially dropped him, but is limiting his presence in their advertising at this time.
      • Accenture- has dropped him,8599,1948181,00.html
  • New Form Inc., v. Tekila Films, Inc., et. al. Ninth Circuit affirms jury award of statutory damages for $1,312,500 for willful copyright infringement, rejecting defendants’ argument that statutory damages should be measured in relation to the fair market value of the infringed works
    • “Tekila Films’s excessive-verdict claim turns on the incorrect premise that statutory damages must be tethered to actual damages. Because there is no such requirement, the jury’s verdict cannot be deemed excessive on that basis.”
    • Full Decision

One Reply to “Problem Exists between keyboard and chair”

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