Tiny astronauts and child actresses


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In this Episode:

  • follow ups
  • Ageism in Hollywood is getting out of hand
  • Hitchcock Movies never go out of style
  • Oprah gets sued for publicizing author’s work
  • Photographer claims r TV movie photo infringes his image
  • You did what I asked of you… How could you do that to me?
  • Do tiny astronauts have a right of publicity?
  • Bob Marley Family loses

GET CLE CREDIT for this episode.



Lime Wire Shut Down
The United States District Court, Southern District, has issued a permanent injunction against operation of the P2P downloading site Lime Wire, ending a drawn-out legal battle. Citing evidence that the site is used “overwhelmingly for infringement” and that Lime Wire “encouraged infringement” among other things, Judge Kimba Wood issued the injunction on October 26th on behalf of numerous record companies including Arista Records, Capitol Records, and Sony Music Entertainment.

As revenge, ‘Anonymous’ cyber  group hacks RIAA  website – site was down for 14 hours.

We  mentioned the terrific Intellectual Property Colloquium podcast, hosted by UCLA Law Professor Doug Lichtman where episode 14 is a clever approach to voicing the arguments in Viacom v. YouTube.

The Guys over at Technically Legal reported on the dismissal of  Righthaven’s case against Michael Nelson on fair use grounds.  (Righthaven is the outfit that’s suing bloggers over news items being republished.)  Trouble is, the decision to dismiss was made by the JUDGE, on the pleadings…., even though Fair Use requires a fact-based analysis.  Is this grounds for appeal?  Isn’t Fair Use a question for the jury?

Techdirt:  The Rise of Mass Copyright Infringement Filing Shakedown Factories in the US

Cake Boss title dispute settled.

We Ask the Listeners:  Should the plaintiffs in a “Girls Gone Wild” lawsuit against Joe Francis be allowed to proceed anonymously?

Call us with your opinions and thoughts. Our listener feedback number is (310) 243-6231

Free speech battle over ‘Girls Gone Wild’ lawsuit

The girls were all under 18 at the time they were taped exposing themselves to  camera.  Now in their 20s, they want to spare themselves unnecessary humiliation.

The free speech battle flared when a federal judge in Florida rejected the request to allow the women to file the lawsuit without using their name, prompting an appeal. That led Florida Freedom Newspapers Inc. and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association to wade into the First Amendment fight.

These media outlets want access to the information, and claim “It ought to be up to the press to manage this information – and not up to the courts,”
“The editorial process is based on access to openness,” said  Jeffery Nobles, attorney for the newspapers association. “And the purpose of fact-checking is obscured and prevented when parties come to court anonymously.”


Is age-ism in Hollywood getting out of hand?.  Dora the Explorer voice actress dismissed after hitting puberty.

Caitlin Sanchez was 12 when she was hired as the voice of Nickelodeon’s hitanimated series “Dora the Explorer.” She was paid $5,115 per episode and allegedly promised a cut of Dora’s lucrative merchandising revenue. Now, three years later, after being dismissed from her role because she reached puberty and could no longer provide the correct-sounding voice, Sanchez has some observers questioning the network’s practices in hiring minors.

The teen’s lawsuit  says that she signed an “unconscionable” contract without the advice of an attorney. Instead, Sanchez, her parents and her agent (who is now said to have been inexperienced) were given 22 minutes to sign the deal or lose the “Dora” gig.

According to the girl’s attorney, the contract was never submitted to a court for approval, as are most Hollywood deals involving minors.

In addition to not being compensated for hundreds of hours of recording sessions, Caitlin was forced to fly around the country promoting the show for a “meager travel stipend of $40 a day,” the suit charges.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/10/07/2010-10-07_im_dora_the_exploited_says_voice_of_cartoon.html#ixzz14FdYYlr5


Rachel Valadez at Greenberg Glusker has a blog post that questions the way this apparent public opinion “slam dunk” has been mishandled  by  Caitlin Sanchez’ attorney, who may have turned “Dora the Exploited” into “Dora the Extorter”.


Hitchock Movies Never Go Out of Style

Decades-Old Legal Battle Over ‘Rear Window’ Is Back On

Last month, Steven Spielberg prevailed in a copyright infringement suit  claiming that the film “Disturbia” was a copy of the Hitchcock Film “Rear Window”, and therefore of the underlying short story.
Spielberg prevails in Rear Window/Disturbia case (Mark Litwak)

But,  The Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust filed a new lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that Universal breached a settlement agreement by distributing and advertising Disturbia.

Disturbia features Shia LaBeouf as a teenager  confined at home, who spies on his neighbors and comes to believe that one is a killer.

Abend was a powerful literary agent in his day… he acquired the renewal rights to the short story that “Rear Window” was based on, and sued MCA, Hitchcock, and Jimmy Stewart (who produced the film) and won a landmark ruling in 1990 (Stewart v. Abend).

After that decision, there were some settlement agreements that gave MCA (now Universal) limited rights in the film.  It is those agreements that the trust now claims Universal has breached.

Oprah Winfrey sued by book author after she reads quotes on her show.

The Unruly of Law: ‘You Get A Lawsuit…Everyone Gets A Lawsuit…’
Oprah Sued for Plagiarism by Author of Political Guide – THR, Esq.

District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the author of a booklet entitled How America Elects Her Presidents has sued the talk show queen for copyright infringement, conversion, quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment.

In his complaint, Harris states that he sent 10 copies of his booklet to Winfrey in 2008 seeking publicity, but received no response.  And then,  Winfrey allegedly read questions verbatim from the booklet on her February 16, 2009, program, failing to give credit.

Photographer claims TV Movie infringes his photo
In Harney v. Sony Pictures Television, Inc., Donald Harney  a Boston Photographer alleges that the TV Movie Who Is Clark Rockefeller? copied a photograph he took, and which was widely used during the search for Rockefeller and his daughter, whom he abducted in 2008.

* *
Harney Photograph Photograph appearing in
Who is Clark Rockefeller?

The defendants argue (in their Summary Judgment Motion) that they did not commit copyright infringement because the movie photo did not copy any protectable elements of the Harney photo. The defendants also claim that any similarities between the movie photo and the Harney photo constitute permissible fair use.

You did what I asked of you… How could you do that to me?

California’s Talent Agencies Act and unlicensed Manager/agents


Pop star Ke$ha has dropped a particularly powerful legal bomb on a former manager who is suing her for $14 million in allegedly unpaid commissions.In a move that will not be a surprise to lawyers familiar with talent-management disputes, the “Tik Tok” songstress is asking the California Labor Commissioner to declare her contract with DAS Communications void because it acted as an unlicensed talent agent while representing her. That’s a big no-no in California, where only registered (and regulated) agents can “procure” work for clients.Ke$ha (real name: Kesha Rose Sebert) was sued in New York in May for allegedly breaching a 2006 deal to pay New York-based DAS and principal David Sonenberg 20% of her music earnings. The singer later left DAS and hired RCA/Jive Record Group to represent her, according to the lawsuit. At issue is whether DAS is entitled to commissions from Ke$ha’s lucrative deal with Warner Bros. Records, among other things.The singer fired back at the lawsuit in August with a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that she was well within her rights to fire the management company. And now she is moving the fight to California, where she is alleging many acts of “procurement” for her work, including singing engagements, songwriting gigs and even performing at house parties

Appeals Court reignites Lisa Kudro Manager commission case
California appeals court says the trial court abused its discretion by denying former manager’s motion for continuance to address a question of admissability of witness testimony,  and granted SJ.
“even if the contract appears to be unambiguous on its face, extrinsic evidence (like what’s customary in the entertainment industry) is admissible to disclose a latent ambiguity.”

The summary judgment has been reversed and a trial court will once again consider what Lisa Kudrow might owe to her former personal manager.

Tiny Astronaut sues over album cover.

NASA Astronaut sues Dido over ‘08 Album Cover

Bruce McCandless II claims that the British pop artist’s 2008 album, “Safe Trip Home.” used a photo of his 1984 untethered space walk. McCandless is suing Dido, Sony Music, and Getty Images.

Bob Marley family loses case against record label.

Billboard article

Bob Marley’s family lost a lawsuit seeking the copyrights to several of the late Jamaican reggae singer’s best-known recordings.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the UMG Recordings unit of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group is the rightful owner of copyrights to five albums that Marley had recorded between 1973 and 1977 for Island Records.

The albums “Catch a Fire,” “Burnin’,” “Natty Dread,” “Rastaman Vibrations” and “Exodus” were recorded with Marley’s band the Wailers. They include some of Marley’s best-known songs, including “Get Up, Stand Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love.”

Marley’s family accused UMG of intentionally withholding royalties from their company Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd, and ignoring a 1995 agreement assigning them rights under the original recording agreements, court papers show.

But Cote concluded that Marley’s recordings were “works made for hire” as defined under U.S. copyright law, entitling UMG to be designated the owner of those recordings, for both the initial 28-year copyright terms and for renewals.

See the Court’s Order Here

See also, the Roger Miller case referenced by Tamera during the show.

Don’t forget, you can GET CLE CREDIT for the show!

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