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In this Episode:

  •  James Taylor sues WB Records
  •  Gamblers prevail
  • Using Brando’s likeness isn’t in “Vogue” for Madonna
  • Copyright Term Extension – Again?
  • Innocence of Muslims
    suit by actress
  • “Franks Anatra” trademark denied.
  • Please nominate us for a podcast award (in the ‘Business’ category)

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Show Notes

James Taylor Sues Warner Bros. Records for Nearly $2 Million


Gamblers Hit Pay Dirt Again, Prevail in Unshuffled Cards Lawsuit

Legal Blog Watch:

NBC New York:

James Cameron, Fox Get ‘Avatar’ Copyright Suit Dismissed


The Wrap:

Lawsuit Aims to Stop Marlon Brando Estate From Suing Madonna Over ‘Vogue’


No Doubt, Activision Settle Lawsuit Over Avatars in ‘Band Hero’ (Quick Take)


Copyright Term Question from Listener Todd Ruel

“One of the most disappointing pieces of copyright legislation ever (to me, anyway) was the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.  In another six years we’ll be right back where we were in 1998.  Copyrights from 1923 will start to expire.  Here’s the question.  Do you foresee another attempt by the entertainment industry to extend existing copyright terms by another 20 years?”

Bonus question:  “if yes, do you think Big Entertainment will succeed?”

Works/authors that went PD outside the US in 2012 include James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Jelly Roll Morton-

(We both think that Big Entertainment WILL try, but likely won’t succeed.)

The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. Since the Copyright Act of 1976,copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship. The Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.[1] Copyright protection for works published prior to January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.This law, also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, Sonny Bono Act, or as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act,[2] effectively “froze” the advancement date of the public domain in the United States for works covered by the older fixed term copyright rules. Under this Act, additional works made in 1923 or afterwards that were still protected by copyright in 1998 will not enter the public domain until 2019 or afterward (depending on the date of the product) unless the owner of the copyright releases them into the public domain prior to that. Unlike copyright extension legislation in the European Union, the Sonny Bono Act did not revive copyrights that had already expired. The Act did extend the terms of protection set for works that were already copyrighted, and is retroactive in that sense. However, works created before January 1, 1978, but not published or registered for copyright until recently, are addressed in a special section (17 U.S.C.§ 303) and may remain protected until the end of 2047. The Act became Pub.L. 105-298 on October 27, 1998.

Innocence of Muslims’ Actress Lawsuit(s)


Original Article:THResq:


Appeals Court Confirms Fox’s Victory in ‘Percy Jackson’ Copyright LawsuitTHResq:

Frank Sinatra Beats Hot Dog Truck Over Rights to ‘Franks Anatra’

Judge Rejects Game Maker’s Lawsuit Against Justin Bieber

There is ‘substantial similarity’ between Triple Town and Yeti Town – U.S. court Gamasutra:

  • A video game developer is suing another game maker over their similar computer game.
  • The court has denied the defendant’s dismissal motion stating that the plaintiff, Spry Fox, has shown enough similarity to state a claim for relief.
  • Comparison photos (Yeti Town is the blue, icy one
  • )

Guitar maker sues Web-based t-shirt vendor for shirts reading “born to rock”
  • Sample of Born to Rock shirts on CafePress

Sony Sues Actor Who Abandoned PlayStation for Nintendo Wii

Please nominate us for a podcast award!


Finally, I want to let everyone know that nominations for the podcast awards are open right now, until October 15th, so if you like what we do here, please pop over to, and nominate Entertainment Law Update in the Business category.  We’d be grateful.