Month: July 2013

Well, snap, no indirect profits in this photo

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but New York-based photographer Taea Thale could not convince a court that her photograph was worth compensation after Apple included it a 2010 commercial.  The U.S. District Court in Northern California granted a partial summary judgment in favor of Apple Inc., dismissing Thale’s claim for indirect profits from the tech giant’s alleged copyright infringement. Thale photographed Zooey Deschenel’s band She & Him, licensing the picture to Merge Media Ltd. for limited use in magazines and posters to promote the band. Though that license excluded rights to promote other entities or products, Apple used the photo in a national television commercial for the iPhone 3GS.  The 30-second ad, Concert, aired between April 5, 2010 and April 18, 2010 and displayed Thale’s photo in a montage for not more than five seconds. Thale sued Apple for infringement in 2011, seeking under 17 U.S.C. Section 504(a)(1) and (b), “damages in the amount of her actual damages and any profits of the defendant attributable to the infringing acts.” The court identified a sole issue: whether Thale could show the required, causal nexus between her claimed infringement and indirect profits she sought under section 504 related to this commerical:   U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers agreed with Apple, finding Thale failed to “proffer sufficient non-speculative evidence to support a causal relationship between the infringement and...

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‘Legal survial guide’ for online content creators

For all of those who create online content, from bloggers to podcasters, Gordon P Firemark  — entertainment attorney, theater law expert and Southwestern Law School adjunct professor — has written a legal survival guide to help avoid legal troubles.  The Podcast, Blog & New Media Producers’ Legal Survival Guide explains the legal principles, issues and claims that can arise for producers of internet-based media. Topics tackled include: copyright infringement claims and defenses; Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notices and counter-notices; libel  and slander; responses to cease-and-desist letters; and much more.  The guide offers online content providers ways to act to guard against paying legal fees to defend against any of the numerous potential claims that can arise and which Firemark addresses. Before his legal career, Firemark produced plays and musicals and worked in television as a producer and director.  After graduating from Southwestern, he was a partner with the Business Affairs Group and worked in business and legal and business affairs at Hanna Barbera Productions and the MGM/UA Worldwide Television Group.  Besides his own practice, The Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark, he produces and hosts the Entertainment Law Update, a podcast for artists and pros in entertainment.  He teaches Theater Law in the Online Entertainment LLM program at Southwestern and Business Law at Loyola Marymount University Here’s a sample of information that Firemark dispenses...

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Physicist’s immutable object? $675,000 penalty

Given the option of blazing legal trails or not racking up legal costs, would the prospect of paying the equivalent of a really nice house or the full ticket for an Ivy undergrad and grad education prove persuasive? He’s argued doggedly but yet another appeal has gone against Joel Tenenbaum, the aspiring physicist who has fought a music industry campaign against illegal digital music downloads. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, for the second time, has affirmed the jury verdict of $675,000, or $22,500 per downloaded mp3 single against Tenenbaum, who has said in interviews that he could have settled his case for $3,000. His persistence hasn’t won the grad student much in court, where the record indicates he’s stuck to conduct that hasn’t helped his battle against a music industry anti-piracy strategy carried out in litigation and penalties. In 2011, the appellate court had upheld a penalty against Tenenbaum for copyright infringement. Tenenbaum, a trial court had found, had knowingly downloaded and distributed copyrighted music without authorization, using various peer-to-peer networks from 1999 to at least 2007. He was sued by Sony BMG and other record labels in August, 2007, for statutory damages and injunctive relief over thirty counts of unauthorized music downloads.  A jury awarded Sony $22,500 for each of Tenenbaum’s thirty violations (fifteen percent of the statutory maximum), for a total award of...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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