Month: January 2014

Hulk adds bulk to legal cases on sex tapes

Well, yeah, it’s Friday, and the most overpowering issue to be dealt with may be tamping down the urge to hit that door to flee for the weekend. But here’s something legal and a little strong — or at least the visual may stick in the head in not exactly pleasant fashion: How much exactly do we all need to see one-time champion wrestler, sometime reality TV dad and sixty-something Floridian Terry Gene Bollea romping around the bedroom, sans even that teeny-tiny Speedo he pranced around in when he was a ring star known as Hulk Hogan? Grab a strong cup of java, brace for a little eeew factor and let’s confront that, while Hulk Hogan may be strong, he’s not mighty enough to win a pre-publication restraint on the First Amendment right to free speech:  a Florida appellate court has lifted a temporary injunction Bollea had won to prevent that all-important press outlet (slogan: Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news) for posting about him in yet another celebrity sex tape. Counselors, are these kerfuffles about these kinds of vids becoming their own closet industry? So the online world seems especially abuzz about this tawdry tale. If curiosity absolutely impels — and the legal discussion at hand ought to be prevail — well, you’ll have to search for the video Hogan goods yourself since the litigation-shy seem to be...

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Here’s the rap on what’s in a (notorious) name

It’s not every enterprise where criminal notoriety may offer a superhighway to a greater reputation and increased commercial success. But for a rapper and a convicted cocaine-dealing street magnate the power of negative reputation was part of a legal fight — and the scuffle over a nom de guerre has ended with an appellate court issuing summary judgment favoring the musician and based in the First Amendment. Let’s start with the legal basics: rapper William Lenard Roberts II and his music label, Maybach Music, were sued in California by Ricky D. Ross, aka the real Ricky Ross, for misappropriating his name and gaining commercial success. Let’s introduce the heavyweights. For those not steeped in rap,  Defendant Roberts (stage name Rick Ross) saw his music career blow up when he came out with his first single, Hustlin. The song may be an ear worm, even to non-rap fans because of its oft-repeated lyric, “Everyday I’m hustlin.’ ” The rapper asserts he derived his performance identity as a play off his high school football nickname, “Big Boss.” The plaintiff, meantime, has achieved felonious notoriety in Los Angeles,  especially, as Ricky Ross, Rick Ross and Freeway Ricky Ross. This guy made millions of dollars trafficking cocaine from California to Ohio, selling up to $3 million worth of cocaine a day. He has been linked to the Nicaraguan Contras,  the Iran-Contra scandal  and a media...

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Legendary sleuth pressed into public domain

Let’s call it the Case of the Sudden Public Figure, an unraveling mystery that enmeshes a cultural icon and wraps him anew in laws that many fail to know nor appreciate. In case you missed exactly how this conundrum got cracked — and the coverage may have hit a pop culture kind of smother level, especially considering all the factors involved — the clues for practitioners of Entertainment Law may be said to rest in matters elementary: chronology, character, character trait and storyline. So how does the year 1923 and the presence of a second wife, an athletic history and a retirement decide whether Sherlock Holmes, the legendary, deer-stalker wearing British deductive detective, belongs with his crew, including Dr. Watson, as literary creations in the public domain, free for public use. Or not? Brave on here, dear reader, if you haven’t already partaken of this yarn (and we’ve got lots of interesting links, even if so ….)In case you missed this report or this one or this one or this one, of course,  Ruben Castillo, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, recently decided that pre-1923 story elements from Sir Author Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes have entered the public domain and now are free for the public to use. In applying the “incremental expression” test, however, Castillo also ruled that post-1923 story...

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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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