Month: September 2015

Appellate judges order up a ‘dancing baby’ trial

So, the dancing baby case, aka Lenz v. Universal, waltzes on to another court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled the case presents sufficient fair-use and other issues so that it cannot be dismissed through motions for summary judgment and it must go to trial. As this blog has noted previously, seven years after mom Stephanie Lenz posted a 29-second video of her toddler jumping up and down to an audible tune (Let’s Go Crazy, which is how Lenz headlined her video) by a musician who formerly was known as Prince, a judge or a jury will decide whether Universal, acting on the musician’s behalf, properly filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notice against her work. She has won support from advocates who say that: major music publishers have been indiscriminate in their mass filings of the DMCA take-down notices (Lenz’s notice was one of 200 filed by Universal in a fell swoop); and, contrary to the statute, due consideration is not given to fair use defenses in allowing videos like Lenz’s, which make even sparing use of copyrighted music and lyrics. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has supported Lenz and sued Universal on her behalf, hailed the appellate ruling that sends this much publicized case to trial. It will be interesting to see  how far Holden Lenz, who was a not walking...

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Appellate court tosses PlayStation owner’s suit

For a PlayStation owner with a decidedly paranoid view as to what happened or what might occur with his personal information, especially data on his movie-viewing habits, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has just handed down a ruling that best can be summarized in two words: buzz off. The appellate judges based in California thereby joined judicial colleagues in a federal district court in Oakland as well as jurists on the appellate benches in the Sixth and Seventh circuits in tossing the lawsuits filed by PlayStation owner Daniel Rodriguez, who claimed that others should be allowed to join him in a class action against two Sony subsidiaries. Rodriguez had sought to get courts to apply the 1988 federal Video Protection Act to data that Sony might have and might have shared through his owning of a PlayStation gaming console. For those who have forgotten the madness on all sides associated with the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of  Judge Robert Bork, the video act was a legacy of his confirmation fight. It sought to bar disclosure by video services of consumers’ personal information, especially their movie-viewing habits, as happened to Bork. Although the videotaped movie has become almost as extinct as a Chevy Corvair, post-Bork service providers like Redbox, which operated stand-alone kiosks where customers could rent tapes, have run afoul of and successfully defended themselves...

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Jordan’s rebuke for grocer’s ad? $8.9 million

He has insisted all along the way that his long legal battle was all about the power and pride of his name and not about a monetary victory. But even in Los Angeles, almost any litigator would be pleased to be part of the recent, much publicized $8.9 million federal court jury award to basketball legend Michael Jordan in his right of publicity suit against Dominick’s, a now-defunct grocery chain in Chicago that published an advertisement in a Sports Illustrated  commemorative edition using the superstar’s likeliness. This blog has posted before about Jordan’s suits against those who he says infringe on...

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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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