Month: April 2017

‘Oh, Really?’ Yes, ‘Vinny’ still a hit after 25 years

In our ‘Oh, Really’  feature, the Biederman Blog’s editors and alumni— voracious consumers of trendy matters — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular culture and its entertaining products, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. How’d that happen? Has it really been 25 years since a low-budget, gentle comedy about two New York youts—Bill (Ralph Macchio) and Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) and how they get into deep hot water in Dixie, only to be rescued by a Brooklyn wise guy—sneaked into theaters nationwide, became a hit, then a cult classic? My Cousin Vinny, experts note, not only has charmed audiences for awhile now. It also has earned a special spot in many lawyers’ hearts and minds because of its attention to telling truths. Its director holds a Cambridge law degree. It has been deemed by a respected legal publication as one of the 25 greatest legal movies, and it has been written up in legal textbooks and online sites. The eminent jurist Richard Posner has written that the film is “particularly rich in practice tips: how a criminal defense lawyer must stand his ground against a hostile judge, even at the cost of exasperating the judge, because the lawyer’s primary audience is the jury, not the judge; how cross-examination on peripheral matters can sow serious doubts about a witness’s credibility; how props can be used effectively in cross-examination (the tape measure that demolishes...

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Champs’ publicity-rights claim slapped down

With federal copyright laws holding sway, online sales are acceptable of prized photos of basketball players, their games, appellate judges find Patrick Maloney, a hot-shooting guard who helped catapult his 2001 team to Catholic University’s first-ever Division III national championship, has become a school legend for his elite decision-making on a basketball court. But he, teammate Tim Judge, and other Cardinal players made bad calls in courts of law when they and their attorneys sought to contest a decision by their alma mater, the NCAA, and an online vendor, T3Media and its Paya.com website, to allow the public to...

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Oh, no, you don’t: Infringement claims revived

Appellate judges say trial, facts needed to determine if web service’s claim for ‘safe harbor’ undone by ‘volunteers’ moderating celebrity content Celebrity content has sprouted online on gossipy sites like spring wildflowers after California’s heavy winter rains. But will the courts douse the untrammeled enthusiasms for these enterprises by finding that businesses that host and support such web venues may have limits to “safe harbors” they might seek from infringement claims in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has fired a warning shot to online service providers about the limits of their...

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Web services catch a break on older music

Justices decline case contesting net providers’ ‘safe harbor’ protections for pre-’72 music recordings, infringement claims Where the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court decline to go can matter as much as where they do. The lesson has played out anew with the high court’s recent refusal to take up a much-watched Entertainment Law dispute involving pre-1972 sound recordings and online service providers. That has left the services, the music industry, and judges in courts across the country with some complex copyright issues hanging more than a little bit. For now, performers may have been dealt a setback,  while the providers look like...

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Calif. tosses angry actor’s talent-act claim

Star’s manager prevails in beef over commissions, representation Thomas Gibson‘s acting career, launched at age 10, has taken him through Julliard, the Broadway stage, and Hollywood, where he starred in the CBS TV hit Criminal Minds for a dozen years. But the unsmiling 55-year-old has seen a highly lucrative career take a rough turn recently, including his 2013 arrested for a DUI (for which he lost use of his license) and his highly publicized tussles and firing in late 2016 from the crime procedural show that had made him one of the industry’s top-paid performers. While he battles to restore his reputation, actions by Gibson, his longtime manager, and a recent ruling by the California...

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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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