Month: February 2018

Calif. appeals court sees ‘Simpsons’ mob lampoon as protected satire, sends out character actor’s beef with cartoon show for a shine boxing

The notorious criminal Henry Hill, as played by actor Ray Liotta, once summarized a key wiseguy ethos, observing in a scene in the film Goodfellas: “If anyone complained twice, they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again.” So will Frank Sivero, the actor known for his portrayals of organized crime family members like Genco Abbandando  (Godfather II) and Frankie Carbone (Goodfellas), take a cue and leave off his beef over the legendary Fox Television cartoon show The Simpsons — this after just receiving a second hard legal anti-SLAPP from a California appellate court? Sivero had sued Fox in 2014, asserting The...

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Taylor Swift shakes off ‘Playas’ infringement claim. But how about that federal judge’s harsh finding of ‘unoriginal,’ ‘uncreative’ and ‘banal’ lyrics?

It may be true, as some songs have averred, that playas gon play, and haters, they gonna hate. But federal district judges, well, they rule. And, when asked to decide matters with elements that they may deem legally triflin’, their honors sometimes can just zing parties before them. That was the case with U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald in Los Angeles, as he took up a copyright infringement suit filed by the songwriters of 3LW’s 2001 piece, Playas Gon’ Play. They asserted that pop diva Taylor Swift  violated their copyright  for Playas with her hit Shake It Off  (to hear it,...

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Even as songwriters win a key fight on royalties, new fronts open in big-money war between companies, creatives over pay for streamed music

Bit coins and other crypto currencies? For already financially struggling creatives seeking ways to make money, the answer’s likely, Fuggedahaboutit. But a federal agency, industry advocates say, has at least stepped up to boost how songwriters can mine the latest cyber development driving their industry: online music streaming. The Copyright Royalty Board of the U.S. Library of Congress recently changed its formula to determine how much revenue streaming companies must share with songwriters and the music publishing companies.  By 2022,  the regulatory board has determined, the royalty for use of musical works in making and distributing of phono records will be...

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‘Nae, slappin?’ Au contraire: Court roughs up, tosses guitarist’s infringement suit against U2 and ‘The Fly’

Nae, slappin? Dinnae talk mince. I’ll gie ye a skelpit lug! the fandan in Manhattan (a U.S. District judge) effectively has told the plaintiff accusing the renowned rockers in U2 of copyright infringement. Paul Rose, a Newcastle native with a penchant for picking at least one Scottish (?) song title, asserted in a suit that Irishman Bono and his Dublin band mates, with their 4:25 vocal and instrumental single The Fly (click on the photo above to play the official video), had infringed on and wrongly taken elements of his original musical composition Nae Slappin, a 3:30 extended guitar riff with just...

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Here’s a ruling, straight (no chaser): Thelonious Monk estate can bop on with move to flatten a Mendocino craft brewer’s beer

Ruby, my dear, the man himself might have said ‘Round midnight, these cats aren’t playing it Straight (no chaser). And, Well, you needn’t act like that.  So, while a crisp, cold craft beer and some hot be-bop might seem like a jamming mix, the fizz has more than flattened in a brewing deal involving a Northern California beer-maker and the son of acclaimed jazz keyboardist-composer Thelonious Monk. A California judge recently denied North Coast Brewing Company’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Thelonious Monk Jr. for the unpermitted use of his father’s name and likeness to sell beer-themed merchandise....

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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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