Month: June 2018

William Leonard Roberts II played yet another round of the name game. But this time appellate judges found Uncle Sam the mastermind, with his marks demanding respect

William Leonard Roberts II has kept lawyers and judges busy with his apparent identity crisis, manifest large in his reach for noms de guerre. He was just back in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where three judges slapped down his latest claim with a reminder that a powerful fellow takes even more seriously than Roberts may this whole business of naming: And when Uncle Sam decides to issue a trademark on a handle, rappers cannot mess lightly with his protections. The latest legal kerfuffle for Roberts, a Grammy-nominated rapper aka Rick Ross, involved another pseudonym he uses, the Mastermind,...

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Sho’ Nuff: fiscal risk persists for music publishers after appellate court revives copyright suit, royalties claims over tune sampled for Justin Timberlake Hit ‘Suit & Tie’

Sho’ Nuff, some music publishers still may have a financial reckoning ahead with a trio who called themselves Sly, Slick, and Wicked and who have laid claim to hits by Justin Timberlake and J. Cole for sampling their work. The door had seemed shut on the dispute over royalties from the 1970s track sampled in the singles by Timberlake and J. Cole. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reopened the copyright suit filed by ’70’s R&B performers John Wilson, Charles Still, and Terrance Stubbs. The band members argued that Dynatone Publishing Co., UMG Recordings...

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‘Moral rights’ may hold some sway in Egyptian music, but Jay-Z rules like a pharoah in an appellate win in a long-running infringement case involving rap hit ‘Big Pimpin’

The Egyptians’ and their empire, culture, and world views so enthralled the ancient world that Greek and Roman generals and statesmen dreamed of ascending to the pinnacles of its power as pharaoh. But centuries later, and after more than a decade of litigation, Jay-Z — a royal of American modern urban music  — may simply be relieved he and a host of others no longer will need to “be spendin’ big cheese” to defend a 1999 copyright infringement case over the rap hit Big Pimpin. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has rejected the suit against the...

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ComicMix’s mashup with ‘Star Trek’ elements goes boldly against a Dr. Seuss mark. But title the satire’s latest judicial win a study in the importance of *footnotes

Literary history’s littered with simply awful book titles: Jane Austen, for example, had First Impressions as the draft name of her second novel before she decided it better would be Pride and Prejudice. Jaqueline Susann skipped titling her pot-boiler novel They Don’t Build Statues to Businessmen and called it Valley of the Dolls, while F. Scott Fitzgerald vacillated about the handle for his novel, dubbed at one point Trimalchio in West Egg, before he picked The Great Gatsby. And what’s there to be said about the big ol’ writer’s egg the late, great 20th-century novelist Philip Roth might have laid had his publisher let him keep as...

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You know where SpongeBob works as a cook, right? That’s also why an appellate court fried up real eateries’ hopes to be called ‘The Krusty Krab’

To the imaginary denizens of Bikini Bottom, including cartoon legend SpongeBob SquarePants, the Krusty Krab has earned a delectable reputation for the secret-recipe burgers and other fast food it slings. Who knew that the fictional eatery  — like the Daily Planet, General Lee, and Conan the Barbarian — also has real world legal protections as a product and for its name ? That’s what a federal appellate court has found. The panel held that a real company could be in some deep water for infringing on the Krusty Krab name for its real world restaurants serving Cajun seafood, purportedly with a...

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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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