Author: Leo Young

Video games reexamined as new bar group rises

The Video Game Bar Association has launched with the goal of providing a dedicated forum for attorneys who specialize in video game transactions. Two of the group’s founding members, Patrick Sweeney and David Rosenbaum, teach at Southwestern Law School, which is one of the only law schools in the Los Angeles area with two dedicated video game law-related courses. At the request of Biederman Blog editor Leo Young, Sweeney recently sat down to discuss the new bar group and current trends he sees in the video game industry.  Gamasutra and the AmLaw Daily have provided great coverage of the group, founded in February, and its mission. To summarize, it is a forum for members all over the world to collaborate. It’s for experienced attorneys only and members must have practiced at least two years in the video game industry. Candidates must be sponsored by an existing member. The professor said a major trend in the industry has been the rise of mobile and social gaming. The growth of these, along with the lower cost of evolving distribution platforms, have permitted developers who previously were barred to enter the video game market. For major, AAA video game titles, the traditional relationships between developers and publishers tend to remain as they were; the lower entry cost, with the emergence of “app stores,” has allowed mobile game developers to reduce their reliance...

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Brits get U.S. firm to take down Canadian site

The UK Music Publishers Association temporarily had the Canadian-based International Music Score Library Project taken down with a DMCA notice to the sheet music folks’ U.S. -based domain registrar, Go Daddy. A 1935 choral work — The Bells, Op. 35, by Sergei Rachmaninoff — provided the fodder for the allegation of copyright infringement that prompted the take-down demand, though the British group later said via Twitter that it had asked Go Daddy to reinstate the domain name. The Canadians’ argument on why the action against it was wrong is here. In brief, they assert that the Brits erred and there is no copyright in the U.S. nor the European Union for The Bells. The post also argues that it’s not the business of the Brits to enforce E.U. copyright laws upon the rest of the world. Michael Geist, a Canadian legal scholar, blogger and tech expert, notes that Canada’s law offers a more reasonable approach to DMCA takedown notices. Rather than a domain registrar shutting a site based on accusations, the law up north lets courts decide if there has been a copyright infringement based on a “notice-and-notice approach.” From Michael Geist’s Blog. He also wrote about this issue in 2007. Copy of the DMCA takedown letter...

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‘Oh, Really?’ Movie chatter in legal briefs?

In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. The pursuit of lively legal prose leads lawyers to seek entertaining references, with some of these surprising citations devoted to pop culture and especially the movies. But what crops up in those legal briefs can be amusing — or an utter fiasco. Let’s look at some instances where lawyers and judges either have made their formal documents delightfully breezy — or left nothing less than memorable stink bombs. The blogosphere has buzzed plenty about a recent cinema citation, which Kevin Underhill from Lowering the Barpresents as the “New Contender for Worst Legal Brief.” In this instance, a lawyer apparently based his appellate argument on the premise of the movie “The Hangover.”  It’s something you must see for yourself. The argument from the first paragraph of the brief begins with: “In the 2009 movie The Hangover, the ultimate Las Vegas bachelor party goes bad when the groom’s men wake up in their suite at Caesar’s Palace with a tiger in the bathroom, a 6-month old baby in the close, and the groom nowhere to be found.  What’s more, nobody can remember the previous night’s events, due to the effects of the alcohol they ingested together with...

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Suit fails over game licensing in China

A U.S. District Court in New York has dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed by shareholders of The9 Ltd., the company that operates World of Warcraft in China, against the firm’s officers. The action, under sections 10b and 20a of the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act, asserted the corporate leaders made false statements  and misrepresentations regarding the renewal of the exclusive and lucrative license to run World of Warcraft in China, which represents 90% of The9’s revenues. But the court ruled the plaintiffs failed to make their case, including their claim that officers schemed to benefit from the ultimate non-renewal of the license. From JD Supra and Katten Muchen Rosenman LLP.  Click to read the...

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Sony settles PlayStation ‘jailbreaking’ litigation

In a joint statement, Sony Computer Entertainment America and George Hotz, aka GeoHotz, have announced that they have reached a settlement of the game manufacturer’s lawsuit against the noted cyber hacker. Sony had asserted that Hotz had violated federal laws by posting instructions on how to “jailbreak” or to work around its security features on its software for the Sony PlayStation 3. As part of the settlement, Hotz agreed to a permanent injunction that had called for him to pull down posts on his web site concerning PS3 software. Gamastura notes that Sony also has dismissed its lawsuits against members of Fail0verflow (a PlayStation 3 hacking crew) and numerous “John Does” associated with the case. Hotz, meantime, proclaimed on his blog that he will boycott Sony products and calls for his readers to do the same.  Judging from the comments on Hotz’s blog, most commenters support him and what he did. There are, of course, a few detractors thrown in. The commenters angry at Hotz accuse him of taking donations for a protracted legal battle and then settling. Hotz promises to post a response. The lawsuit had taken an interesting turn in early March when Sony successfully subpoenaed IP addresses of users who visited Hotz’s websites or watched his videos. From Techdirt and...

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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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