Author: Leo Young

Axl Rose in a jungle rumble over Slash avatar

While a Los Angeles judge has allowed Axl Rose’s lawsuit to proceed against Activision Blizzard, the litigation — in which the rocker asserts the gaming firm improperly used the avatar of his group’s one-time guitarist Saul Hudson (aka Slash) — also is providing a window into frictions between members of  the one-time hit enesemble. Rose apparently is touchy about the association between Slash and Guns N’ Roses. Rose did not want the Guns N’ Roses brand connected to Slash in any manner. Rose’s complaint alleges that Activision Blizzard executives assured him Slash would not appear in conjunction with the Guns N’ Roses song “Welcome to the Jungle” or in any other manner within the video game. Rose stated that he agreed to the use of the song as long as Slash was not associated with song or Guns N’ Roses. Guitar Hero released with modes that allowed the player to earn Slash as an avatar or to battle against Slash while playing “Welcome to the Jungle.” Rose also alleges that Activision Blizzard promised him that Slash’s band Velvet Revolver would not appear in the game. Lastly, Rose alleges that Activision Blizzard used another song, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” without a license in an Internet promotion. Rose is seeking $20 million-plus in damages, which he claims are the profits Activision Blizzard received from sales of Guitar Hero. Activision Blizzard is...

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ISP ends up on top in studio case Down Under

In Australia, internet service providers do not have to take action against potential copyright infringers,  appellate judges have decided. In Roadshow Films Pty Limited v iiNet Limited, the Australian Federal Court dismissed an appeal from a movie studio stating that ISPs must take an active role in identifying copyright infringers using file-sharing technology such as BitTorrent. A company was hired to look for potential BitTorrent infringers. The company compiled a list of IP addresses of users from iiNet. The company then requested that iiNet provide the individuals’ identities. iiNet replied that they could not identify the people based on information provided by the company. A lawsuit followed, asserting that iiNet was part of the copyright infringement because it did not take steps to stop it. The complaint alleged that iiNet’s users were infringing on copyrights and that iiNet was authorizing this infringement. The issues that the court considered were whether an iiNet user infringed on a copyright by putting the film online, whether the film was transmitted electronically to the public by an iiNet user, and whether iiNet authorized these actions. The court held that iiNet users did infringe on copyrights; that only one infringement occurs per user, because peer-to-peer software is an ongoing series of transmissions. The court also held that iiNet did not authorize its users to infringe on copyrights because it neither had the power to prevent the...

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Patent used to block PS3 shipments In Europe

The LG vs. Sony battle will be heard in a Dutch court on March 10, 2011. This case is important because it raises issues never seen before, such as using a patent to prevent a gaming console from being imported or sold into Europe. The issue was first covered in depth by Jas Purewal on the blog Gamers/Law. Purewall’s article gives an brief background of the LG v. Sony battle. LG alleges that Sony has violated its Blue-Ray DVD patent. According to Purewal, one of the main issues entertainment law practioners should be concerned about is that an import ban isn’t just limited to patents. It can also be applied to other type of intellectual property infringement, such as copyright infringement. In a follow up article Purewal provides a summary of the highlights from another post written by Florian Mueller. In addition to the ban on the importation of Playstation 3s, inventories in stores was also seized. LG’s main argument is that Sony is infringing their Blue-Ray patents and should not be allowed to sell any products until Sony obtains the proper licenses. LG asked for and received a prejudgment seizure order, which is something unique to Dutch law. LG convinced the judge to allow the seizure and ban of the Playstation 3 before Sony could make its own arguments. Sony will have its chance to make its arguments at the...

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Is your IP address now part of a Sony case?

Is your computer address now part of litigation between Sony and a teen computer whiz? It could be that you’ll join us in that reality after a federal magistrate in San Francisco approved four subpoenas sought by Sony Computer Entertainment in its lawsuit against George Hotz, who infuriated the company by publishing information on its  Playstation 3 that allows consumers to alter or “jail-break” product software.  The subpoenas — which raise online privacy concerns — let Sony obtain the IP addresses of those who visited sites run by Hotz, including potentially the editors of this site. What happens to those who visited his site but did not act on disputed information he posted there? Does just the act of reading about how to jailbreak a PS3 cause Sony harm? The company’s main argument in seeking the subpoenas was that they were legally necessary to show it can pursue its case in California, as Sony contends most of those who visited Hotz’s sites lived in Northern California. (Critics earlier had decried the corporate choice for litigation, arguing the Silicon Valley proximity favors Sony and creates greater financial and other challenges for Hotz, who lives in New Jersey.) Sony’s secondary argument was it needed the court orders to obtain further evidence to show it suffered harm from the disclosure of the jail-breaking information. The first subpoena is for the IP addresses...

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Entertainment lawyers online: 3 sites big, content crucial, social media hip, survey shows

When entertainment lawyers venture into cyberspace,  at what time of day do they do so? Where online do they go and what matters to them when they get to select sites? The editors of the Biederman Blog, as part of their research on which this site is based, asked those questions and more of practitioners and found: Most entertainment lawyers point their browsers to The Hollywood Reporter, Esq., Deadline Hollywood, and Above the Law. Further, most of this browsing is typically done on weekday mornings. Entertainment lawyers are uninterested in flashy graphics or videos, content matters most to them — not just regular articles, but long and detailed content with legal analysis and citations to cases and other reliable sources. The data to back up these assertions comes from a survey by the Biederman Blog’s editors of practicing entertainment lawyers,  including Southwestern Law School alumni, attorneys affiliated with the Biederman Institute, and attorneys in the industry.  More than 500 e-mails were sent out to practitioners, more than 50 of whom responded with opinions. A majority of survey respondents say they have more than 15 years of experience in  entertainment law, with their positions including house counsel, solo practices and academia. Because the survey questions allowed for more than one answer, the numbers will not add always up to 100%. Though most respondents tended be from an older generation, they are...

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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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