Author: Natalie Reynoso

Au revoir, appellate court says to Calif. attempt to give artists a percentage of rising value of their works under ‘droit de suite’ concept

With blood, sweat, and tears, a quartet of California artists pursued their vision, winning over decades international critical attention and praise for their paintings and sculptures. But should these creators also be allowed more insight into their dealers’ pricing and a share of the rising profitability of their one-of-a-kind works? No, a federal appellate court in California has at long last decided, declining to allow in American law the so-called “moral right” that has been embraced internationally:  droit de suite (French for “right to follow”). Under this “right,” which the Golden State pioneered and became the only state to adopt...

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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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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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Does Disney’s mood swing from elation to anger? Persistent plaintiff sees ‘Inside Out’ infringement claim tossed for a second time (No surprise, Sherlock?) But she appeals.

It wasn’t exactly a super hero aggregation like The Avengers, but a federal judge in Los Angeles has thrown the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Superman, and James Bond at a plaintiff to tell her, for a second time, to throw in the Towle with her copyright infringement claims against Walt Disney Co. over its animated hit Inside Out. U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, in Los Angeles, recently dismissed anew an action filed against Disney by Denise Daniels, a broadcaster who has built up parenting and child development expertise.  She first made claims against the $850-million Pixar blockbuster in 2017, asserting then...

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