Author: Sean Goodman

Righthaven: firm’s out but its tactics live on

Righthaven, the law firm infamous for its copyright litigiousness, in recent months has been slapped with a federal judge’s order, seizing thousands in its assets and sending it out of business, even as it found itself slapped back by an appellate court on yet more of its bodacious claims. With its all-out assaults on parties it says infringed on rights held by others, Righthaven rode high for awhile before its crash into what critics proclaimed a slow-coming, much-deserved ignominy for the practice now commonly dubbed “copyright trolling.” But its aggressive tactics, by which lawyers extracted in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements, haven’t gone away: See Exhibit ‘A’, the recent lawsuit filing against Bleacher Report, Inc. The context differs here but the method is the same. In Righthaven cases, the firm asserted infringement claims on behalf of its clients against online defendants for the unauthorized use of newspaper articles. Those who have taken up in Righthaven’s tracks — in perfectly legal fashion, and, some may argue in the interests of clients — are attorneys scouring the web for infringement claims on behalf of stock photo sites. The complaint, e-filed on Sept. 18,  asserts infringement by Bleacher Report Inc., for unauthorized use of photos of a female celebrity and Mark Sanchez, a quarterback for the NFL’s New York Jets and before that USC. The claim is that...

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Is next nexus in sight in gaming, entertainment?

Was it just a blink ago when the pollyanna part of the entertainment industry looked to video games and envisioned a klieg-lit bright future with Hollywood oh-so profitably working with gamers? Well, the brutal recession and other realities (the absence of hot new consoles, the rise of mobile gaming and more) have led to net profits declining again this year from 2011 in gaming, with consumers (click here for video gaming statistics) still spending $989 million total on games in August alone. But look beneath the surface: continuous technological change not only has altered expectations, it also is sowing seeds of potential for tomorrow, with some industry pundits focusing on interactive video gaming with its diverse group of players and ample elements of escapism. Augmented reality, in particular, is in the target sights of those who see an entertainment future. And so why is this guy in a recent New York Times piece wearing those funny goggles? What’s AR? What are the potential uses of augmented reality technology? Think of: the “holo-deck,” as imagined in the Star Trek television show and movies; military training simulations; and, of course, adult entertainment and other new features that could bring new life to Hollywood characters. This field is sure to provide many new issues for entertainment lawyers to exploit, resolve and litigate. (Click here to see a little on some of these legal...

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Belieber-ing in power, legal issues of YouTube

If that boulder fell away from the cave door and you’re finally realizing that, as Bob Dylan propounded — that the “Times, they are a-changin” — the New Yorker has recently offered its stately, looong look at just how true this is in the music industry, especially with the innovations of, yes, YouTube, and how key a channel of change it has become. The piece dissects contemporary industry trends in a profile of Scooter Braun, belieber and manager of boy singer Justin Bieber. Braun found his now mega-star via Google’s online video system and leveraged the lad’s giant audience there to negotiate a valuable 360 record deal for his client. Braun says that, although sales of old-school products like records (what?), CDs and other physical items have declined, the music business has grown via different streams of revenue from licensing, merchandising and digital sales. Bieber is the global exemplar and Braun’s management plans call for further YouTube empire-building (see here). But even as Google seeks to lure creatives to its platform, with worldwide audiences in the hundreds of millions and even a monetization feature, YouTube continues to wrestle with legal challenges inherent in allowing audiences free, easy uploading of content — owned in various ways by talent unaware of its public, give-away posting. Sound promising for continuing or even expanded entertainment lawyer employment? YouTube has sought to quell some of the unrest with a deal...

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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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