Month: May 2017

Lionsgate hit with a $5.8 million ‘Biggest Loser’

Arbitrator rules studio undercut profit potential of fitness guru Jillian Michaels’ recorded workouts with free YouTube postings Fitness guru Jillian Michaels has found a legal workout that may make skinnier the wallets of Lionsgate Films Group while also putting more muscle behind performers’ options to protect their works from popping up for free on YouTube. Entertainment law experts are watching closely Michaels’ recent favorable decision from an arbitrator, awarding her $5.8 million in her dispute with the studio over fitness videos tied to the hit TV weight-loss show Biggest Loser. What led her to get so exercised about how Lionsgate treated her...

Read More

‘Empire’ strikes back in City of Brotherly Love

U.S. judge in Philly becomes latest of several to reject claims about originality of hit TV series Rome not only wasn’t built in a day, it also took centuries and legions of soldiers to defend its expanding glory. TV’s Empire, it turns out, is requiring its own formidable legal forces to fend off its attackers. And Lee Daniels, the hit Fox series’ ceasar, may be singing Philadelphia Freedom after shaking off the latest assault with a federal district court in Pennsylvania dismissing a copyright infringement suit by former actor Clayton Prince Tanksley. Tanksley lacked much brotherly affection for Empire, which he claimed copied his TV drama Cream....

Read More

Court sorts out rights tiff in a mod, mod world

U.S. judge denies summary judgment in video gaming dispute, in which he dissects unitary vs. collective works and their implications for copyright, infringement claims With a cast of characters rivaling a Tolstoy novel, and almost as many iterations and spin-offs as Pride and Prejudice, a recent video game dispute involving modification or modding has come down to concepts that underlie a good old-fashioned night at the movies. These led U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco to deny summary judgment in a suit by video game maker uCool against distributor Valve for copyright infringement of its characters. (A tip of the hat...

Read More

As star marks abound, are they too ordinary?

With billions of dollars at stake, celebrities’ lawyers have been beating down the door at a surprising government office in hopes of advancing clients’ economic interests by staking exclusivity claims on everything from dolls to dresses to perfumes. That gold rush-style boom, not in copyright requests but rather in mark applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office, (shown right) also keeps bumping against some hard realities that may make some female stars, especially, and their counsel rethink the supposed advantages of marks versus copyrights. Although conventional wisdom among barristers may hold that marks may be the better way to build a...

Read More

Appeals court, at least, sees talent act clearly

U.S. Ninth Circuit judges reject managers’ attack on California law but disputes keep surfacing over representation, commissions Saunter down the street in Des Moines or Poughkeepsie and ask the first passer-by about who engages in the “procuring” business and be glad not to get a punch in the nose for asking about something that sounds like it’s part of the world’s oldest profession. But at least in Hollywood, and for especially for those in the entertainment industry, this practice—part art and part commerce—is so common that it should be legally plain and it is clearly understood, the U.S. Court...

Read More

This is Southwestern Law School—a history of public service, innovative teachers, brilliant scholars, and trailblazing alumni.

Events Calendar

Current Authors

E&M Law In The News

Pin It on Pinterest