Author: Lauren A. McGee

Who gets last laugh in battle over Conan jokes?

U.S. judge, ruling jests can get ‘thin’ copyright protection, advances to trial a writer’s suit claiming that O’Brien, his team infringed on timely quips posted on Twitter about Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, Washington Monument Comedian Conan O’Brien, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, and the Washington Monument all walk into a bar one day. And O’Brien says … Wait, wait, why is gag-writer Alex Kaseberg not laughing at or liking much this joke set up? It may be because the one-time writer for comic legend Jay Leno has accused O’Brien and his one-liner squad of  stealing jokes...

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‘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....

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EU court details tech, profit infringement perils

Copyright violations can occur too readily and for makers’ improper advantage when razzle-dazzle TV tools make it too easy to access protected content—with, and without rights owners’ OK, court warns The sale of multimedia players that permit users to effortlessly stream illegal content to a television screen can be the kind “communication to the public” that is illegal under the European Union’s Copyright Directive, the Court of Justice recently decided. The ruling by the EU’s high judicial body in Luxembourg could be key as technology continues its unchecked advance. The case arose when Stichting BRIEN,  a Dutch anti-piracy group, filed legal action against Jack Wullems,...

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Princely legacy includes court time for heirs

Artists may relish that copyrights last for decades. But do they consider sufficiently their wishes for who will nab their royalties after they are gone and other key estate planning issues? Although some experts have urged entertainment layers to consider a new field of performers’ post-mortem rights, the continued legal tussling over the works of superstar Prince Rogers Nelson may suggest to some practitioners that not only must they consider long-lived intellectual property concerns like copyrights lasting almost a century, they also just may need greater depth and expertise in dealing with wills, trusts, and estates. Consider that days before the...

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Q-&-A: Prof. Kane on fashion and copyright

With the U.S. Supreme Court recently deciding in the Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands case that graphic elements on cheerleading uniforms can be protected under Section 101 of the Copyright Act, a conversation has emerged among designers and fashion experts, wondering how the ruling may impact the ever-growing industry. Hillary Kane, an adjunct associate professor of law at Southwestern Law School and Of Counsel at altView Law Group LLP,  discusses the concerns of many about this case and its connection to Entertainment Law in this Q-&-A: Q.—Based on your expert knowledge, which segments of the fashion industry do you believe will be most affected...

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