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Entertainment Law Update Episode 20 – Tattoos and Topiaries



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In this Episode:

  • follow ups on Righthaven, Girls Gone Wild,etc.
  • Bratz  verdict of $88.5 Million
  • Copyright doesn't pre-empt contract and confidence claims
  • Vandals smear Variety
  • No moral rights in landscape design?
  • Tattoo Law
  • and more…

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Show Notes

Follow Ups

Girls Gone Wild founder cleared in civil case


Copyright Troll Clobbered: Judge Finds Use of Entire News Article Fair Use

Righthaven and the Case or Controversy Clause

But Your Honor, We Bought The Right To Sue!


Mattel, MGA Fight Final Brawl Over Bratz Rights

How the Bratz Verdict May Impact You

Bryant/MGA v. Mattel (Bratz dolls)


LA Times:,0,6609913.story

In a retrial over who owns the rights to the billion-dollar Bratz doll franchise, a federal jury found that
Mattel misappropriated trade secrets from MGA and owes the company
$88.5 million. An 8-person jury
unanimously rejected Mattel’s copyright infringement claims and said that
Mattel did not own the rights to the
Bratz dolls,
early models or sketches; and said that MGA did not steal trade secrets.ew trial.

9th Circuit rules contract and breach of confidence claims NOT pre-empted by Copyright law

Larry Montz, et al v. Pilgrim Films & Television, In, et al

Alien vs Predator  infringement plaintiff loses on access AND similarity

Muller v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.



Variety takes on The Vandals in Delaware and loses ground… case will move to California

Variety Loses Round One to Punk Band In Album Cover Dispute …


Punk Band Wins Legal Skirmish, Lambastes Plaintiff and Opposing Counsel in
Animated Video

Moral Rights in your backyard?

Landscaper artist’s “rights of integrity” not violated by city trimming his garden

TheSeventh Circuit recently rejected a landscape artist’s claim that his rights of integrity were violated when the city of Chicago altered his artistic garden in Chicago’s Grant Park. The Court held that a garden cannot be copyrighted and thus, an artist cannot successfully claim that his “moral rights” are violated if the garden is altered or destroyed.

Fake Script infringed by blog?

Lionsgate claims that reviewing false script is copyright infringement

A&E loses appeal of idea theft claim

Court Upholds $4M Verdict Against A&E Over ‘Flip This House”

Comic Book Cases

Stan Lee Media v. Stan Lee

In the latest news regarding the long-running legal battle between comic book writer/creator Stan Lee and the company that bears his name, Stan Lee Media Inc., a California federal judge will decide whether a trial is necessary to determine who holds the rights to Marvel characters such as Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, and Thor.

Warner Bros./DC Comics and Superman litigation

In the latest move in Warner Bros. attempt to hold on to its stake in Superman, a federal judge judge has rejected Warner Bros.’ attempt to gain access to secret document that allegedly show an agreement between the estates of Superman co-creators Joel Shuster and Jerry Siegel not to make further copyright deals with the studio. The documents also allegedly contain a formula for how the two estates will share proceeds on Superman once they successfully terminate Warner Bros.’ rights to the lucrative franchise.

Tattoo Law:

Law: Can ‘Hangover 2′ Use Tyson Tattoo on Ed Helms' Character?

Tyson’s tattoo artist sues to stop ‘Hangover 2′ … claims copyright infringement | Off the Bench

A tattoo artist named Victor Whitmill is suing the producers of the film Hangover 2 for copyright infringement.
The work in question is the tattoo Whitmill created on Mike Tyson’s face… it’s sort of a Maori Tribal art kind of thing… and frames Tyson’s left eye.

Tyson appeared in the first movie… Hangover… and in the 2nd movie,  Ed Helms has  a duplicate tattoo on his face.

GLEE plot leaks leads networks to consider NDA language for all contracts.

An Extra on the successful musical series revealed the identity of the Prom King and Queen, and there was an uproar… Will day-players and stars alike now have to sign NDA's?

Kentucky Fight Song

Court fight brews over use of University of Kentucky's fight song | Latest Local, State News |

Read more:

Compulsory Licenses:  the subject of debate by Artists

Should Covering Songs Be Illegal? Dr. Luke, Ke$ha, Adam Lambert Weigh In

After PRINCE very publicly denounced the provisions of copyright law that make covering songs possible with a
compulsory license. (section 115). The  Hollywood Reporter asks others for their opinions.

Resource for our listeners (hat-tip to bob Ambrogi)

‘Free Law Reporter’ Puts Searchable Opinions Online

The searchable index of recent federal and state court opinions was developed by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). It is  an “electronic case reporter” that makes the opinionsb searchable and also provides them as ebook collections. 


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