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2016: The Year in Review – Episode 80

December 21, 2016
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And another lawyer discipline situation…

Flo and Eddie lose appeal in NY.  Proposed settlement reached with Sirius.


And Now…  Our year end round up of the big stories from 2016… In no particular order, and this is a totally un-scientifically compiled list…

Happy Birthday and other works into P.D.

In episode 75 we discussed

  • Quick Take:  “Woodie Guthrie’s  “This Land is Your Land”   in P.D.

  • Quick Take 2: “We Shall Overcome” and go into P.D.


DOJ/ASCAP/BMI Consent Decree


Kirtsaeng Ruling (opinion)

LED Zeppelin

Actor Age confidentiality

Vid Angel


Prince’s death, estate, etc.

Zappa Family Dispute – You can have an estate plan and there are still disputes.


Vimeo (opinion) (UPDATE TO THE STORY)


Maria Pallante out at copyright office of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights


Supreme Court Docket

Dancing Baby


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Podcasting the Law… of Podcasting – Episode 79

November 3, 2016
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This episode was recorded live before an audience of fellow entertainment attorneys at
Texas CLE’s 2016 Entertainment Law Institute

Our guest panelist on this episode is Stan Soocher.

Stan Soocher

Stan Soocher

Stan is the long-time Editor In Chief of Entertainment Law and Finance, and a tenured Associated Professor of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies at the University of Colorado’s Denver Campus.  He’s an entertainment attorney, and an award winning music journalist, and the author of two books about lawsuits in the music industry.  Two years ago, he was the recipient of the State Bar of Texas’ Entertainment and Sports Law Section’s “Texas Star Award”.

Recent cases and stories we’re watching:

Maria Pallante “reassigned” at Library of Congress; Resigns


(Quick update)  Lenz v. Universal:  Is Supreme Court Review in the cards?


Follow Up:  Studios Beat Lawsuit over lack of closed-captioning of songs in movies…


Follow Up:  Fox News Anchor Harris Faulkner Settles Lawsuit Over Hasbro’s Toy Hamster (hasbro’s rebuttal to the initial complaint)


Quick Take:  Supreme Court to review “Slants” Disparaging Trademark Case


Abbott and Costello Heirs Lose Appeal Over Broadway Play’s Use of “Who’s on First” Routine


Discussion on the Law of Podcasting

Some relevant materials at our Google Community:

Other Google Plus Resources:

Get my ebook!




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Is copyright getting tougher? – Episode 78

September 28, 2016
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Lindsay Lohan Loses

The decision:


Canada is cracking down on paid social media endorsements


(Warners’ Fine to FTC)


What is “For Profit”: Dutch Playboy in the EU (the decision) (press release)

Also – question about what is “commercial?  (Creative commons case involving Fedex)


Further Policy Proposals in the EU


Actors may soon keep their ages confidential on entertainment job websites

Assembly Bill 1687:


Vid Angel?


Is it harder to register a Copyright now? * for context


Pokemon Go? (What have we unleashed?) (example of person who’s property was marked as a gym) (instance of mugging using the app) (re: privacy issue) (re: Holocaust Museum) (associated image for Holocaust Museum*)



THE CONSENT DECREE: (how much they collected){}}]r-esq/bmi-rate-court-judge-rules-929770

Announcement:  Join Entertainment Law Update at Texas Bar CLE’s Entertainment Law Institute, in Austin, November  3-4, 2016/  For more information, visit  

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Puzzle Cases and Puzzling rulings – Episode 77

August 17, 2016
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Plaintiff appeals ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright verdict (Update: denied fees)


LeBron James Tattoo Thrown Out

The Order:


Lionsgate Follow Up


Maybe –   “Can The Olympic Committee really restrict Gif’s?

How about hashtags?


Dancing Baby May Be Going to the Supreme Court


DOJ ASCAP/BMI Consent Decree Fall Out


More on DOJ – recommended listening: Podcast: Chris Castle, Steve Winogradsky & David Lowery


Stephen Colbert Cease And Desist


‘Iron Man’ Composer’s Lawsuit Over Ghostface Killah Sampling Revived by Appeals Court


Photographer sues Getty Images over PD images

Press agency accuses Getty Images of overstepping.. (side note: complaint filed)


Monkey Selfie Case – Peta files appeal


Set Top Boxes FCC v. Copyright Office (Copyright office letter)


For Fun – Are Crossword Puzzles copyrightable?


Woman Defaces Crossword Art: Claims Copyright


Announcement:  Join Entertainment Law Update at Texas Bar CLE’s Entertainment Law Institute, in Austin, November  3-4, 2016/  For more information, visit

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Stairway to Heaven, Copyright Small Claims, Tattoo T-Shirt & DOJ Ruling – Episode 76

July 27, 2016
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Led Zeppelin Ruling – No infringement (just background information) (more on why the recordings weren’t able to be used) (side note: attorney for Plaintiff may not be allowed to practice anymore) (side note: the legal fees) (LedZep Publisher’s demand for $800,000)


Is there a Small Claims Copyright Court in the future?


Apple’s Streaming Royalties Proposal


J.R. Smith’s Right of Publicity in his Tattoos? of t-shirt for reference)


Three Texas SLAPP Cases


Brexit IP Impact


Brexit being trademarked (quick take)


Pre-1972 Magic from the 11th Circuit


Department of Justice denying consent decree


Fox News Hamster Follow-Up (quick take)

Politicians and Music Rights

Huckabee Pays for the Eye of the Tiger


Melania Trump Plagiarism


Trump  – We are the Champions note) (Posted after the fact)


Ted Cruz Infringing (Cruz motion to dismiss) (court decision)

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Taxing Dead Celebs, Fee Shifting in Copyright Cases and Red Flag Knowledge- ELU 75

June 22, 2016
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This month’s guest:  Jon Janecek (Pepperdine 3L, and ELU contributor)

Quick Follow up on Dead Celebrities

Whitney Houston


More Songs IN Public Domain

Quick Take:  “Woodie Guthrie’s  “This Land is Your Land”   in P.D.

Quick Take 2: “We Shall Overcome” and go into P.D.

Supreme Court Fee Shifting (Kirtsaeng Ruling)

Vimeo Second Circuit Ruling (when does red flag knowledge pop up?)


McCain Flips on another campaign using his ad (quick take)


Fair Use for the NYTimes (quick)


Net Neutrality upheld in DC Circuit Ruling

State Ownership of Copyrights – more news.

Georgia Copyrighting its laws (relate to Butts/CA statute from last ep)

(podcast about fastcase suing casemaker)


More on California’s move to copyright it’s works. (map of copyright status of govt docs per state)

 Yosemite Brand Names (why CA may be pursuing IP rights)  


1972 Recordings  

CBS victory on question of copyrightablitiy

(RIAA commentary on 1972 ruling)



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Drones and Dead Rockers. Special guest: Enrico Schaefer – Episode 74

May 18, 2016
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Special Guest: Enrico Schaefer

ELU074_-_Google_DocsEnrico Schaefer, Esq. is a Unmanneed Aerial Systems pilot and technology lawyer at TraverseLegal in Traverse City, Michigan.  He has been a UAS enthusiast for years, and has completed a number of advanced UAS classes in the UAS program at Northwestern Michigan College.  Enrico is considered one of the top Section 333 and UAV attorneys in the country, representing Fortune 100 and start-up companies on drone law and Section 333 issues.  He is the author of many articles concerning FAA drone regulations, Section 333 exemptions and FAA compliance, many of which can be found here at  Enrico has been a speaker at the International Drone Conference on its insurance panel and has had numerous media appearances ranging from MITech News, Robotics Business Review,  Internet Advisor Podcast and The Steve Gruber Show (1240 WJIM Radio), WJR Radio (Detroit), and “That Drone Show.”

Some basic takeaways:

A checklist for compliance with Drone FAA regs (and some common sense)

N.B.- The checklist doesn’t cover everything, but is a good place to start. Please review all FAA rules and regulations on commercial operation for drones:

  • Maintain a valid Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Registration with the FAA;
  • Drone is physically marked with the sUAS registration number (N-number);
  • Comply with all rules, regulations, and applicable laws whether local, state, or federal for the operation of an Unmanned Aircraft System;
  • Secure an approved FAA Exemption under Section 333 (it could be months or longer before the new Part 107 (which will replace Section 333 is approved and implemented);
  • Airworthiness certification from the FAA for the drone;
  • Fly the drone below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles;
  • Keep the drone within visual line of sight at all times;
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations;
  • Do not not fly within 5 miles of an airport;
  • Do not fly near people or stadiums (500 feet or the equivalent to a city block away from people or structures);
  • Do not fly a drone that weighs more than 55 pounds;
  • Do not fly at night;
  • The operator of the drone holds a valid airline transport, commercial, private, recreational, or sport pilot certificate;
  • Operator of drone will not be  negligent, careless, or reckless in the operation of the drone;
  • Confirm there are no airspace restrictions where the drone will be flown;
  • Maintain a commercial drone liability insurance policy (this will most likely be a rider to a commercial insurance policy).

Filming With Drones Raises Safety Concerns in Hollywood – Variety

Drone rules: Everything you need to know to fly domestic drones legally – The Independent

Filmmakers Seek Looser Drone Regulatory Rules – The Hollywood Reporter

Disneyland is in fact seeking an exemption from the FAA to allow use of drones in its fireworks display

Other  Resources


Prince’s death;  Review of his legal influences

Tamera Bennett interviewed on Prince estate and right of publicity

Prince died with no will – an interesting wrinkle

Minnesota Lawmaker wants a “Prince Act”


Tupac’s estate will continue to honor the artists mother’s wishes following her death


Michael Jackson Estate Faces Billion-Dollar Tax Court Battle


Supreme Court Ends 11-Year Copyright Challenge to Google Books


Congress Passes Sweeping New Legislation To Protect Trade Secrets


Mayor Butts Returns: California Passes New Copyright Legislation

Electronic Frontier Foundation  material:

The Bill itself:

CALL TO ACTION: Contact your legislators about this!

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Buck Rogers, Darfour Refugees, Thai Math Professors and more – Entertainment Law Update Podcast 73

April 20, 2016
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Judge Rejects Film Producer’s Bid to Have Buck Rogers Character Declared in Public Domain


Judge Lets 54 Sudanese Refugees Pursue Copyright and Fraud Claims Over Reese Witherspoon Film


Judge Doesn’t Want Google to Google the Favorite Books and Songs of Potential Jurors


Judge Knocks Out Key Claim in ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Lawsuit

→ The Court order:

Serial Trademark Denied


EU Stories

Photos of artwork on Wikimedia (wikimedia’s statement on the matter) (the ruling)


EU attorney says Playboy links shouldn’t be infringing? (the opinion)


Kirtsaeng – Thai math prof whose copyright case is headed for SCOTUS – again



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Consent Decrees, Sex Tapes, Klingons and Nude Scenes – ELU #72

March 23, 2016
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100 Percent Licensing: U.S. Copyright Office Argues New Proposal Threatens Song Owners’ Rights

Links to this article:

 Erin Andrews and Hulk Hogan win big.  Are they the poster children for the new Privacy?

Erin Andrews (peephole case)

Hulk Hogan (Bollea v. Gawker)


Princess Cruises (Quick Take)

Lindsay Lohan’s GTA5 lawsuit allowed to continue

Lindsay Lohan GTA V (side by side images)

Flipagram – Asking forgiveness instead of permission

Rick Ross’ ‘Hustlin’ – Copyright Under Examination as part of suit against LMFAO

Batmobile Case denied Cert. (previous coverage from 2015) (previous coverage from 2013)

Start Trek Fan Film Case — Paramount claims infringement of Klingon Language.  Is this entitled to copyright? (about the Klingon Language)

Appeals Court allows Producers to continue  breach of contract counterclaims  against actress for refusing Nude Scene.

(Initial complaint)


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Scalia, Prevailing Parties, Hurt Locker and more. Episode 71

February 24, 2016
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Antonin Scalia Viewed Hollywood as “Foul-Mouthed Glitteratae,” But Wasn’t Entirely Unfriendly – Hollywood Reporter




ATTORNEYS FEES – Blurred Lines and Kirtsaeng

Robin Thicke’s Attorney Argues $3.5M Fee Award in “Blurred Lines” Case Would Set Bad Precedent – Hollywood Reporter

Supreme Court will address the question.

Is A “Prevailing Party” Really Entitled To Attorneys Fees Under the Copyright Act? SCOTUS To Decide


Hollywood Studios Say No Law Requires Captioning of All Song Lyrics in Movies


Supreme Court Asked to Review Batmobile Copyright Dispute

Recap: 28, 38, 67


Another Actor claiming copyright in performance, this time in NY

(Followup from episode 65)

“For those who followed the legal saga over Innocence of Muslims, specifically actress Cindy Lee Garcia’s attempt to assert a copyright interest in her performance and have a judge wipe the film trailer from YouTube, check out this new lawsuit from Brian McCabe against Entertainment One and Swirl Recording & Film. McCabe says he acted on a program titled Community Service, and that his agreement only gave Swirl the right to air his performance on TV networks, not DVD or online. He’s now alleging that exhibition of the show has violated the copyright to his performance and further constitutes a violation of his right of publicity under New York law. The latter claim is probably doomed (see why here), but the copyright issue could give the New York judge an excuse to adopt or stray from what the 9th Circuit said in the Garcia case. ” So something to watch.


A busy month in the trademark area…

Reacting to The Fine Brothers Trademark on “React”

Ended up backing off:



Real Trademarks in Virtual Game Worlds – VIRAG

Gamasutra – Court rules for Gran Turismo in trademark suit, cites First Amendment


Sports Player Tattoos in Video Games

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