Tag: Copyright

Toddlers’ Lawsuit Against Trump Tossed in Test of New York’s Expanded anti-SLAPP Law

On July 9th, a New York trial court dismissed the high-profile lawsuit against Trump, Trump for President, Inc. (“TFP), and Lance Cook brought by the parents of two toddlers whose embrace was transformed from a meme of racial harmony into an edited video suggesting one of them was a “racist baby.” The parents of the two-year olds...

Dua Lipa Sued Over Posting Photo of Herself on Instagram

Dua Lipa has been sued by Integral Images, Inc. in district court in California for posting a photo of herself on her Instagram feed.  This is yet another in a string of copyright lawsuits arising out of celebrities (like Khloe Kardashian & Tom Brady) posting images of themselves on social media when they are not the copyright holders of...

Sacha Baron Cohen Sues Over Unauthorized Ad Campaign

Earlier this week, film and television actor Sacha Baron Cohen and his company, Please You Can Touch, sued Solar Therapeutics in district court in Massachusetts for the unauthorized use of his likeness, Borat character, and the character's catch-phrase in a billboard advertisement for a cannabis company.  The complaint sets forth claims for a right of publicity violation...

Mixed Victory for Jackson Estate in Tax Court

On May 3rd, the U.S. Tax Court issued the long-awaited decision in the long-running litigation over the estate taxes owed by the Michael Jackson estate. In a sweeping 253-page opinion (with additional appendices) the Tax Court, clearly cognizant that this opinion will likely be read by many more people than the usual tax decision, quotes...

Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 over Social Media Posts

Last week pop sensation Ariana Grande filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for violation of both her statutory and common law right of publicity under California law, as well as for trademark infringement and false endorsement under the Lanham Act, and a copyright infringement claim. The claims arise out of the use of Grande's identity...

U. S. Copyright Office Considers a Federal Right of Publicity

In a report issued on April 23rd by the Register of Copyrights, the U.S. Copyright Office suggests that the lack of uniformity in state right of publicity laws may require Congressional intervention. The call for Congress to consider such a right arose in the course of a 107-page report issued by the office on the...

Who Owns You When You are Dead

The video has finally been posted from my July talk about postmortem rights of publicity for the USPTO’s National Trademark Exposition held at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. My talk is followed by comments by a former IRS examiner and tax attorney, and a panel discussion with basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his business manager....

Warhol Foundation Claims Fair Use of Photographs of Dead Pop Star Prince

Oh, how the chickens come home to roost. In Comedy III v. Saderup, Inc., the California Supreme Court distinguished Andy Warhol’s celebrity portraits from those of Gary Saderup’s realistic portraits of The Three Stooges. Now this unconvincing and unpredictable distinction between Warhol’s celebrity portraits and those by other less famous, and more “realistic” artists is...

Darlene Love Sues Google for Using Her Voice

Darlene Love, an “icon of pop music’s golden age,” sued Google today for using her voice in advertising for mobile phones. Love is ranked 84 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of all-time list, and is best known for He’s A Rebel, Alone on Christmas, and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). She is also known...

More Musicians Object to Uses of their Music in Political Campaigns

Today, Rude Music filed a complaint in a federal district court in Illinois for the use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” by Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. The song by the band Survivor was the theme song in the movie Rocky III which topped the charts at the time.  Huckabee played the song at...