Archive for November, 2013

The Fate of Hollywood Internships At The Mercy of Second Circuit Court of Appeals

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group their request to appeal aspects of the ‘Black Swan’ intern case ruling from early in the summer. The defendants are appealing both the class certification of former interns and also the summary judgment in the former interns’ favor. The original ruling declared the interns were actually treated as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The decision that will likely determine the fate of internships in the entertainment and media sector, is expected in 2014. 

What are your thoughts on the possible outcome of the appeal?


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Update: Beastie Boys’ Copyright Showdown

Amidst the imminent copyright battle with the Beastie Boys over use of their song ‘Girls’ with alternative lyrics, Goldieblox has removed the track from the viral ad altogether. In an open letter to the band, the company offered to withdraw their lawsuit if the Beastie Boys stipulate Goldieblox is “no longer under threat” 

Do you think Goldiebox simply second guessed the strength of their fair use claim?

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Brett Ratner’s RatPac-Dune Closes $300 Million Credit Facility to Fund Warner Bros. Films

RatPac-Dune Entertainment, the partnership between filmmaker Brett Ratner, Australian businessman James Packer and Wall Street financier Steven Mnuchin, closed a $300 million credit facility deal last week. The credit facility will be used in conjunction with an equity investment, to finance as many as 75 upcoming Warner Bros. movies. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story about the slate co-financing deal between RatPac-Dune and Warner Bros. in September. This partnership formed on the heels of the termination of Legendary Entertainment’s association with Warner Bros. earlier this year. The new partnership already commenced with the first joint investment in Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. 

Do think RatPac-Dune and Warner Bros. make for a great partnership?

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Marvin Gaye’s Son Kicks Off New Battle With Robin Thicke

The war between Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye’s family rages onward after Gaye’s oldest son made new allegations. The ‘Blurred Lines’ crooner has been hit with a second countersuit over the popular track.  Although Marvin Gaye III alleged Thicke copied four songs, he is only bringing copyright claims on “Blurred Lines” and “Love After War.” Unlike the first countersuit, there have been no claims made that the song publisher breached its contract and its fiduciary duty by failing to protect Gaye’s songs.

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‘American Idol’ Producers Fire Back In Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

During the summer months, a number of former American Idol contestants sued the colossal reality contest show for alleged discrimination. The complaint was filed in New York federal court and raised several theories and causes of action ranging from civil rights laws, unconscionable release forms, criminal background checks and a supposedly rigged TV contest. The crux of the legal action was a claim that by disqualifying many African-American contestants through the years, the popular TV show was oppressive. On Monday, the defendants finally responded to the abundance of allegations with a motion to dismiss. 

Do you think the motion to dismiss should be granted?

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Comcast Enters The Digital Media Realm

Comcast has officially entered the world of digital media by opening a digital movie and TV show store. Less then a week after rumors surfaced that the cable experts were considering a digital store, Comcast has already begun selling movies ahead of their DVD release dates on TV as well as online. The price point for standard definition range between $10.99 and $12.99 while high definition goes up to $16.99.  

Do you think this will have any quantifiable effect on the evolving distribution landscape?

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Beastie Boys Engage In A Copyright Infringement Scuffle

Last week Goldieblox toy company, posted a video advertisement of three girls singing alternative lyrics to the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls”. Since the video premiered last week, it has been viewed more than 7 million times, much to the dismay of the Beastie Boys. Goldieblox filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming the popular group threatened the toy company with a copyright infringement lawsuit. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys assert that the use of the song, alternative lyrics or not, does not constitute fair use. They further contend that Goldieblox’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys’ intellectual property is a ‘big problem’ that has a ‘very significant impact’. Goldieblox is now seeking declaratory relief from the California federal court. 

Do you think that the Goldieblox viral video is fair use?

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