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Los Angeles Entertainment Law Blog

CA royalty law re resold artwork largely scrapped by appeals court

Until late last week, it worked as follows. California individuals whose artwork was resold at an auction or to a private party by a gallery were entitled to 5% of the purchase price as a form of copyright protection. That was the stipulation at the center of the California Resale Royalties Act, the only such law of its kind ever passed in the United States.

The CRRA came with a caveat, namely this: An artist claiming the royalty had to establish that his or her creation was sold within California or by a state resident.

Why should a musician protect a brand via trademark registration?

Do musicians benefit from trademark protection?

Of course they do, as evidenced by a tale recently related in an article discussing why artists - both solo performers and bands - should care about the distinctive and memorable names, slogans and icons that identify them.

Bethesda sues over copyright infringement on Westworld game

Bethesda, a well-known video game company, is suing Warner Brothers and Behavior Interactive over a new Westworld mobile game. The company alleges copyright infringement, misappropriation of intellectual property and breach of contract.

According to Newsweek, the lawsuit states Behavior Interactive worked with Bethesda to create their popular game, Fallout Shelter, and Bethesda owns copyrighted code related to this game. The suit further states Behavior Interactive used this same code on the Westworld game, as well as a similar design, features, animations and other parts of the game.

How is a trademark different from a copyright?

Creative people in myriad endeavors -- ranging broadly from business and art to literary expression and musical composition – are properly concerned with protecting their intellectual property.

Whether that is a song, a novel, a distinctive logo/slogan or other identifier that links back to its creator, its genesis and development owed to hard work and creative impulse. That sweat equity and justifiable pride in authorship merit protection from those who might seek to profit through infringing uses.

Post-cancellation implications for Roseanne show many, costly

As a recent media spotlighting of the high-profile spat between Roseanne Barr and the ABC entertainment network notes, the latter "has a right to cancel any show at any time."

Done deal. The so-called "reboot" of the enormously successful and often edgy sitcom of a generation ago was summarily cut by ABC late last month after the show had reestablished itself via an impressive one-year reintroduction.

Lots of news on music copyright front, starting with Spotify

Congress has been busy. The legal team for music streaming company Spotify has been hard at work. Ditto for a federal judge overseeing a sprawling and big-bucks class action lawsuit involving musical royalties.

In fact, frenetic activity has seemed about par for the course recently in the vast and high-money realm that marks musical intellectual property rights and litigants that spar in that legal universe.

Shouldn’t college athletes benefit from their names, likenesses?

Rationally thinking marketing executives from any American company wouldn’t even consider running a high-profile ad campaign that used a celebrity’s name and image without duly compensating that public figure. Doing so would run expressly afoul of state and federal laws and subject an infringer to monetary and other penalties.

Why should things be different where well-known college athletes are concerned?