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Los Angeles Entertainment Law Blog

Pricey lawsuit filed in high-profile defamation case

We stress on our entertainment law website at the long-tenured Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman in Los Angeles that, "Everyone's reputation has value."

Film industry icon Johnny Deep knows that acutely well, having recently been dragged through the proverbial mud in a long and notably acrimonious marital dissolution. The globally known actor and actress Amber Heard divorced in 2016 after a short-lived and clearly stormy marriage.

Public figure libel standard questioned by Supreme Court Justice

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' view on American law relevant to written defamation (libel) is not widely shared on the nation's highest court. That didn't stop him from stating it in a recent case, though, in which he expressed strong opposition to a judicial standard set forth in a seminal 1964 SCOTUS decision.

That ruling came in New York Times v. Sullivan, with the court unanimously holding that public figures seeking to establish libel claims must satisfy a comparatively higher proof standard than is otherwise the case. The court's reasoning was based on a balancing premise pitting the public's right to know about important matters against an individual's ability to stifle discourse and seek damages by invoking libel protections.

Not a sweet litigation ending for PopSugar

Consumer-focused media and technology entity PopSugar is embroiled in litigation that alleges broad-based infringement, misappropriation and contractual interference against it.

The company has pushed hard to dismiss the multiple claims it faces, but to no avail. A California federal court decided against it last week, ruling that its motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s case must be denied.

It’s a famous and memorable dance move, but it’s not copyrightable

It’s “iconic,” states recent major network coverage focused upon it. And it is concededly famous, underscores the headline of that media focus.

But it doesn’t merit copyright protection, a determination that likely has the creator of the notable “Carlton” dance move in a bit of a funk. Alfonso Ribeiro could be doing any number of things right now in the wake of a recent judgment rendered by the U.S. Copyright Office, but celebratory dancing is unquestionably not one of them.

Top-selling band’s dispute instructive re royalty payments

An ongoing dispute that is festering within an iconic rock group underscores the importance of timely and sound contract execution to address key money matters.

The metal band Korn knows much about that. Existing group members are presently embroiled in a spat with the former drummer over his rightful entitlements to a fair share of band profits.

Where complexity can reign: making deals in the entertainment realm

A writer addressing dealmaking in the entertainment industry duly notes in a recent Forbes article the sheer complexity that transactions often entail.

His point is well taken. A movie, for example, involves elements ranging from actor selection and remuneration to production and distribution rights. Financing is spotlighted, as are royalties, potential tie-ins to other films and literally dozens of other key considerations.

The NFL makes super efforts to protect The Big Game

Readers of our entertainment law blogs who are football fans obviously know what we’re alluding to at The Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman when we refer to the Big Game. That 50-year-plus annual American spectacle is more commonly termed the Super Bowl. Legions of Los Angeles area residents are likely taking a special interest in the game this year, with the LA Rams vying for the title.

So-called Super Sunday is the virtual Holy Grail for the network airing the contest, as well as for legions of business advertisers happy to fork over $1 million or more for a 60-second ad.

Considerations surrounding the “fine line” in defamation law

The above-referenced “fine line” in today’s blog post headline comes courtesy of an in-depth online overview of defamation law. That article additionally refers to the “delicate balance” that is often apparent in cases pitting one person’s speech rights and another’s alleged injury owing to the exercise of those rights.

We weigh in on the subject of defamation at the Los Angeles entertainment Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman, stressing on our website that defamation-linked issues can be “complex.”

Big changes likely upcoming this year in the streaming realm

Let’s run down what is presently going on in the so-called entertainment realm of streaming and what will likely occur during 2019.

For starters, it bears noting at this outset of this blog entry that the streaming world is vibrant and exponentially growing. Consumers across the United States and globally flat-out love the technology that delivers media content (think movies, TV shows, sports events, musical concerts and so forth) to computers and mobile devices via the Internet. Streaming is quick and convenient, allowing consumers to view or listen to streamed offerings immediately.

Music streaming has bred multiple, ongoing licensing, royalty issues

Royalties come quickly to the fore when it comes to arrangements made concerning the licensing and distribution of copyrighted musical works.

As well they should. It is the spark and creative genius of gifted artists that brings desired musical scores and performances to life. Legions of those authors of creations deemed important in the public sphere are reasonably disinclined to persevere in their medium when deprived of rightful earnings. Moreover, their ire is readily understandable when third parties unethically and unlawfully profit from their toil and creativity.