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Los Angeles Entertainment Law Blog

Late-night comic denies joke stealing, settles with plaintiff

Make no joke about it; It’s no laughing matter to iconic late-night comedian Conan O’Brien when you accuse him of stealing stand-up material.

That’s exactly what another comedian did back in 2015, accusing the Late Night host and his staff of pilfering a number of copyrighted jokes from his blog and Twitter account. Although a recent NPR article chronicling the dispute notes its spotlighting of “low-dollar-value creative work,” O’Brien has obviously taken the matter seriously since the joke stealing was first alleged.

Just how marketable is the Star Wars brand?

Just imagine the good fortune of a business enterprise having all the legal rights attendant with the unique and iconic Star Wars brand. Hundreds of millions – perhaps billions – of people globally are intimately acquainted with what a recent Los Angeles Times article denotes the “space opera franchise that George Lucas created 42 years ago.”

That franchise has been, well, popular. The initial Star Wars film that first aired in theaters back in 1977 proved to be such a blockbuster that following it up with additional efforts was an absolute no-brainer. A whopping nine more films have followed in its wake. And as the Times piece notes, the movies have been smartly augmented by “spinoffs, animated series, television specials, comics, books, video games, and a booming market for merchandise and collectibles.”

Profit participation dispute destined for further litigation

20th Century Fox Television principals understandably expressed strong satisfaction with a Los Angeles County superior court ruling last week that reversed an earlier arbitration award of $128.5 million against the company.

An official Fox statement issued in the immediate wake of last Thursday’s ruling underscored the entertainment conglomerate’s vindication and its expectation that litigation that had long embroiled the company will now shortly conclude.

Saluting the impressive talents of artist Nipsey Hussle

Artists make, well, art. Some create music. Others produce or act in films. Some dance, some paint, some write books or screenplays, some design clothes. The list goes on.

And the point is clear. Individuals firmly viewed by a wide swath of the American public as being “artists” are conceded singular and markedly creative talents that are appreciated in a broad-based way.

The Tiger is once again roaring in the endorsement world

It would be hard to explain the sharp spike this past Monday in the stock price of a Japanese company that makes a pain-relieving medication without an additional bit of information.

Here’s the missing piece: Tiger Woods won golf’s most prestigious tournament last weekend.

Pop megastar, photographer groups spar over copyright policy

Global pop icon Ariana Grande is used to having camera flashes exploding all around her, especially during musical performances.

That’s the price of fame, of course, and Grande willingly pays it -- to a degree.

In “Blurred Lines” wake, things seem just a bit, well, blurry

There is a definite and somewhat unsettling theme/tenor apparent in a recent New York Times article relevant to the selective universe of American songwriters.

And it is this: their growing fear surrounding issues of authorship and infringement.

Streaming wars: potent new entry in the crowded, cutthroat field

Business giant Apple Inc. will reportedly need to fund a just-announced commercial venture of epic proportions with “potentially tens of billions of dollars.”

Here’s the bottom line concerning that concern, though, which likely doesn’t surprise a single reader of our entertainment law posts at the Law Offices of Barry K Rothman: It likely isn’t a concern, even remotely.

Plaintiffs to Peloton: Pay our artists for the use of their music

Litigants that have filed a lawsuit against Peloton claim that, rather than being a badge of honor, the company’s contractual good faith displayed in some instances is instead a clear indicator of its knowing infringement generally.

Let’s get down to some specifics. Peloton is described in a recent CNN article as a “boutique fitness brand.” To hone in a bit on that, the company is a streaming service that offers live on-demand workout classes to subscribers. Its business idea has proven to be both popular and profitable. Reportedly, Peloton has a market value of more than $4 billion.

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.