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Los Angeles Entertainment Law Blog

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.

Drinking mug brings down wrath of major pro sports league

One side calls it a blatant rip off and unlawful exploitation of a symbol deemed the “Holy Grail” of a longstanding professional sports league.

The challenged party’s response is a “much ado about nothing” rejoinder that promotes its “independent artistic creation.” It claims a lawful right to parody subject matter under the Constitution’s First Amendment free speech grant.

Spotlight on major copyright law change: a look at the key details

Individuals interested in liberally adapting or otherwise using copyrighted material that first gained legal protection in 1922 were first able to do so without fear of penalty a generation ago, back in 1998.

Conversely, those seeking public domain protections for a copyrighted work from a single year later had to bide their time for a considerable period thereafter. Access in 1999 – a seemingly logical outcome – was simply not in the cards.

Longstanding IP theft case involving Facebook settled

This intellectual property dispute between two major companies took a fair bit of time to resolve.

And that was certainly understandable, given that alleged trade secret theft was at the core of contention, coupled with a damage demand of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Litigation focus: pop icon Fleetwood Mac’s merchandising clout

If you’re a pop music fan, you undoubtedly know Fleetwood Mac. Stemming back half a century, the music authored by that rock group’s varying configurations has influenced generations of listeners and sold scores of millions of records.

In short, Mac is marketable.

Deal gone sour: litigation explodes in casino resort matter

Genting Malaysia Bhd.’s share value has plummeted sharply in recent days, and it squarely blames global entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. for that.

Genting is a preeminent Malaysian company that owns resorts and casinos around the world. It is seeking to augment its vast stable of businesses with a theme park just outside the major city of Kuala Lumpur, but company executives state that Disney has thrown a major wrench into those plans.

Many musical artists are currently loving, not envying, Taylor Swift

If being liked within her industry means anything to superstar Taylor Swift, she certainly took action recently that will ensure that outcome in a broad-based way.

The result that Swift engineered via her sheer commercial clout and persona as what the publication Rolling Stone calls “artist as businessperson” benefits both her personally and legions of other musical performers. Reportedly, Swift has used her iconic and highly influential industry status as a negotiating platform in her recently penned contract with Universal Music Group. That agreement will yield a windfall for both Swift and all other artists under that label if a certain outcome unfolds.

Copyright litigation: increasingly common, complex

Intellectual property adviser and media contributor Krista L. Cox makes an interesting comment on timeless musical masters like Mozart and Beethoven in a recently penned piece examining the contours and complexities of artists’ copyright protections.

And that is this: Those prodigious creators might be far less productive if they were alive and working these days. They would likely be spending more time in court fending off copyright infringement claims than they would be scoring new masterpieces.

Are commonplace celebrity endorsements now a thing of the past?

It’s one thing when an A-list celebrity takes money from a company to shill for its products or services.

It’s quite another when that high-profile figure pays the maker – not vice versa – for the privilege.