In the United States, there is a belief among some people that if you lose a civil case, you may be ordered to pay the winning side's attorneys' fees. Likely perpetuated by television and movies, this is a misconception that would otherwise, if true, deter anyone from ever filing a civil complaint out of fear of incurring additional costs because of litigation.
Director James Cameron has released dozens of movies in his lifetime that have gone on to reach considerable success. When Cameron released "Avatar" in 2009, it was no different. According to a 2010 Huffington Post article, "Avatar" grossed nearly $73 million in its opening weekend, making it the No. 1 movie in the nation.
Pull out your character sheets and roll for initiative because the courtroom battle over the movie rights for "Dungeons and Dragons" has just begun. But as our title suggests, the federal judge in this case will not be able to rely on natural d20 rolls but rather on his or her knowledge of entertainment law in order to resolve this monster of a case.
In a post last week, we discussed the right of publicity and how it should be applied to college students when their names and likenesses are used in video games. In the class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts last year, EA argued that the use of the players' images was protected by the First Amendment. The 9th Circuit disagreed though, effectively shooting down EA's defense.
If you have ever played a sports game produced by Electronic Arts then you know that these games usually include the likenesses and actual pictures of athletes from across a wide range of sports. When it comes to professional athletics, most people -- as well as the law -- are in agreement that a video game producer needs to get the consent from players before using their likeness. But when it comes to college athletics, some would argue that the law has been a little less than clear.
Actors don’t just make money from the movies or television shows they star in. They also often generate income by endorsing brands in paid advertisements. But in today’s society, with social media spreading paparazzi photos like wild fire, celebrities can become walking billboards for the brands they use during their everyday lives.
Applying for copyright protection comes with certain expectations for most people. Chief among them is protection from infringement and the right to seek damages in the event that your work is imitated or duplicated in any way. While some people may believe that they can get away with violating copyright law, the law often catches up with these people, which is what a case out of another state is highlighting for our California readers this month.