2:50pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Hollywood Docket: Mel Gibson's 'Rubber' Lawsuit; Lil Wayne vs. Producers; Illegal Sampling Claims
A man claims that he was induced by actor Mel Gibson into losing his life savings in a rubber company.
Nader Sherif, who says he lives in Costa Rica and Las Vegas, is now suing Gibson for breach of contract. The man claims he met Gibson in Latin America, where Gibson told Sherif of a new "green" rubber company, headquartered in Malaysia, that was going to be wildly profitable thanks to technology that would allow rubber to be devulcanised so as to be recycled for use in tires.
Sherif says he invested in the company after Gibson assured him that his shares would be repurchased at the original price whenever he chose, and if the company didn't buy back his shares, Gibson would.
Sherif says he invested $200,000 but was never able to "put" his shares. Gibson is said to be a significant investor in the company. Gibson's interest in rubber is unclear.
In other legal news:
- In their latest move, the authorities now controlling Stan Lee Media Inc are appealing a New York judge's dismissal of a $1 billion lawsuit against Stan Lee and Marvel over copyright and contract claims. SLMI is also in the midst of fighting Lee's alleged improper transfer of intellectual property in California.
- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a case brought by the heirs of John Steinbeck to regain control of the author's books by using of the Copyright Act's termination provisions.
- Hip hop artist Lil Wayne has been sued three times in one week over one album, Tha Carter III. In two of the lawsuits, separate producers are seeking unpaid royalties. The other lawsuit involves an illegal sampling claim by Bridgeport Music, the publisher that controls rights to many George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic songs.
- Timbaland and Nelly Furtado were also sued for illegal sampling over the hit, "Do It," but have escaped a Finnish record company's claims after a Florida judge dismissed the case on summary judgment. The case was tossed because the underlying sample was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The plaintiff claimed that because its song was released in Europe it didn't need to be, but the judge found that it was released on the Internet first, and thus, it met the definition of a "United States work."