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NOV
15
3 YEARS

Hollywood Docket: Indecendy Law Under Fire; Kim Kardashian Hires Marty Singer; More

A roundup of entertainment law news, including Warner Bros. admitting to sending false takedown notices, Kim Kardashian suing her publicist, and 'Law & Order' star being bilked out of money from her former business manager.

Kim Kardashian Handbag Launch Australia - P 2011
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Several public interest groups have submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to curb the FCC's regulation of "indecent" speech on television.

The time for extending full First Amendment protection to broadcast television has come, says the Cato Institute, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and TechFreedom in its brief to the high court.

Ars Technica reports that the Supreme Court is now being asked to review whether indecency rules, such as George Carlin's "seven words you can never say on television" still make sense in an era when consumers regularly consume broadcast alternatives such as cable and satellite TV, VOD, and online streaming where government censorship of dirty words has no place.

Last year, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals declared FCC policy on fleeting curse words to be too vague to be constitutionally permissible, but the groups hope to move the regulatory agency away from revising its policy and instead take a hands-off approach. The Supreme Court will be reviewing fleeting expletives on the airwaves again soon.

In other entertainment law news...

  • In response to a countersuit by cyberlocker site Hotfile, Warner Bros. has admitted that it sent erroneous takedown notices, but the studio says it didn't act in bad faith. A spokesperson also is using the episode as an opportunity to explain why notices and takedowns are an ineffective remedy for copyright infringement.
  • Kim Kardashian has hired Power Lawyer Marty Singer and is going after the publicist who has been suggesting her wedding to Kris Humphries was a sham. The publicist, Jonathan Jaxson, is said to have signed a confidentiality agreement, and in the reported lawsuit, Kardashian is suing for breach of contract and defamation. 
  • A Massachusetts federal judge has denied Netflix's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the National Association of the Deaf that claims the entertainment giant is violating the American Disabilities Act by refusing to provide close captioning for its movies and television streamed online. The judge also granted a stay in the case until February, pending an FCC issuance of new regulations relating to accessibility rules.
  • New York business manager Joseph Cilibrasi has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million from Law & Order: SVU actress Tamara Tunie. The accountant told the judge that he secretly opened a credit card account in Tunie's name and got his own card on the account by falsely listing himself as her husband. Cilibrasi also wrote bogus checks. According to the plea deal, he'll serve 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in prison.