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Entertainment law news this morning:
- The New York law firm of Tacopina Siegel & Turano will be featured in a new reality TV show called “Legal Ease.” Attorneys from the firm will be shown on camera giving advice to everyday people. Presumably, producers would pay to get folks to give up their attorney-client confidentiality. The firm has repped Diana Bianchi in the Christie Brinkley case and New York Post writer Jared Paul Stern in the Page Six/Ron Burkle scandal.
- NBC Universal executive vp and general counsel Rick Cotton testified at a U.S. Senate committee yesterday that the country needs to step up intellectual property protection at the nation’s borders with a new bill that bolsters customs enforcement.
- Ludacris is being sued by a law firm that claims the actor/rapper owes more than $60,000 in legal fees stemming from the defense of a lawsuit involving personal injuries and negligence action.
- Constance Ramos, a former cast member on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” is suing the show’s producers for failing to pay residuals on 46 episodes on which she appeared. Ramos claims that Lock and Key Prods, Endemol USA, and Greengrass Prods have violated her publicity rights.
- The National Law Journal writes that Hollywood movie studios have recruited some of the nation’s top antitrust lawyers to fight its legal battles with Redbox, the cut-rate DVD rental upstart.
- The daughter-in-law of songwriter Haven Gillespie claims in a new lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court that EMI took advantage of Gillespie’s mental condition shortly before he died in 1975 to improperly gain rights to hits such as “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town” and “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze.” The plaintiff seeks an accounting and royalties.
- The Sex Pistols are threatening legal action over an absinthe-soaked ice cream called “Sex Pistols: God Save the Cream.” That might not be very punk rock of them.
- Hollywood should be aware of a software called “SpoofCard” that allows users to manipulate the recipient’s caller ID display. The technology seems to be a favorite on the social party network and several people have gotten into criminal trouble for using it, most recently a well-connected public relations executive. The software can also help users hack into voicemail accounts. A couple years ago, Spoofcard terminated Paris Hilton’s account, accusing her of using the software to get into the voicemail of Lindsay Lohan and others.
- Speaking of sleuthing, “The Cleaner” executive producer Jonathan Price is accusing the WGA of hiring a secret informant code-named Clyde to hack into emails of guild members in its investigation of scab workers during the 2007 writers strike.
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