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Entertainment law news this morning:
- Call it a sign of the times: we’re seeing Hollywood studios get more aggressive in cracking down on online shops selling DVDs and other trademark-infringing merchandise. For example, Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against the operator of TVmerch.com, Fringtvstore.com, Gossipgirlstore.com, and Supernaturalstore.com, alleging a “substantial” amount of ill-gotten revenue from shows like “Gossip Girl.”
- An appellate court has overturned a $20 million award against a defunct charter jet company that secretly videotaped Michael Jackson talking to his attorneys aboard a 2003 flight. The 2nd Circuit ruled the amount was excessive, and XtraJet shouldn’t have to pay it to attorneys Mark Geragos and Pat Harris.
- Sony has responded in court to a vision-impaired video gamer who sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In a motion to dismiss the case, Sony argues that allowing access to goods and services is different than access to the content of those goods, saying that Barnes & Noble isn’t required to stock large print versions of books and that Blockbuster Video isn’t required to carry closed caption versions of each DVD in stores.
- Universal Music Group is suing Grooveshark for copyright infringement. Grooveshark allows users to upload their favorite playlist of songs. Previously, the company settled a lawsuit filed
- A Broadway musical based on the music of Frank Sinatra is at the center of a labor union lawsuit. The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents ballet dancers, has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against “Come Fly Away” producer Troika Entertainment for turning to the Actor’s Equity union to negotiate a contract with dancers.
- We’ve previously reported that the dangers of mounted televisions has led to a rash of personal injury lawsuits over the years. Here’s a doozy: A woman named Roxane Leal claims a poorly installed television set mounted in a car came crashing down on a man named Don Tolner as he was driving. As a result, Tolner’s wife had to take control of the vehicle and steered the car into a tractor being driven by Leal’s husband on the highway. The accident caused a big fire, and Leal’s husband burned to death. Leal is now suing the company that mounted the television.
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