Entertainment’s Youngest Old Problem: Age Discrimination Still Alive and Kicking in Hollywood

If you were old enough to watch “Beverley Hills, 90210” in the 1990’s – admittedly, I was not – you might remember Andrea Zuckerman, the show’s socially awkward, school-newspaper editor. As a 16-year-old high school student, Andrea was played by Gabrielle Carteris who at the time of casting was 29-years-old; a fact kept completely hidden…

“Ridin’ on a ‘Cole’ Train:” Former Football Player Sues Over Alleged IP Infringement in Gears of War Video Games

Football player turned wrestler, Lenwood Hamilton, filed suit last month alleging the makers of the video game Gears of War used his likeness to create one of the game’s main characters. The suit, filed in federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, names five defendants to include Hamilton’s former business associate, Lester Speight, and…

All The Music You Ever Need

Spotify is subject to another copyright infringement claim. Camper van Beethoven and Cracker frontman David Lowery, as well as Melissa Ferrick (together with other recording artists), brought class actions against the on-demand service seeking a minimum total of $3.5 million in statutory damages. This article provides a summary of the issues and argues that the…

The Fair Use Of Hip-Hop Sampling In Copyright Law

Sampling isn’t about hijacking nostalgia wholesale. It’s about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. —Mark Ronson[i] What Is Sampling? Sampling is procedure that transfers the analog signal from an original song to a set of binary numbers representing an audio waveform.[ii] The signal is then put into…

Fan Fiction Features: The Film Industry’s Final Frontier?

For most creators, gaining adoring fans is one of their chief goals. Perhaps the most adoring fans are those who are so inspired by creators’ works, that they attempt to continue the storylines through fan fiction. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary characterizes fan fiction as fan-written stories involving popular characters, often posted online, but fan fiction predates…

Rights to Star Wars

After the massive success of the first Star Wars, 20th Century Fox ceded the merchandizing rights to George Lucas in an effort to retain the distribution rights to Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The initial deal with 20th Century Fox bargained away Lucas’ compensation for distribution rights to the eight envisioned Star…

Oscars So White

#OscarsSoWhite – As law students, why are we so surprised? The lack of diversity in the recent Oscar nominations has prompted use of #OscarsSoWhite to express outrage. However, should the legal community be surprised of such lack of diversity, given its similar demographics with the film industry? On January 14, 2016 the nominees for the 88th…

Streaming in the Modern Age of Technology

On Demand streaming services provide traditional copyright owners, such as broadcasters, the possibility of offering targeted content to an increasingly broad audience.  However, at the same time, such copyright owners are under threat of copyright infringement.  Since these services have been offered, there have been a broad and growing range of copyright infringements with unlawful…

Presidential Candidates Rockin’ In The Free World Should Not Be Free

This article deals with the lawful usage of music in political campaigns, a hot topic affecting the United States music industry. Recently, presidential candidate Donald Trump used lyrics from Canadian singer Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World”, fueling the debate to the extent that ASCAP has intervened and issued guidelines to tackle the issue….