The Estate of Marilyn Monroe: A New Win for Celebrity Trademarks

Since Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious death, her estate (Monroe Estate) has fought aggressively to protect its intellectual property rights. Despite denial of post-mortem publicity rights in California, the Monroe Estate has continued to litigate in other jurisdictions. Recently, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the Monroe Estate could proceed…

Legal context of Jay-Z’s investment in Tidal: Some Observations

On March 30, Jay-Z led a group of famous music artists, including Beyoncé, Kanye West and leaders of Arcade Fire, to take ownership in an emerging music streaming service called Tidal. Tidal distinguishes itself by promising loss-less streaming (i.e. the highest sound quality possible), and a better remuneration for music artists. Jay-Z’s involvement in Tidal…

Drake’s Surprise Album – Music Business Lessons

Two weeks ago, Drake announced a surprise mixtape called “If you’re reading this, it’s too late.” The mixtape was almost immediately streamable on Spotify and could be purchased on the iTunes Store. This mixtape was completely unexpected. In fact, most industry commentators had been reporting that Drake was working hard on his next album “Views…

Taylor Swift: The Attack of Celebrity Trademarks

Not surprisingly, some of the most outlandish trademarks in history are associated with celebrities. (Notable trademark protections include Paris Hilton’s catchphrase “that’s hot,” rapper Curtis Jackson’s stage name, “50 Cent,” and NFL player, Tim Tebow’s famous “Tebowing” pose.) Nevertheless, while trademarks are relatively common within Hollywood, Taylor Swift’s attempt to trademark her own lyrics is…

Nude Photo Leaks: The Bigger Picture

Last September, several female celebrity nude photos surfaced on the Internet after hackers gained access to over 100 iCloud accounts. The list of celebrity women targeted by the hackers includes Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Kate Upton, Meagan Good, and Vanessa Hudgens. It appears that the hackers accessed these photos by using the “Find…