Working Out a Settlement

Peloton’s legal position

Most of us have seen the commercials advertising one of the most sought-after at-home fitness equipment products.  While the interactive live videos on the Peloton screens are intended to pump up the energy of the user, the music and workouts help eliminate, what some people might consider, the “boring” element of exercise.  Although this brand of stationary bike is seriously one of the best in the industry, with prices starting at $2,245, the company has seen a slight decline in its stock.  A possible cause for this drop could be the lawsuit surrounding allegations that Peloton streamed over 2,400 songs in their workout videos without prior authorization. Read more

Song Dispute Tunes Out

Can’t stop the music

Although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Miley Cyrus has settled a $300 million lawsuit concerning the origins of her popular hit “We Can’t Stop.”  Initially filed in 2018, Michael May, also known as Flourgon, accused Cyrus and Sony Corp’s RCA Records of negligently infringing upon the copyright of his 1988 song, “We Run Things.”  While a similarity exists in one of the lyrics, the two songs are not identical, so is this really a case of copyright infringement?  The two parties involved have not left the matter for the courts to decide.   Read more

Things Get Stranger: Man Sues Netflix

Thunderstorm, by flickr user Thomas Bresson, licensed by Creative Commons.

There’s a storm coming

Netflix has had tons of success in the last few years, rising from the ashes to become a technology powerhouse. The business model is a low cost, subscription-based service providing content to consumers who love their tv shows and movies. One of the most successful pieces of original content is the Netflix-original Stranger Things, a sci-fi / fantasy series about kids in the 1980s who experience (you guessed it) “strange things”. Even stranger is that the now famous images used to promote the show, which an ominous thunderstorm system moving through the clouds, allegedly infringes on a Montana photographer’s copyright. As such, he is taking Netflix to court and seeking damages regarding this misuse of his image. Read more

Slip Up: Banana Lady’s Lawsuits Bear No Fruit

bananas, Flickr user Fernando Stankuns, licensed by Creative Commons.

Crazy? More like going bananas.

Catherine Conrad makes a living as an inspirational speaker, personal motivator, and also delivers singing telegrams dressed in a banana suit.  After several incidents with clients which ended up in Ms. Conrad filing multiple lawsuits, it seems the U.S. District Courts have had enough.  A recent ruling against the Wisconsin-native claims that although those who receive the banana-grams take pictures and videos, Catherine has no copyright claim over the over-sized, yellow costume. Previously, she had filed infringement lawsuits of anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000.  A jurist recently declared that her accusations and demands were “without merit” and an “abuse of the legal process”. Read more

A Musical Nuisance

Goldieblox, an interactive book trying to attract girls into engineering, by Flickr user ricarose, licensed by Creative Commons.

A Toy With a Price

Concluding an ongoing legal battle over a toy company’s potentially illegal use of a hit song created by the musical group Beastie Boys, the two parties have officially settled the lawsuit. According to a spokesperson for GoldieBlox, the settlement includes “the issuance of an apology posted to GoldieBlox’s website, [and] payment by GoldieBlox, based on a percentage of its revenues, to one or more charities selected by [the] Beastie Boys that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls (Blistein, Rolling Stone, 2014). The Beastie Boys song “Girls,” was first released in 1987 and included lyrics such as “Girls to do to this dishes…Girls to do the laundry” (Blistein, Rolling Stone, 2014).  GoldieBlox altered the catchy song’s original lyrics to help promote the company’s incentive of empowering young girls to become more involved in the sciences and engineering industries. GoldieBlox’s video for the Princess Machine was eventually removed from the internet but not before the video went viral and garnered over seven million views.

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