Tattoo Dispute Fades Away

Tattooed work of art

Much like painters or musicians, tattoo artists are creators in their own right.  However, are their inked canvases considered unique designs worthy of copyright protection?  Solid Oak Sketches seemed to think so, as the company filed a lawsuit against producers of NBA 2K video games, including Take-Two Interactive Software.  In 2016, the tattoo licensing firm accused NBA 2K of embodying athletes such as LeBron James, Eric Bledsoe, and Kenyon Martin with their real-life tattoos in the video games, without properly compensating the artists who tattooed them.  That lawsuit, initially filed in a Manhattan court, was just dismissed this month. Read more

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

Taylor Cannot Swiftly Escape This Lawsuit

Copying a song?

A 2017 copyright lawsuit in reference to Taylor Swift’s popular hit “Shake It Off” is going back down to the US District Court level for further proceedings.  Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler sued Swift for her lyric “players gonna play…haters gonna hate.”  According to Hall and Butler’s claim, Swift allegedly stole the line from a 2001 song they wrote entitled “Playas Gon’ Play” for the music group 3LW.  When the 2017 lawsuit was dismissed, a judge ruled that the original 2001 lyric was “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act.”  A recent panel of three judges, however, disagreed with that reasoning, and were in favor of the plaintiffs’ appeal. Read more

National Park Causes National Turmoil

The weight of a name

Located in California’s breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is home to gigantic sequoia trees, granite cliffs, and impeccable landscapes.  In addition to these attractive tourist spots, the iconic national park has also been the subject of legal trouble since 2015.  Delaware North Companies Inc had maintained park property operations since 1993 until it was outbid by Aramark.  As part of the concessionaire’s transition into their new role, Aramark changed the names of several attractions and hotels.  In the lawsuit, Delaware North claims that Aramark should have had to uphold terms that were required when Delaware North began operations in 1993, which was to purchase the previous facilities operator’s intellectual property rights of the names.  As compensation for this intellectual property dispute, Delaware North was looking to collect $50,000 million. Read more