Entertainment Law News for 12/10/09
- The MPAA has denied Universal’s appeal of an R rating for its new romantic comedy “It’s Complicated. A scene featuring “pot-smoking with no bad consequences” was apparently key to the decision, although we’ve seen the film and Meryl Streep and Steve Martin are hardly Cheech and Chong. The timing of the decision also coincides with a new article in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law arguing that the MPAA rating process constitutes false advertising and that the FTC should order the org to make available a more detailed evaluation of objectionable content in movies.
- In a filing to the FCC on Tuesday, Time Warner Cable claims Fox “has brazenly sought to hijack the retransmission consent process.” The FCC has good faith bargaining requirements for distributors and TV affiliates, and TWC says Fox is interfering by “threatening to exercise veto power” over any deal made by Fox affiliates “that does not extract a satisfactory kickback for the network.”
- Blockbuster and Netflix have emerged victorious on summary judgment in defending a lawsuit that claimed the companies were violating a patented method for notifying customers electronically about the status of their DVD-by-mail rental accounts.
- Sweden’s Supreme Court has ruled that there will be no retrial in the conviction of the four individuals involved in the operation of Pirate Bay but has agreed to hold a hearing on defendants’ claims of judicial bias on the part of the Court of Appeal.
- The Fifth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of nearly all copyright infringement and breach of contract claims brought by a producer against Sony BMG and the rapper Lil’ Flip. The plaintiff alleged he was owed royalty payments and fought the statute of limitations for bringing his copyright claims. Here’s the decision.
- Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, who defended a file-sharer who was ordered to pay $675,000, responds to the judge’s criticisms of a “truly chaotic defense.” Nesson says he plans to infuse his experiences in the trial into his next HLS class.
- A Maltese gaming company is suing talk show host Montel Williams for backing out of a deal to let it run a poker website. Guardian Gaming claims that Williams pocketed its $300,000 investment.