Thursday, May 3, 2012
May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. Roy Greenslade (Greenslade Blog) urges members of the media and supporters of press freedom to acknowledge the importance of freedom of the press in a post on his blog here. From the UN: a statement about World Press Freedom Day here. From WAN-IFRA (the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers), a statement here. From Voice of America, here. From the Inter-American Press Association, here. From the Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press here. More coverage here from IFEX.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
U. S. District Court Judge Sam Haddon has dismissed a lawsuit against author Greg Mortenson, ruling that the plaintiffs in the suit, who alleged that Mr. Mortenson misstated facts in his bestseller Three Cups of Tea, failed to make out a prima facie case. The plaintiffs had claimed fraud, racketeering, and deceit against the author, publisher, and the directors of the Institute Mr. Mortensen established, the Central Asia Institute. More here from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
George Clooney and Julia Roberts have filed a right of publicity and trademark infringement lawsuit against two companies over the companies' use of photographs of the stars on company websites and in promotional materials. Mr. Clooney and Ms. Roberts are seeking damages and an injunction. More here from The Hollywood Reporter.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
United States District Court Judge Howard Matz has ruled that a contract signed in the early 1980s between Dick Clark Productions and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association guarantees that DCP has the right to broadcast the Golden Globes show as long as the show appears on NBC. The HFPA had wanted to offer the rights to broadcast the show to another network which offered a more lucrative deal. In his opinion, Judge Matz noted that the contract was clear, or should have been after the parties completed discovery, and the matter "should not have required a trial." A link to his ruling is available here. More coverage from the Hollywood Reporter here.
A newly released Parliamentary report concludes that News International's claim that the problems at News of the World were caused by a "rogue reporter" are untenable, and that Rupert Murdoch should not be in charge of a "major international company." More coverage here from the BBC.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Marc Edelman, Barry University School of Law, is publishing Closing the 'Free Speech' Loophole: The Case for Protecting College Athletes' Publicity Rights in Commercial Videogames in the Florida Law Review. Here is the abstract.
This article argues that despite “free speech” concerns, courts should protect college athletes’ publicity rights in commercial videogames. Part I of this article discusses the status of the American college athlete and the practice of licensing intellectual property rights from colleges to videogame publishers. Part II introduces the state-law right of publicity: an intellectual property right that protects commercial interests in one’s own likeness. Part III explains why Electronic Arts’ videogames violate the publicity rights of college football players. Part IV explains why courts should not allow videogame publishers to hide behind a First Amendment defense when using exact depictions of college football players’ likenesses. Finally, Part V concludes that even if a videogame publisher were to create an avatar that partially transforms a college athlete’s likeness, the courts should still recognize some liability in the videogame publisher for use of the non-transformed aspects of the college athlete’s identity.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.