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Cohen Law > Blog (Page 15)

Playboy Sues Drake for Copyright Infringement

Hip hop artist Aubrey Drake Graham, aka “Drake” had a hit last year with the song “Best I Ever Had.” But, like many other commercially-successful songs these days, “Best I Ever Had” sampled a previous song. The original song, called “Fallin in Love,” is by 1970’s soft rockers Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. And interestingly, it’s Playboy Enterprises, Inc. that owns the copyright to “Fallin In Love.” Apparently Drake didn’t get permission to use the song, which for samplers isn’t always necessary. But Playboy just filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Drake.The case is 2:2010-cv-04750A major question is going to...

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Rick Ross Trademark Infringement Suit Against Def Jam and Jay-Z

Ricky Donnell Ross (or ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross) was an L.A. drug kingpin who was arrested in 1996, and released from federal prison in May 2009. But most people know Rick Ross (sometimes Rick Ro$$) as a rapper from Miami who’s sold millions of records over the past five years or so. Both men have made fortunes, but ‘Freeway’ Ricky’s fortune was short lived – and now he wants it back. He is suing Rick Ro$$ for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (case no. 2:10-cv-04528).Rapper Rick Ro$$’s real name is William Leonard Roberts II. He...

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Foo Fighters Copyright Infringement In Australia

The Foo Fighters recently sued an Australian advertising company for Copyright Infringement for using a re-recorded version of “Learn To Fly” in one of their TV commercials. The lawsuit was filed in Australian federal court last week, and alleges that the RE/MAX company made commercials that “incorporate a musical composition… that reproduces a substantial part” of the Foo Fighters’ hit.Nicholas Thiele, regional director of RE/MAX, told TheAge.com.au, ”It’s certainly not the position of this company to intentionally infringe on anyone’s copyright. We’ve got very strong trademark and copyright issues regarding our own brand that we feel are very important.”The band...

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Copyright Litigation May Commence Without First Obtaining Registration

In order to commence a copyright infringement action in federal court, under 17 U.S.C. § 411(a), makes registration of a copyright a prerequisite prior to bringing an infringement suit. But in a May 2010, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case, Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/Interactive Corp., has held otherwise. The case was an appeal from a U.S. District Court, California Central District case in which Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. sued the Home Shopping Network for copyright infringement involving a necklace. Cosmetic Ideas submitted a copyright application for a necklace, and then sued HSN before getting an official registration from...

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Dr. Dre’s Trademark Cause of Action Gets Dismissed

When hip-hop label Death Row was acquired by WIDEawake in 2009, they promptly decided to re-issue some Death Row greats, most notably Dr. Dre’s 1992 album ‘The Chronic’ in the ‘Re-Lit’ album/DVD set. Dr. Dre was not part of the re-issue process, and quickly sued WIDEawake Entertainment Group, Inc.In the United States District Court for the Central District of California (case no. 10cv01019), Dr. Dre sued for royalties owed, but also for trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising, citing the Lanham Act, among other statutes.But a federal judge threw out the trademark-related portions of the claim last week (with...

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Tommy Burger Trademark Infringement Family Affair

Trademarks are valuable property. Business partners, friends, and even family members can be split over trademark rights. Take the case of Original Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers here in L.A. When the original Tommy Koulax died in 1992, he left the franchise in the hands of some of his children and relatives. According to an article in today’s Los Angeles Business Journal, one of his children is trying to start up a Tommy’s-inspired company, and apparently breaking some family ties doing it.What made Tommy’s world famous was arguably its chili, not hamburgers. In fact, Tommy’s chili recipe is protected by a...

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Jessica Seinfeld Copyright Infringement Battle Over Cookbook

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld the previous decision of a lower court in the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook case. Jessica (Jerry Seinfeld’s wife) was sued for both trademark and copyright infringement by Missy Chase Lapine, author of “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals.” Jessica’s book is titled “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.” See the original lower district’s complaint here. It does seem a bit close for comfort, but two judges have now ruled that Jessica’s book is not a copycat.According to Judges Reena Raggi and Peter...

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Craigslist awarded $1.3 million judgment in copyright infringement case

Last week, Craigslist sent a clear message to sites offering third-party posting software. Powerpostings.com, owned by one Igor Gasov, had been offering customers the ability to post (including multiple postings) and manage ads on Craigslist. Craigslist sued them for copyright infringement, referencing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and trademark law. The defendants didn’t contest, and Craigslist was awarded a $1.3 million judgment.In the past, other companies have offered Craigslist posting software, but Powerpostings took it too far. They also offered listing agents, who would post ads for customers, and they used false email addresses...

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