Jessie Schweller

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Girl Under Fire: Alicia Keys Sued for Copyright Infringement over Girl on Fire

Songwriter Earl Shuman sued Alicia Keys for allegedly “sampling” parts of the composition “Hey There Lonely Boy” (“Lonely”) that he co-wrote in 1962. According to the complaint, Keys’ recording of “Girl on Fire” (“Fire”), which is the lead single on her same-titled album, misappropriates a few notes of the composition. Shuman’s composition was recorded by … Continue Reading

The Use and the Fury: Faulkner Estate’s New Enforcement Efforts

In a pair of lawsuits filed about a week ago, Faulkner Literary Rights, LLC (“Faulkner Literary”), the owner of the literary rights to the late William Faulkner’s works, sued Sony Picture Classics (“Sony”), as well as Northrop Grumman Corporation (“Northrop Grumman”) and Washington Post Company (“Washington Post”) in the federal district court for the district … Continue Reading

Illegal Music Downloaders Beware

For the second time in under a month, a court has confirmed a large statutory damages award against an illegal music downloader.  In the latest development in a six-year long dispute over illegal music downloads, the Eighth Circuit issued a unanimous decision last week and reinstated a $220,000.00 jury verdict against Ms. Jammie Thomas-Rasset.  Ms. Thomas-Rasset … Continue Reading

Proposed Facebook Settlement Receives Thumbs Down

Facebook Inc.’s $20 million class settlement offer has been rejected by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg  due to concerns over the amount allocated to attorneys’ fees and the proposed “cy pres” payment.  The offer was made to settle a lawsuit alleging that the social media magnate improperly used subscriber’s profile pictures in connection with its … Continue Reading

When a Picture May Be Worth More than 1,000 Words

New Jersey photographer Jennifer Graylock has sued the Associated Press in New York state court for releasing her photographs.  She alleges that the AP violated her contract and did not provide her with proper compensation.  The lawsuit seeks damages in an undetermined amount. According to her contract with the AP, Graylock was to be paid … Continue Reading

‘Modern Family’ Feuding Reaches Resolution

Dueling ‘Modern Family’ cast members and producer 20th Century Fox Television reached a truce last week over a dispute arising under California labor law.  The dispute in question threatened to derail production for the show’s fourth season, which was to begin with a July 24, 2012 table read.  The table read was cancelled, and on … Continue Reading

Madonna Sued in Sampling Lawsuit

VMG Salsoul LLC filed a complaint for copyright infringement on July 11, 2012 in California District Court against Madonna, Shep Pettibone, and other music industry-related defendants.  At the heart of the complaint is a claim for copyright infringement based on illegal sampling.  According to the complaint, the timeless Madonna classic, “Vogue” contains intentionally hidden illegal … Continue Reading

Facebook Settlement Made Public

The details of last month’s $10 million settlement between Facebook, Inc. and five Facebook users were finally made public this weekend after the release of court documents.  Facebook will donate $10 million to charity to settle a lawsuit based on alleged violations of California privacy laws. The lawsuit, brought by five Facebook users, alleged that … Continue Reading

Megaupload Challenges U.S. Indictment

In the latest twist in one of the largest Internet piracy actions brought by the U.S. Government to date, attorneys for and its founder, Kim Dotcom, are challenging whether the United States had the right to bring the action waged against Megaupload and its executives this past January. On May 30, 2012, Megaupload’s legal … Continue Reading

Piracy in the Cloud: Collateral Effects of Criminal Investigation Sparks Legal Action by Hosting Service

     In one of the largest Internet piracy actions brought by the federal government to date, Megaupload and its founders have been charged with massive copyright infringement and facilitating a criminal enterprise aimed at infringing copyrighted movies, music, and television shows.  According to Megaupload, the company merely provided online storage and is not responsible for … Continue Reading

A Penny for Your Tweet?

Or, according to PhoneDog LLC, $765,000.00 a Twitter account and counting.  The suit brought by PhoneDog LLC on July 15, 2011 includes four claims against former employee, Noah Kravitz: 1) misappropriation of trade secrets; 2) intentional interference with prospective economic advantage; 3) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage; and 4) conversion.  United States District Judge … Continue Reading