February/March 2007
Volume 28 Number 9

International Developments

A WIPO arbitration panel has ordered the transfer of the domain names "dailyvariety.org" and "varietymagazine.org," which had been improperly registered by a company in Kenya, to Reed Elsevier, the publisher of Daily Variety and Variety.

Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc. v. Titan Net

Case No. D2006-1298

Recent Cases

FIFA breached its contractual obligation to give MasterCard the first right to sponsor post-2006 World Cup soccer games, a federal District Court has held (in a ruling relying on Swiss law). As a result, the court enjoined FIFA from proceeding with a sponsorship agreement with VISA and ordered FIFA to comply with its agreement with MasterCard.

MasterCard International Inc. v.

Federation Internationale de Football Assn.

464 F. Supp. 2d 246

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88103

(S.D.N.Y. 2006)

The Tampa Sports Authority has been ordered to stop conducting mass, suspicionless pat-down searches of every person attending Tampa Bay buccaneers home games, in a lawsuit filed by a season-ticket holder who alleges that such searches violate the Fourth Amendment.

Johnson v. Tampa Sports Authority

442 F.Supp.2d 1257

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 52173

(M.D.Fla. 2006)

The recording group TLC has defeated a lawsuit claiming that its recording “Unpretty” infringed the copyright to the song “Make Up Your Mind,” because the evidence showed that TLC recorded “Unpretty” three weeks before the plaintiffs recorded “Make Up Your Mind,” and the opinion of the plaintiffs’ expert did not establish that the two songs were strikingly similar.

Glover v. Austin

447 F.Supp.2d 357

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 62923

(S.D.N.Y. 2006)

A radio station that broadcast recordings without having an ASCAP license has been found liable for copyright infringement. The court rejected the station’s argument that it didn’t need a license because the recordings were promotional CDs as well as its argument that the exemption that permits unlicensed performances of music in religious services did not extend to broadcasts of such services.

Simpleville Music v. Mizell

451 F.Supp.2d 1293

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 65944

(M.D.Ala. 2006)

National Geographic has no contractual obligation to compensate freelance photographers for the use of their photos in a CD-ROM version of back issues of the magazine, a federal District Court has held (following earlier rulings that the use of their photos did not infringe their copyrights).

Faulkner v. National Geographic Society

452 F.Supp.2d 369

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 66076

(S.D.N.Y. 2006)

In a copyright infringement suit alleging that MGM is infringing the copyright to Ian Fleming’s short story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” by continuing to distribute its movie based on the story after the story’s renewal term began, a federal District Court has held that the studio is entitled to assert the defense of “equitable estoppel,” because the trust that owns the renewal copyright did not assert its claim until years after the renewal term began, by which time MGM had spent millions of dollars promoting the movie and had entered into long-term contracts concerning it. (The dispute arose because Fleming created two separate trusts, and MGM acquired movie rights to the story from the trust that owned the story’s first copyright term, but not its renewal term.)

Legislator 1357 Ltd. v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

452 F.Supp.2d 382

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 67799

(S.D.N.Y. 2006)

Radio One (the nation’s seventh largest radio broadcaster) has won a preliminary injunction that bars radio personality John Mason from broadcasting for competing radio stations and from soliciting Radio One’s employees and advertisers, in violation of a contractual non-compete clause.

Radio One, Inc. v. Wooten

452 F.Supp.2d 754

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 67349

(E.D.Mich. 2006)


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