Posts Tagged ‘publishers’

Class action roundup

  • Pursuing well-worn script following exposure of fib-laden memoirs, class action lawyers sue demanding reader refunds for Lance Armstrong autobiography [ABA Journal]
  • Adventures of Ted Frank’s CCAF: Easy Saver coupon settlement; Southwest Airlines drink voucher; Asus Computer dongle giveaway. Plus: “Citigroup Plaintiff Lawyers Fire Back At Fee Objectors” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
  • Wrongful termination complaint contains its share of juicy allegations regarding well-known plaintiff’s firm Hausfeld LLP [Andrew Trask]
  • Calif.: “Judges Accuse Class Lawyers of Misconduct” [The Recorder; The Complex Litigator (Clarke v. First Transit, PDF)]
  • Aiming to undermine Concepcion ruling, plaintiff lawyers seek to overwhelm system with arbitration demands [Reuters, earlier]
  • How to get your class action settlement disapproved by the judge [Andrew Trask]
  • “Papa John’s Facing $250 Million Text Message Spam Lawsuit” [PC Mag]

“What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2013?”

The “public domain” isn’t just some hedonistic collective consumption good, but a vital resource for creators; thus Disney was able to base its golden-age animation features on literary properties and tropes that it could freely transform without permission. Among the properties we could have started freely transforming and remixing in this country had Congress not unilaterally and drastically extended copyright lengths: The King and I, Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, My Fair Lady, and the novel 101 Dalmatians. [Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain via BB, similar, related]

Woody Allen movie quotes William Faulkner, Faulkner estate sues

Sony Pictures has decried the suit as frivolous:

In Midnight In Paris, Gil Pender, the disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, says, “the past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party.” The rightsholder[s] say the slightly paraphrased quote could “deceive the infringing film’s viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”

David Olson, a professor of law at Boston College (and no relation), disputed the notion that a license was needed just because the movie was intended to make a profit. “Commercial use isn’t presumptively unfair” he said. He said no one watches “Midnight in Paris” as a substitute for buying “Requiem for a Nun.” [, Washington Post]

P.S. “Is the complaint written in Faulknerese?” [@jslubinski]

ADA vs. the Nook, cont’d

Following a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Sacramento library system has agreed not to give patrons any more Nook e-readers, which cannot be used by blind persons because they lack text-to-speech capability [Disability Law] Disability-rights lawyers have taken the view that it is unacceptable for libraries to stock a mix of devices, some with text-to-speech and some not.

Free speech roundup

  • Libel law might paradoxically increase job security of ABC’s much-criticized Brian Ross [Mickey Kaus]
  • “If you want to publicly criticize Argentina’s government, make sure all your tax filings are in order.” [NYT via Caron]
  • Pentagon Papers case, Meyer v. Nebraska included: “Top ten libertarian Supreme Court decisions” [Damon Root, Reason]
  • Criticizing Thai royalty? “Lèse Majesté: 16th Century Censorship Meets 21st Century Law” [Marie-Andree Weiss, Citizen Media Law]
  • “Government can’t censor book promotion”: Cato files amicus brief in Trudeau diet-book case [Ilya Shapiro and Kathleen Hunker, Cato; related]
  • “I was sued for libel under an unjust law” [Nature reporter Quirin Schiermeier, UK, via BoingBoing]
  • Florida seen as worst of many states (even worse than Pennsylvania?) at discouraging SLAPP suits [Marc Randazza, Citizen Media Law]

Class action lawyers vs. “Three Cups of Tea”

Defendants in federal court in Montana are now seeking dismissal of a purported class action on behalf of readers disappointed by author Greg Mortenson’s exaggerations and embroiderings. As in the earlier (and successful) James Frey episode, lawyers are arguing that consumers should be awarded refunds for their purchases of the flawed memoir. [AP/Washington Post] Earlier here, etc.

March 20 roundup

  • “Lawyer Who Spotted Broker Fraud Rewarded With SEC Ordeal” [Business Week via Bader]
  • Reactions to the feds’ antitrust case against e-book publishers and Apple [Yglesias, Wright, Stoll, more]
  • NYT retrospectively backs Nixon efforts to deny tax exemption to lefty groups, or maybe ire at tea party adversaries just makes the paper less than consistent [Caron, background, more]
  • House Judiciary testimony on the evils of consent decrees binding the government to pursue regulation in certain ways [Andrew Grossman]
  • “Law Firm Claims It Had No Control Over $464 Mln Fee Request” [WSJ Law Blog]
  • “California’s ethnic identity police” [Mickey Kaus]
  • Role, economic incentives of special masters in litigation overdue for reformist attention [Ted/PoL]

February 3 roundup

  • Judge blocks California budget cuts re: in-home services for disabled [Mercury News]
  • Media exploited her daughter for titillation, claims suit by mother of “Toddlers & Tiaras” star [Above the Law]
  • Narrower definition of autism ahead? [Althouse]
  • “Police Charge Canadian Blogger With Criminal Libel for Criticizing the Police” [Sullum, Popehat]
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland, wants to ban liquor deliveries; no harm linked to them, but you can’t be too sure [Ben Giles, Washington Examiner] Centers for Disease Control’s curious definition of “binge” drinking [Sullum]
  • The law of authors’ liability for inaccurate memoirs [Mark Fowler, Rights Of Writers; earlier here, etc.]
  • “Diagnosing Liability: The Legal History of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” [Deirdre M. Smith, SSRN via TortsProf]