The Dutch artist and producer Dennis Stehr, better known as Mr Probz, has filed new legal proceedings against Sony Music in the Amsterdam courts in an ongoing dispute over how the major calculates and reports his royalties.
Two members of 1970s rock band Orleans have sued Warner Music Group and its subsidiary label Warner Records over a dispute regarding royalty deductions the companies instituted that the members claim weren’t disclosed to them.
The lawsuits are piling up for Pandora, which has been accused by comedians, including Lewis Black and Andrew Dice Clay, of streaming their works without the proper license. Now, George Lopez is joining the fray, seeking $5.5 million from the streamer.
Megan Thee Stallion has returned to court in Texas to settle another dispute with her label 1501 Certified Entertainment. This time the rapper wants the judge to confirm that her ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ release last October was definitely an album release, meaning that she has now fulfilled her minimum recording commitment to the label for the second option period of her contract with the company.
The estates of Jimi Hendrix’s one-time collaborators have sued Sony Music UK accusing the major – as the licensee of the Hendrix catalogue – of copyright infringement, while also seeking allegedly unpaid royalties.
The Californian judge overseeing a legal battle between Apple and the estates of Harold Arlen, Ray Henderson and Harry Warren said earlier this week that he’s not inclined to grant either side in the dispute the summary judgements they had requested, meaning all elements of the case could go before a jury.
Second Circuit holds that screenwriter Victor Miller acted as independent contractor when writing screenplay for 1980 horror film Friday the 13th and had right to recapture copyright in screenplay, affirming district court’s grant of summary judgment.
The central issue in this case arising from the screenplay of the landmark 1980 horror film Friday the 13th is whether, for Copyright Act purposes, the film’s screenwriter, Victor Miller, acted as an employee or as an independent contractor for the film production company Manny Inc. when Miller wrote the screenplay. The Second Circuit held that Miller acted as an independent contractor and could therefore exercise his statutory termination right to recapture the copyright in the screenplay, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment in Miller’s favor in the declaratory judgment action brought by Manny’s successors in interest.
Tina Turner is suing a tribute act for being too similar to her, which in a roundabout way is a solid endorsement of the tribute act in question, surely?
The 81-year-old legendary singer has filed a lawsuit against Germany-based Dorothea ‘Coco’ Fletcher, claiming that she looks too much like her in promotional posters, meaning fans may mistakenly think Turner is actually involved in the production.
The tribute act, who has a 50 year age difference with Turner, performs in Germany in a show called Simply The Best.
Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the recent release of Black Widow.
The actor is claiming that the studio’s decision to launch her first, and last, Marvel standalone film on Disney+ as well as cinemas is a breach of contract.
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” the suit, which was filed on 29 July, read.
Nu Image today filed a lawsuit against shuttered Overture Films for what could be millions in unpaid proceeds from a trio of films. The films noted in the complaint (read it here) are 2010’s Brooklyn’s Finest, the 2008 Robert De Niro and Al Pacino movie Righteous Kill and 2008’s Mad Money starring Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah. Nu Image says that they and Brooklyn’s Finest Distribution inked deals with Overture for exclusive distribution rights for the films “in the United States and its territories for 20 years.” Noting that all three seemed to make good money theatrically and in home entertainment, the complaint alleges Breach of contract, the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Accounting and Declaratory Relief.
Actor claims he is owed a share of takings from the hit 1993 film, in which he played a cryogenically frozen cop fighting crime in the future
Sylvester Stallone is suing Warner Bros for fraud, alleging that the studio intentionally concealed profits from the 1993 sci-fi film Demolition Man.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the actor filed the complaint through his company Rogue Marble productions. The suit alleges “outright and obviously intentional dishonesty” on the part of Warner Bros in its accounting of the film, with the result being that Stallone and Rogue Marble weren’t paid the profits they were owed.
“The motion picture studios are notoriously greedy,” states the complaint. “This one involves outright and obviously intentional dishonesty perpetrated against an international iconic talent. Here, WB decided it just wasn’t going to account to Rogue Marble on the film. WB just sat on the money owed to Rogue Marble for years and told itself, without any justification, that Rogue Marble was not owed any profits.”
A judge ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit against Walt Disney Pictures that alleges the studio underpaid a widow’s late husband in the profits of a 1989 Tom Hanks comedy and also interfered with an accounting firm’s contract with the woman can move forward.
Christine Wagner, widow and heir of producer Raymond Wagner, and the accounting company Robinson & Co. filed suit in April 2015. The widow, who chose Robinson & Co. to perform an audit, alleges Disney owes her money from her husband’s production of “Turner & Hooch,” a film about a police officer and a dog.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samantha Jessner denied a motion by Disney attorneys to dismiss four of the lawsuit’s seven causes of action, including those alleging intentional interference with contractual relations and a request for an accounting. The motion did not challenge the plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract and fraud.
Polsky Films, which put up P&A money on Warner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans,’ says that Nu Image and First Look Studios ran away with 2009 film’s proceeds.
Investors in the 2009 Nicolas Cage film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans have filed a lawsuit against Nu Image and First Look Studios, claiming that proceeds from the motion picture have not been shared and that top executives have siphoned off revenue.
Polsky Films, a film production outfit founded by brothers Alan and Gabe Polsky, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to the complaint, Polsky put up $1.3 million to finance the print and advertising budget for the U.S. distribution of the film. The financing agreement allegedly stipulated that Nu Image and First Look had to establish a collection account at Comerica bank and was obligated to pay all U.S. proceeds from the film into this account. The agreement limited deductions to home video packaging, freight and delivery expenses.
Rysher Entertainment, Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital claim that Cox Media Group agreed to indemnify them for more than $44 million in losses stemming from Johnson’s recent legal victory over profits from the hit CBS series.
The long-running legal war over Nash Bridges has entered a new battlefield.Former owners of the CBS hit who lost $15 million in a lawsuit brought by Don Johnson over profits from the series are now attempting to recoup the loss and more from the company that sold them the show in the first place. Rysher Entertainment, Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner‘s 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital sued Cox Media Group on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court for more than $44 million, claiming Cox must indemnify them from losses, lost future revenue and attorneys fees because a Cox accounting move resulted in $71.4 million in production expenses being withheld from calculating Johnson’s share of profits.
Some things just aren’t worth fighting for after all.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have dropped their breach-of-contract lawsuit against three companies that put up part of the money to make My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which they had accused of hanging onto a bigger-than-fair share of the proceeds.
Production companies representing the powerhouse couple, coproducer Gary Goetzman and Wedding star Nia Vardalos, whom Hanks and Wilson teamed up with after catching her one-act play the culture-clash comedy was based on, sued Gold Circle Films, Big Wedding Productions and Vortex Pictures last August.
An attorney for the plaintiffs filed papers Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court requesting a dismissal “without prejudice,” meaning they can choose to refile their complaint at a later date. There was no immediate comment from their camp as to why they decided to abandon ship.
A nearly seven-year lawsuit over profits from the Oscar-winning Crash finally might be putting on the brakes. Late last week, a three-judge appeals court panel found in favor of the 2004 film’s director/co-writer Paul Haggis, co-writer/producer Bobby Moresco, producer Mark Harris and actor Brendan Fraser and concurred with a December 2011 lower court ruling that awarded the four $12 million. “In a bench trial the court found for the plaintiffs and awarded them over $12,000,000 in damages and prejudgment interest,” the 2nd Appellate Court said in its January 31 ruling (read it here). “We conclude that appellants have not carried their burden of showing prejudicial error, and we therefore affirm,” Judges Frances Rothschild, Jeffrey Miller and Victoria Chaney added. Since its wide release on May 6, 2005, Crash — which won Best Picture and two other Academy Awards —has made more than $98 million worldwide.
Warner Bros. and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien have resolved a rights dispute over “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” the two parties said in a court filing.
The settlement ends a legal scuffle that has pitted the film studio and the author’s heirs against one another since 2012. The conflict stemmed from the digital exploitation of the hobbits, wizards, elves, and other fantastical characters from the hit films in online slot machines and other games. The Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins alleged that the studio never had rights to license characters for these purposes. Warner Bros. countersued, claiming that the estate cost it “millions of dollars in license fees” from merchandising when it filed a legal challenge.
A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a $319 million verdict over profits from the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and rejected Walt Disney Co.’s request for a new trial.
A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show’s profits from its creators, London-based Celador International. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no issues with the verdict or with a judge’s rulings in the case.
“I am pleased that justice has been done,” Celador Chairman Paul Smith said in a statement.
Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.
Roger Rabbit’s creator sued Walt Disney Co., claiming the studio has been cheating him out of revenue from the hit movie and hare-related merchandise.
According to a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Gary K. Wolf, who wrote the book “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?,” Disney has foiled attempts by the Massachusetts author to learn exactly how much money the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” has made.
The 9th Circuit rules that Douglas Jordan-Benel isn’t challenging the activity of filmmaking, he merely wants to be paid.
On Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the annual 12-hour period where all crime is legal. Well, sort of. What a three judge panel at the appellate circuit has decided is that Universal City Studios must continue to face claims of stealing Douglas Jordan-Benel’s ideas for the box-office horror smash The Purge.
In a big victory for SiriusXM and a major setback for owners of older sound recordings, a lower court’s decision is reversed.
In a decision that could save satellite radio giant SiriusXM at least $5 million and represent a huge relief to terrestrial radio operators and others who broadcast older music, a New York appeals court on Tuesday concluded that New York’s common law doesn’t protect the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings and therefore broadcasters don’t have to pay.
An author’s widow files a new complaint in a dispute stretching back a decade.
It took nearly 10 years for a federal judge to look at Jersey Boys, the Broadway story of the 1960s pop group The Four Seasons, and declare the theatrical production to be a fair use of an unpublished biography. Now comes a new lawsuit involving the same plaintiff over Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation.
>Heirs to the comedic duo present a “critically important” question about a “new rule” robbing contributors to old movies of ownership rights.
After being sworn in, Neil Gorsuch is now the ninth justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, but at an upcoming conference to decide which cases should be heard, a question will undoubtedly be raised: “Who’s on first?”
FTM operates under the three watchwords of Ethical, Transparent and Sustainable, which are criteria based upon the findings of the 2014 “Study Concerning Fair Compensation for Music Creators in the Digital Age” commissioned by Music Creators North America (MCNA) and the International Council of Creators of Music (CIAM). The Study made three key findings:
Music is undervalued by digital platforms
The split of revenues is imbalanced, based in favour of large right owners at the expense of creators and other contributors to the music industry value chain
The lack of transparency is licensing deals between right owners and digital platforms leaves creators in the dark about the true situation
Fair Trade Music offers businesses in the music industry an opportunity to operate under Certification of Compliance based upon 7 key established criteria. FTM has the support of more than half a million music creators worldwide and has the tools to enable certificated businesses to celebrate FAIRNESS.
Launched in 2012, it was largely in response to legislative and legal setbacks for creators when it became clear that new approaches were needed, that individual and national solutions were no longer enough in an increasingly globalized environment for creators. Its charter states that its central purposes of MCNA shall be to serve as an independent and non-conflicted advocate and educator on behalf of the music creator community of North America, seeking the protection, enforcement and expansion of the rights and interests of music creators throughout the world. It stands by a number of core principles:
Fair Trade Music principles
Cultural enrichment, free expression and music education
Effective civil and criminal enforcement of laws protecting copyright
To defend the rights of creators to control their property, understanding the necessary balance of those rights with bona fide public interest principles.
Through its membership of CIAM the MCNA works with sister alliances in Europe, Latin and South America, Asia and Africa to further the interests of music creators throughout the world
Fortunately, in some countries there is legal right that makes revenue payable to the talent after a work has been written or created. This rebalances the financial position to a limited extent by ensuring that, via a separate route, some revenue at least reaches the talent that made the creative work possible in the first place.
As a matter of practicality, this licence revenue is collected by a single body in each country from the film owners and all the users of the copyright works The usage information is then analysed and paid onward to the talent by these companies. The companies are known as collective management organizations (CMOs). Writers and directors are members of the audio-visual CMOs in Europe which hold data about the works their members have created. CMOs for film and television work across the EU on behalf of the writers and directors of film and television, administering their revenues and ensuring their rights are respected. The individual CMOs fight together for the common interests of their members.
SAA is the EU body that represents these EU CMOs working on behalf of the writers and directors of audio-visual works. SAA has 31 member CMOs in 23 European countries. Together with other parties, they fight to improve the economic and moral (reputational) position of writers and directors of audio visual works. SAA and its members take positions upon broadcast regulation, intellectual property rights enforcement, cross-border portability of creative works, media convergence and other issues that affect the interests of writers and directors.
SAA supports a right of the talent to share in the fruits of a film’s success. SAA supports the levy that means the talent can benefit when private copies are made of their work. They are lobbying in response to the digital copyright draft directive, seeking a legally enforceable, unwaivable right to remuneration for writers and directors from the exploitation of audio visual works. This is a fight for a more realistic share of revenues from the digital exploitation of audio-visual works as currently a vastly disproportionate share of the value is retained by the large digital companies.
“F— you all for giving me chest pains because of the staggering f—ing incompetence,” creator Frank Darabont wrote to his collaborators as his nasty legal fight reveals thousands of pages of confidential documents.
In seven years, The Walking Dead has become the most prosperous drama ever to air on cable television. The AMC zombie drama has likely booked more than $1 billion in gross receipts based on an analysis of newly filed court documents that shed unprecedented light on the economics of the show and on Hollywood in general. But after Walking Dead premiered in October 2010 to 5 million viewers (it now draws 17 million, more even than primetime NFL games on broadcast networks), AMC decided to cut the show’s second-season budget by 25 percent.
The “Science Guy” says he was underpaid by at least $9 million.
Bill Nye the Science Guy says he’s been shorted millions of dollars thanks to unscrupulous accounting, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.Nye is suing Disney, ABC, Buena Vista and Touchstone, along with several other subsidiaries.
Nye claims he and several partners developed the children’s series and are entitled to half of the show’s net profits under their deal with Buena Vista Television. Of that 50 percent stake, Nye gets a third, with his partners splitting the other two-thirds — giving him 16.5 percent of 100 percent of the net profits. But, according to the complaint, the companies have been misclassifying revenues and expenses in violation of their agreement.