Hollywood Docket: No Doubt vs. Activision; MPAA vs. FCC; everyone vs. David Bergstein

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Hollywood Docket: No Doubt vs. Activision; MPAA vs. FCC; everyone vs. David Bergstein

Thu Nov 05, 2009 @ 11:45AM PST

Entertainment law news this morning:

  • No Doubt is suing Activision Blizzard over the use of the band's likeness in the game "Band Hero." According to the lawsuit, the band had a licensing agreement with Activision, but the videogame maker went out of bounds by allowing game-players to have No Doubt perform songs by other bands and do other crazy stuff. Here's the full complaint
  • Capitol Films top executives David Bergstein and Ron Tutor are facing more legal trouble. The pair are being sued by a group of investors who provided most of the money for the company to make and sell films. The plaintiffs seek reimbursement of about $120 million, citing personal guarantees on loans made by the executives.
  • The MPAA is barking at the FCC's door with various requests. On Wednesday, the movie industry association filed a brief pushing for a waiver to be allowed to implement selectable-output control technology to disable less-secure analog outputs on HDTV sets. The MPAA argues that the move would allow studios to securely transmit first-run movies sooner to consumers. Last Friday, the MPAA sent the FCC another letter that recommended the agency adopt rules encouraging ISPs to get tough on pirates, including disconnecting repeat offenders.
  • EMI is suing Bluebeat.com for selling unauthorized digital music from The Beatles. Many were surprised when the US website began offering Beatles tracks for 25 cents since the band and label have never been able to reach an agreement with Apple's iTunes store.  The defendant is offering an extremely unusual defense, basically arguing they own the copyrights to the works it sells. 
  • IATSE has reached a settlement with the American Film Institute over accusations the latter attempted to discourage concession workers from joining the union. The deal ensures that the AFI Fest in Los Angeles will go off without labor strife.
  • We now know the answer to the question: Is there anything TMZ wouldn't post? Miss California USA Carrie Prejean has settled a lawsuit with pageant officials after reported revelations of a "sex tape." TMZ says it obtained the "video months ago but decided not to post it because it was so racy."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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