Hollywood Docket: Jon Gosselin's court date; TV music; Morgan Freeman crash settlement

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Hollywood Docket: Jon Gosselin's court date; TV music; Morgan Freeman crash settlement

Fri Nov 06, 2009 @ 12:08PM PST

Entertainment law news this morning:

  • When Discovery sued "Jon & Kate" star Jon Gosselin last month, the network asked a Maryland court for an injunction preventing the reality TV star from continuing to violate the exclusivity, publicity, and non-endorsement clauses of his contract. A Maryland court has scheduled a hearing on December 14 and is requiring Gosselin to show up to answer some questions.
  • A California District Court didn't take very long to grant EMI's request for a temporary restraining order enjoining Bluebeat.com from selling digital tunes from The Beatles. A lot of lawyers in the music industry are probably letting out a sigh of relief, because Bluebeat's theory on why it holds copyright to Beatles songs — the company re-recorded the songs using a "psycho-acoustic simulation" — would have caused quite a mess in the music biz if the argument was held to be valid.
  • 250 local commercial television stations have filed a class action antitrust lawsuit against performance rights organization SESAC for allegedly fixing the price for "virtually all" music broadcast on local stations. When shows like "Seinfeld" and "Entertainment Tonight" are syndicated for local television, stations must pay royalties to PROs like SESAC. The lawsuit says that SESAC charges all-or-nothing blanket licensing fees no matter how much music is being used. The organization used to represent a number of European publishers but has been strongly competing against ASCAP and BMI in recent years.
  • Earlier this year, Morgan Freeman was sued after allegedly getting drunk and crashing a car. The accident caused severe injuries to a female passenger. The case has now been dismissed after the parties reached an undisclosed settlement.

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