Hollywood Docket: Bono vs. pirates; Bert Fields vs. Warren Beatty biographer; Polanski vs. celebrity

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Hollywood Docket: Bono vs. pirates; Bert Fields vs. Warren Beatty biographer; Polanski vs. celebrity

Mon Jan 04, 2010 @ 09:32AM PST

Entertainment law news while wiping a week's worth of sleep from our eyes this morning:

  • The studios are getting closer to developing standards for watching legit downloads on multiple screens.
  • LA Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik realizes after hearing from "readers in and around the movie industry" that casually buying a pirated DVD downtown is bad for people who work in and around the movie industry. Next column: Hiltzik has second thoughts about that super-cheap Honda Accord he bought down on 6th and Broadway.  
  • Bono uses his NY Times column to tell Hollywood to get serious about protecting IP from web pirates in the next decade. And to do it, the industry should avoid using "over-rewarded rock stars" or "famous actors" to deliver the antipiracy message, he says.
  • The fall of one-time entertainment lawyer and Haim Saban confidant Matthew Krane gets even sadder, as Krane sits under house arrest awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty for failing to report $36 million in income linked to a tax shelter he steered Saban into.
  • Bert Fields doesn't want you to read Peter Biskind's new "tedious and boring" book about Fields client Warren Beatty.
  • The 9th Circuit has upheld a lower court's dismissal of a class action claiming Apple's iPods cause hearing loss when the volume is turned up. The plaintiffs in the case argued the devices should have come with noise-cancellation features or warnings, but the appeals court ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that Apple lacked reasonable care with its popular product.
  • BMI is suing T-Mobile for violating the public performance rights of over 6.5 million copyrighted songs. The lawsuit targets the mobile company's use of songs in ringbacks, or what a caller hears after dialing up a cell phone user. Last October, a federal judge dismissed a case brought by ASCAP against Verizon in a similar situation where the performance rights organization took exception to the use of songs in ringtones.
  • The UK's the Independent says Apple has pulled the "SuperAgent" iPhone App over complaints from WME's Ari Emanuel that the game is a little too similar to his real life.
  • We finally had time over the holidays to digest Jeffrey Toobin's thorough examination of the Roman Polanski case in the New Yorker. And we agree with him: as much as Polanski's supporters believe the government has used his celebrity to make an example of him, there's just as much evidence showing the breaks he's received--and continues to receive--based on his status as a well-known director. (Sub req'd)   

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