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Orange County Business & Commercial Law Blog

How a 'naked' contestant is suing the 'pants' off a TV network

If you agree to appear on a show entitled “Dating Naked” chances are that you are going to be seen in your birthday suit at some point during the show. However, given that the show is not on a premium cable network (i.e. one that allows nudity) much of the naked body will be blurred out or pixilated.

Despite this, a model who appeared on the show is suing VH-1 for failing to keep her nudity concealed. She claims that she was “manipulated and lied to” when she was told that her private parts were going to be blurred for the show. It appears that an editing error may have led to her privates being seen during a segment of the show.

Did you hear the one about the monkey who sued over his selfie?

Have you heard the one about the monkey who took a selfie and tried to get a copyright? Or the one about the elephant who tried to protect the rights to his video that wound up going viral on YouTube?

No…these aren’t just intros to classic animal jokes. Rather, they are examples of the new limitations on who...or what, can obtain copyright protection under federal law.

The U.S. Copyright office recently released an update to its manual,the first in nearly 30 years, where it explains that the office will not register creative works produced by “nature, animals or plants.” 

Ruling against NCAA could change college sports

In what was described earlier this summer as the case that could fundamentally change the NCAA has come to an end…at least for now. A federal judge recently ruled that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by denying college football and basketball players the right to sell the rights to their images and likenesses, essentially striking down long held regulations that prohibit college athletes from earning money other than scholarships and the cost of attending the schools they play for.

Online review policy garners considerable backlash

In a prior post, we explored the question of whether a company could bring suit against a consumer for negative reviews on social media sites such as Yelp.com or Facebook. The prevailing consensus is that a company could sue, but a consumer would have a genuine defense for being able to voice their personal opinions online based on their own experiences.

Indeed, creating false impressions based on bogus claims could possibly be actionable, but a company would likely see an avalanche of backlash should it attempt to silence a reviewer simply because of a bad review. 

LA Clippers sale imminent after probate court ruling

The legal drama surrounding the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appears to be winding down. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelly who authorized the sale earlier this summer. Donald Sterling previously claimed that she defrauded him, and that she did not have the authority to go ahead with the sale. 

Former punter Chris Kluwe likely to bring discrimination lawsuit

When NFL training camps open this week, there will be some thousands of free agent players trying to win a spot on a team. While a relative few will make it, everyone relishes the opportunity. Unfortunately, one player will not get such a chance, even though he is healthy and talented enough to get on a team.

Punter Chris Kluwe last played for the Minnesota Vikings. His contract was not renewed after the 2012 season and has spent most of his time since then living in Southern California. While the official reason was that his numbers were not consistent enough, Kluwe believes that he was discriminated against because of his views on gay marriage. Kluwe was particularly outspoken in his beliefs before more than a dozen states allowed such marriages. 

Arguments in O'Bannon trial completed, now a judge will decide

The trial that arguably could change the financial landscape of college athletics, O’Bannon v. NCAA is now in the hands of a federal district court judge. The class action antitrust case began more than four years ago, and has involved hundreds of filings and a 15 day trial. On Thursday, the plaintiff’s class submitted its final argument. Through it, the class reiterated the fundamental problems in the NCAA’s argument and insisted that the class members were on the rights side of the law. 

Sterling probate trial delayed over jurisdiction questions

The much anticipated probate trial pitting Shelly Sterling against her estranged husband, Donald Sterling is on hold for now as the LA County probate court waits to hear from a federal district court judge as to whether Sterling’s motions, and the probate case itself, will be heard in federal court.

According to a recent USA Today report, Sterling’s attorneys filed a motion on Thursday asking a federal court judge to exercise jurisdiction over the case. They explained that in the course of removing Sterling as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Los Angeles Clippers, his federal rights regarding privacy of medical records were violated. Because of this, Sterling claims that he was improperly removed and does not desire to sell the team. 

FTC sues T-Mobile over bogus billing

In the continuing battle between cell phone providers, T-Mobile has offered to pay the early termination fees that consumers could be subject to if they decide to leave another provider. While this may be an enticing proposition, T-Mobile has gotten into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its billing practices.

According to an ABC News report, T-Mobile has allegedly been billing their customers with bogus charges for years. Essentially, customers with premium text messaging services were billed $10 per month for horoscope services even though they may not have requested the services. T-Mobile collected as much as 40 percent of the charges, despite complaints from their customers that the horoscopes were basically scams. 

Paramount execs try to resolve Beijing premiere dispute, lawsuit

The latest movie in Paramount Studios’ “Transformers” franchise is expected to be the largest grossing film of the franchise. It comes on the heels of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” raking in $172 million in China, one the fastest growing movie markets. Paramount expected to release the new film in China this weekend, but a sudden legal issue threatened to halt the opening.

According to an LA Times report, owners of the Pangu Plaza, a luxury hotel in Beijing, became upset over product placement deal with the movie studio that was not being adhered to. Essentially, one contract that was drafted in Chinese was allegedly not being followed because a similar contract, executed in English, was ostensibly controlling.

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