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Week In Review

By Jessie Schuster

Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Entertainment

Streaming Services Must Pay Late Fees on Mechanical Licenses, U.S. Copyright Office Rules

The U.S. Copyright Office has made a game-changing decision that will require digital music providers to pay late fees to songwriters and publishers when they do not pay royalties to the Mechanical Licensing Collective on time.


Record Number of Hollywood Workers Facing Evictions, Seeking Rent Assistance Amid Strikes

As month five of the SAG-AFTRA strike commences and COVID tenant protections come to an end, more Hollywood workers than ever are finding themselves facing evictions from their homes.


Telluride Film Festival Goes On, Despite Anxiety Over Strikes

Despite the ongoing strike, the Telluride Film Festival kept with its plan to open last weekend, but this year with significantly fewer stars, as actors are not looking to promote films and break union rules.


Sam Smith, Normani Win ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ Copyright Lawsuit

A copyright lawsuit brought against Sam Smith and Normani was dismissed, as a judge determined the song ‘Dancing with a Stranger’ was not substantially similar to a different song with the same name.


Queen’s Brian May on AI Threat: ‘2023 Will Be the Last Year That Humans Dominate Music’

With growing concerns in the music industry over what the growth of AI will mean for artists, lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May, worries that soon will come a time when we no longer can differentiate between what is created by a human and what is created by a machine.


Charter Hit with Class-Action Lawsuit Over Disney Carriage Showdown

Spectrum subscribers are joining forces to sue Charter Communications for keeping Disney channels off their cable service. Without Disney, which includes ESPN networks, college football fans were shown a message from Spectrum instead of their games when they tuned to the channel. The class action complaint states, “Spectrum yanked the plug on college football and then blamed Mickey Mouse.”


Guest Column: Why Lawsuits Over ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Nevermind’ Were Dismissed by Judges

Two lawsuits brought over the cover of Nirvana’s album cover for Nevermind and a scene from the film Romeo and Juliet were dismissed before trial because of procedural issues. However, as issues brought regarding child protections continue to appear in courts, judges will have to determine the extent to which expressive works balances with child sexual abuse.


‘Barbie’ Movie: Mattel’s Gross Billings to Rise by $125M Thanks to Film, CEO Says

‘Barbie’ being the movie of the summer will be directly reflected by the gross billings of toy company turned IP company Mattel, as Chairman Kreiz says the billings will increase by around $125M this year alone.


‘That ‘70s Show’ Actor Danny Masterson Gets 30 Years to Life in Prison for Rapes of 2 Women

Actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison by LA Superior Court Judge Olmedo following a mistrial nearly a year ago.


Mary J. Blige Sues Concert Booker for Skimping on $1.1 Million Payment

Miami Funk Fest booker is being sued by R&B artist Mary J. Blige for breach of contract, as the singer claims she still has not been paid for her 2022 performance.


Bad Robot, Greg Berlanti, Chuck Lorre Among Overall Deals Suspended at Warners

Warner Brothers has suspended deals with top TV producers as the WGA and SAG strike enters its fifth month.


BMI Boss Responds to Speculation Over Reported Private Equity Sale

Songwriters are curious over the potential sale of the U.S. collecting society to a private equity outlet, and the boss at BMI responded by stating that the rumors involved “mischaracterization and misunderstanding.” However, he avoided answering many questions.


Elliot Grainge’s 10K Projects Launches Joint Venture with Warner Music

10K Projects, the music label founded by Elliot Grainge has launched a joint venture with Warner Music that will allow Grainge’s label to become a standalone label still run by Grainge under the Warner Music Group Umbrella.


Sony and Universal – Owned Production Music Firm APM Music Partners With AI Recommendations Startup, Incantio

The music discovery process is about to become even more user-friendly as Incantio, a new music technology startup, plans to provide recommendation tools using AI to “curate and recommend” music.


A French Welcome for Woody Allen, Louis C.K. and Johnny Depp

Despite being accused of sexual abuse and frowned upon in America, Woody Allen was able to make a deal in Paris to film his 50th movie.


Arts

What the Latest U.S. Court Ruling Means for AI-Generated Art’s Copyright Status

It has been ruled in U.S. District Court that artwork created in the “absence of a guiding human hand” will not be subject to the same copyright protections as human-created work. Some artists, however, are questioning if an almost 50-year-old law is reasonable today to govern copyright issues that continue to appear as the use of AI grows.


For John Green, the Battle Over Access to Books Is Now Personal

Following a series of book banning in Florida, the state of Indiana is now debating what books are appropriate for children. John Green, author and Indiana native, has spoken out about his “strong feelings that other parents shouldn’t have any say in what my kids get to read.”


‘A Plague on the Industry’: Book Publishing’s Broken Blurb System

Book blurbs, the reason many readers choose one book over another, are really just a system of nepotism and favors instead of true thoughts on a book according to authors and publishers.


A Painting Looted at Least Once From Hitler Is on the Block

A piece of artwork that is believed by experts to have been stolen by Nazis is now up for sale, but art enthusiasts are curious about the piece’s owner prior to its having been stolen.


Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Seizes $5M Bronze Bust in Turkish Repatriation Sting

A sculpture of the daughter of a Roman emperor was seized by the Manhattan DA’s Office, becoming the second item to be seized as an out-of-state item by the Antiquities Trafficking Unit.


A Dozen Looted Artifacts are Returned to Lebanon

Statutes that was housed at the MET in New York was seized and returned to Lebanon as an investigation led by the Manhattan DA’s office connected the artwork to international smuggling rings.


Sports

Florida Legislator Says Bears DT Gervon Dexter’s NIL Deal Violated Law

While playing college football at UF, current Chicago Bears rookie Gervon Dextor signed an NIL contract with Big League Advance Fund that had the player paying the company 15% of his pre-tax NFL earnings for 25 years. This equates to $1M owed to BLA in exchange for the one-time payment the player received of $436,485. Lawmakers are now concerned that this deal violated NIL laws and was predatory in its nature.


Reggie Bush to File Defamation Lawsuit Against NCAA

Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush is filing a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA for statements made in 2021 claiming that the USC player accepted money, housing, and travel expenses prior to new existing NIL laws. Bush says that these claims are false, offensive, and maliciously attacked his character.


UNC Says the NCAA Has Denied Appeal Efforts for Walker’s Immediate Eligibility

NCAA rules allow for transfer players to transfer freely one time. This rule has caused some confusion recently, as UNC player Devontez Walker is being considered by the NCAA a two-time transferer, since he has enrolled at North Carolina Central, but ended up at Kent State before transferring to UNC. During his time at North Carolina Central, however, Walker did not play, as the team’s season was cancelled due to COVID. UNC head coach and athletic director are shaming the NCAA for denying his immediate eligibility.


Amid U.S. Open Fanfare, U.S.T.A. Fights Questions of Its Handling of Sexual Abuse

With tennis taking over the world this week, player Kylie McKenzie has accused the U.S.T.A. coach of sexually abusing her. In response, the association questioned the player’s sexual history, leading to growing concern over the handling of such a sensitive situation.


Coach of Spain’s Women’s Soccer Team is Fired

Following inappropriate behavior of Spain’s Women’s Soccer coach when he kissed a player after a big win, Jorge Vilda has officially been fired.


Spain Women’s Soccer Team Appoints First Female Coach After Predecessor Fired Amid Unwanted World Cup Kiss Fallout

Celebrations are in order for the players and staff of the Spanish Women’s Soccer Team, as Montse Tome will be the first woman to coach the team following the firing of Jorge Vilda.


Spain’s Top Soccer Official Resigns Over Unwanted World Cup Kiss

Following the firing of the head coach of the Women’s Soccer team in Spain, a top official for the sport in Spain has resigned from his position after being pressured to step down.


Spain’s Women’s Soccer Players Strike Over Pay as Rubiales’ World Cup Kiss Fallout Continues

Women Soccer Players in Spain are missing at least the first two games of their season as the athletes strike over a failed agreement with the league over wages following the teams kissing scandal.


Media & Technology

Appeals Court Rules That White House Overstepped First Amendment on Social Media

A federal appeals court partially upheld a lower court preliminary injunction by ruling that the Biden administration most likely overreached under the First Amendment by urging social media platforms to remove any false content surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.


MacArthur Foundation Offers $500 Million Lifeline for Local News

The MacArthur Foundation announced its new “Press Forward” initiative, with a $500M donation to local news. The Foundation’s president feels that “it is hard to have a democracy when you don’t have good local news.”


In Its First Monopoly Trial of Modern Internet Era, U.S. Sets Sights on Google

After more than three years spent preparing its case, the Justice Department has brought arguments against Google, claiming that the company illegally abused its power over online searches by becoming an Internet Monopoly and taking down competitors via its search engine. In response, Google has spent millions on legal fees, as a U.S. District Court will consider whether tech giants grew to their dominant size by breaking the law.


Two Senators Propose Bipartisan Framework for A.I. Laws

As AI technology rapidly becomes more readably available, Senators Blumenthal and Hawley from CT and MO, respectively, plan to announce a regulation plan that will require licensing and auditing.


General News

Capitol Physician Says “No Evidence” McConnell Has Seizure Disorder, Stroke, Parkinson’s

Following two separate episodes where Senator Minority Leader McConnel froze, the capitol physician stated in a publicly released letter that there is no evidence of a seizure disorder, stroke, or Parkinson’s.


Nancy Pelosi to Run for Re-election for her House Seat Next Year

Former Speaker Pelosi will run in November for re-election of the position.


Finding the Balance Between Urbanization, Climate Change, and Wildlife Conservation

Arizona State University has provided research showing that urbanization and human-created climate change are significantly reducing wildlife communities at the local scale.


Biden to Block Oil Drilling in ‘Irreplaceable’ Alaskan Wildlands

Over 10M acres of Alaska’s wildlands will remain protected as President Biden has blocked oil drilling in the state’s North Slope and canceled President Trump-created leases under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Occupational Segregation Drives Persistent Inequality, Study Says

New research is showing that in the last 20 years, black workers who have had a 4-year college education or higher has more than doubled, creating a race neutral labor market; yet, income gains have not risen, as occupational segregation remains a key issue.


Former Trump Adviser Peter Navarro is Convicted of Contempt of Congress in Jan. 6 Investigation

Peter Navarro has been convicted in Washington on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress by not complying with the Congressional subpoena regarding the plan to overturn the 2020 election and by refusing testify for the January 6th Committee. The former advisor’s sentencing is scheduled for January 12th, where he faces anywhere between 30 days to a year in prison for each count.


Political Warnings and Accusations of Misconduct: 6 Main Themes Emerge in First Week of Ken Paxton’s Impeachment Trial

Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton’s defense team focused on themes of loyalty, evidence, not exceeding authority, and political consequences during Paxton’s impeachment trial, while the prosecution focused on egregious misconduct, and political consequences from a flipped perspective.


Georgia Prosecutor Sharply Rebukes House Republican Investigating Her

District Attorney Fani T. Willis, the prosecutor responsible for leading the criminal case against former President Trump and his inner circle in Georgia, is speaking out about accusations that Representative Jordan from Ohio is obstructing her prosecution of the case by investigating her.


NYPD Must Rewrite Rules for Policing Protests After Sweeping Deal

An oversight board is being created by the NYPD as part of a legal settlement that will oversee how demonstrations are handled by the police so that demonstrators and protesters will no longer be “boxed in” by the police and then arrested.


J.F.K. Assassination Witness Breaks His Silence and Raises New Questions

Paul Landis, a former Secret Service agent who witnessed J.F.K.’s assassination, is telling his full story of what happened when the President was killed for the first time. He finally decided to speak out, as he realized the information he was reading about the assassination was actually false.


Elon Musk Acknowledges Withholding Satellite Service to Thwart Ukraine Attack

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite service run by Elon Musk picked up information that, in addition to a conversation with a Russian official, concerned Musk would lead to a nuclear war had he not deactivated the service near the Crimea coast to avoid an attack on Ukraine.


Powerful Earthquake in Morocco Kills More than 2,000 People and Damages Historic Buildings in Marrakech

More than 2,000 people have been declared dead following the earthquake that struck Morocco. That number is predicted to rise as rescuers continue to search remote areas and ancient cities not prepared to withstand the force of such a strong earthquake. This was the strongest quake in a century.

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