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Week In Review

By Giancarla Sambo

Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, Technology/Media, and General News:


Entertainment

States Have Spent $25 Billion to Woo Hollywood. Is It Worth It?

Dozens of states have lured film and TV production with financial incentives. Years after gutting its program during a budget crisis, Michigan wants to rejoin this race.


Same Old Song: Private Equity Is Destroying Our Music Ecosystem

Private equity — the industry responsible for bankrupting companiesslashing jobs, and raising the mortality rates at the nursing homes it acquires — is making money by gobbling up the rights to old hits and pumping them back into our present. 

 

Music Publishers Clash Over Its Future

The Digital Media Association and National Music Publishers' Association have conflicting views on the organization's operations and efficiency as the Music Modernization Act hits its five-year anniversary.

 

Universal Music Settles Rock Artists' Copyright Lawsuit

A group of rock musicians who signed contracts with record labels now owned by Universal Music Group in the 1970s and 80s have settled a lawsuit against UMG over their attempts to reclaim their copyrights


Black Eyed Peas Sued for Licensing Interpolation but Not Sample of Scatman

The label that owns Scatman John's 'Scatman' sued Black Eyed Peas over an uncleared sample. Iceberg Records provided a license that allowed the interpolation of the ‘Scatman’ composition into its song 'Bailar Contigo', but says the original recording was also sampled, which was not licensed.


2 Chainz Settles $10 Million Lawsuit Over 90s Dance Song

The writers claimed that TeeFLii's song with 2 Chainz, "24 Hours" is an "obvious, knowing, willful infringement" of "Back It Up." The songwriters alleged that the defendants "either copied, or reproduced, the dominant theme from 'Back It Up,' and co-opted it as the main theme for '24 Hours,' with minor modifications and a tempo change."


A Charlotte Nightclub Sued for Playing Songs Without a License

Tequila House, an uptown Latin dance club owned by Fifth Street Management, now faces a lawsuit for playing three songs it shouldn’t have over one weekend in 2023, according to court documents.


Neil Young Sues Trump Campaign, Deriding Use of Famous Tunes

Neil Young sued President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for copyright infringement, saying he doesn’t want his music used as a theme song for a “divisive un-American campaign of ignorance and hate."


UMG & Roland Release ‘Principles for Music Creation with AI’ Statements

Both companies have published ‘Principles for Music Creation with AI’ at aiformusic.info, which are clarifying statements regarding ethical AI use in music creation. UMG and Roland say they will advocate for these principles to be adopted across the music industry and creative communities.


United Talent Agency Amends Michael Kassan Lawsuit: Most Claims Move to Arbitration but Agency Doubles Down on Financial ‘Misconduct’ Accusations

After UTA threatened with legal sanctions, Kassan blasts what he calls UTA's 'smear' effort and cites 'broken promises' during his tenure.


Martin Scorsese Settles Lawsuit with Screenwriter Who Accused Him of Taking $500,000

Martin Scorsese has settled a lawsuit from an aspiring screenwriter who accused him of pocketing $500,000 to help develop a World War II movie — and then doing nothing.


Jonathan Majors' Ex Sues Him For Defamation In Wake Of Assault Case

The suit also lays out new abuse claims, including a time when Majors allegedly hit his then-girlfriend's head against a marble floor.


Second Man Charged in Theft of Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers

Jerry Hal Saliterman threatened to release a sex tape of a woman if she told the F.B.I. about the theft of the famed red pumps, according to an indictment.


Arts

Empty Frames and Other Oddities From the Unsolved Gardner Museum Heist

After 34 years, not one of the 13 works stolen during the largest art theft in history has surfaced but the puzzling peculiarities of the case still draw interest.


Court Tells Sotheby’s to Reveal Its Auction Clients in ‘Nazi-Loot’ Case

The ruling comes amid criticism that the art market needs to be more transparent, but the directive may be moot because talks to possibly resolve claims are under way.


J.K. Rowling Threatens “Harry Potter” Fan Page With Lawsuit for Claims She Has An Estranged Daughter and Grandchild

“Your vendetta against me is causing collateral damage to innocent people,” the “Harry Potter” author wrote on social media.


Hermès Sued for ‘Unfair Business Practices’ That Block Sales of Birkin Bags

The two California plaintiffs alleged that to purchase a Birkin, Hermès required customers to buy other “ancillary products” — such as “shoes, scarves, belts, jewelry and home goods” — before getting the opportunity to buy the coveted, chronically unavailable handbag, which is sold in limited colorways, sizes, and supply only at Hermès boutiques.


‘Hermès has it in the bag’: Legal Experts Weigh Birkin Lawsuit

The luxury brand was hit with an antitrust lawsuit over its sales practices around the Birkin bag, a status symbol that can cost tens of thousands of dollars.


Museum Behind Ladies-Only Art Exhibit Sued By Man Who Was Denied Entry

An American artist who created a ladies-only lounge at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, Australia is at the center of a complaint brought by a man who was denied entry to the exhibit about gender discrimination.


Marvel is Being Sued Over “Werewolf by Night” Artwork

An artist claims that their design was ripped off to create a poster for the film.


Sports

Dodgers Fire Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter Ippei Mizuhara Amid ‘Massive Theft’ Allegations

The Los Angeles Dodgers have fired Ippei Mizuhara, the interpreter for Shohei Ohtani, after Ohtani’s representatives accused Mizuhara of engaging in a “massive theft,” using the player’s money to place bets with an allegedly illegal bookmaker under federal investigation.

 

Leagues Have More Than Just Players to Watch on Gambling

The wagering situation involving Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter shows that people adjacent to the players and coaches can also be a risk.


Top College Tennis Player Sues NCAA to Challenge Tournament Prize Restrictions

A quarterback, or any other sort of athlete, can collect a seven-figure payment for having their picture appear on a billboard, or for signing autographs at a local car dealership, under the NCAA’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules. However, a college tennis player who earns a spot at a prestigious tournament and wins money for participating in, or even winning, the event, can’t keep that money, with only the most minor of exceptions.

 

Biden Administration Sides With Promoter, Says Lawsuit Over FIFA Policy Should Go to Trial

The Biden administration sided with a promoter who filed an antitrust suit against FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation over the world governing body's policy against hosting league matches from other countries, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the case to proceed to trial.


TKO to Pay $335 Million to Settle UFC Athlete Class-Action Lawsuits

TKO Group Holdings, the parent company of UFC, disclosed that it will pay $335 million to settle two class-action lawsuits filed by former UFC fighters alleging the MMA promoter violated antitrust laws.


Terrence Shannon Jr. Was Charged With Rape and Is Also Leading Illinois into the NCAA Tournament

Shannon has not spoken publicly about the case since charges were filed on advice from legal counsel. That isn’t expected to change this week in Omaha, Neb., where the Illini are headed for a first-round matchup with Morehead State.


In N.Y. Suburbs, Republicans Seek Edge by Targeting Transgender Athletes

A debate over transgender women and girls in sports in Nassau County spurred a legal fight, a visit from Caitlyn Jenner, and a mixed response from residents.


Lawsuit From Former Players Against NFL’s Disability Plan Will Proceed

A lawsuit on behalf of 10 former players against the plan will proceed to the discovery process. The case accuses officials who run the disability program of bad faith and other violations of applicable federal law.


Luis Rubiales, Former Spanish Soccer Chief, Faces Arrest

Luis Rubiales, who resigned after kissing a player at the Women’s World Cup, is a focus of Spanish investigators looking into accusations of corruption and money laundering.


Technology/Media

Supreme Court Wary of States’ Bid to Limit Federal Contact with Social Media Companies

The justices tried to distinguish between persuading social media sites to take down posts, which is permitted, and coercing them, which violates the First Amendment.


U.S. Sues Apple, Accusing It of Maintaining an iPhone Monopoly

The lawsuit caps years of regulatory scrutiny of Apple’s wildly popular suite of devices and services, which have fueled its growth into a nearly $3 trillion public company.


Reddit’s Sale of User Data for AI Training Draws FTC Inquiry

The platform says it stands to make more than $200 million in coming years from Google and other companies that want user comments to feed AI projects. Regulators have questions.


Millions of Low-Income Families Set to Lose Internet Subsidies

The Affordable Connectivity Program, a $14.2 billion federal effort to make internet service more affordable, is expected to run out of funding this spring.


Tennessee Makes A.I. an Outlaw to Protect Its Country Music and More

Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday signed a first-in-the-nation bill to prevent the use of artificial intelligence to copy a performer’s “voice.”


Publishers File Brief in Response to Internet Archive Appeal

Internet Archive maintains that its practice of “Controlled Digital Lending” is not copyright infringement under the doctrine of fair use despite the lower court’s fast and resounding decision rejecting that defense in late March 2023.


Major Labels and Cox Communications Denied New Appeal in $1 Billion Copyright Infringement Case

A federal appeals court has turned down a request to rehear a ruling from February in which it overturned a $1 billion copyright infringement verdict against Cox Communications, in a case brought by major recording companies.


A New AI-Covers Site is Threated With Legal Action

Heard of Jammable yet? It’s an AI-powered site designed to “create AI covers with your favorite voices.” In other words, pick from a library of well-known singers to sing for you on command.


Judge Dismisses DirecTV’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Nexstar

A federal judge has dismissed the antitrust lawsuit that DirecTV filed against Nexstar last year accusing the TV station giant of price-fixing in connection with its retransmission consent negotiations with the satellite TV platform.


Trump Sues ABC and Stephanopoulos, Saying They Defamed Him

The lawsuit stems from the anchor’s recent contentious interview with Representative Nancy Mace.


Saudi Arabia Plans $40 Billion Push Into Artificial Intelligence

Saudi Arabia is creating a gigantic fund to invest in A.I. technology, potentially becoming the largest player in the hot market.


Reddit’s I.P.O. Is a Content Moderation Success Story

The site’s journey from toxic cesspool to trusted news source illustrates the business value of keeping bad actors at bay.


In Latest A.I. War Escalation, Elon Musk Releases Chatbot Code

Musk’s move to open up the code behind Grok is the latest volley in a war to win the A.I. battle, after a suit against OpenAI on the same topic.


Judge Won’t Punish Michael Cohen for Relying on Artificial Intelligence

Former President Donald J. Trump’s onetime fixer gave his lawyer fake legal citations concocted by the artificial intelligence program Google Bard for a motion the lawyer filed in federal court.


Here’s Proof You Can Train an AI Model Without Slurping Copyrighted Content

OpenAI claimed it’s “impossible” to build good AI models without using copyrighted data. An “ethically created” large language model and a giant AI dataset of public domain text suggest otherwise.


Still Not Convinced About TikTok’s AI Music Ambitions? This Web of Patents and Trademarks May Change Your Mind

An additional batch of A.I. music-related patent and trademark filings from ByteDance that will raise more than a few eyebrows in the music industry – covering topics including “data mining” and “music generation”.


The A.I. Boom Makes Millions for an Unlikely Industry Player: Anguilla

The small Caribbean territory brought in $32 million last year, more than 10 percent of its G.D.P., from companies registering web addresses that end in .ai.


General News


Biden signs $1.2 Trillion Spending Package for Government Funding Until October

Almost halfway into the fiscal year, the president’s signature ends a months-long saga of Congress struggling to secure a permanent budget resolution and instead passing stopgap measures, nearly averting government shutdowns.


Justices Seem Likely to Side With the National Rifle Association in First Amendment Dispute

The National Rifle Association argued that a New York official violated the First Amendment by encouraging entities to break ties with the group after the Parkland mass shooting.


Supreme Court Lets Public Office Ban Stand for ‘Cowboys for Trump’ Founder

After a conviction arising from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Couy Griffin was removed from his county commissioner post in New Mexico and banned from holding public office again.

 

Supreme Court Won’t Block, for Now, Aggressive Texas Immigration Law

The law, which empowers local officials to arrest and deport migrants who enter the country without authorization, was challenged by the Biden administration as an affront to federal power.

 

Texas’ Sweeping Immigration Law: What to Know and Where It Stands

A law that would allow state and local law enforcement officers to apprehend and expel unauthorized migrants is enmeshed in a legal and political firestorm.


Inspired by Texas, Republicans in Other States Eye Immigration Bills

Iowa lawmakers passed a similar bill on Tuesday, and several other states are hoping to follow suit.


Woman’s Arrest After Political Dispute Prompts a Lively Supreme Court Debate

A Texas city councilwoman, arrested on charges of mishandling documents after criticizing the city manager, said her First Amendment rights had been violated.


Trump Asks Supreme Court for Absolute Immunity on Election Charges

The Court will hear arguments on April 25th over whether former presidents can be prosecuted for things they did while in office.


Judge in Trump Documents Case Draws Attention for Slow Pace

Aileen Cannon has yet to set a trial date in the complex case accusing Trump of mishandling classified materials and has stirred confusion with some decisions.


Trump Spurned by 30 Companies as He Seeks Bond in $454 Million Judgment

Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing that he faces “insurmountable difficulties” as he tries to raise cash for the civil fraud penalty he faces in New York.


How Trump’s Allies Are Winning the War Over Disinformation

Their claims of censorship have successfully stymied the effort to filter election lies online.


Infamous Trump Tape May Be Discussed, Not Played, at Trial, Judge Rules

Jurors in Trump’s hush-money case will hear testimony about the “Access Hollywood” recording in which he boasts about groping women. They will not hear his voice.


Trump Told Pence Certifying Election Would Be ‘Career Killer,’ Valet Testified

Former President Trump warned his vice president against failing to overturn the 2020 election results, according to an account by the White House valet by his side on Jan. 6th.


A New Surge in Power Use Is Threatening U.S. Climate Goals

A boom in data centers and factories is straining electric grids and propping up fossil fuels.


Surgeons Transplant Pig Kidney Into a Patient, a Medical Milestone

The man continues to improve, doctors said. Organs from genetically engineered pigs one day may make dialysis obsolete.


The A.C.L.U. Said a Worker Used Racist Tropes and Fired Her. But Did She?

The civil liberties group is defending itself in an unusual case that weighs what kind of language may be evidence of bias against Black people.


Trump’s Deal With R.N.C. Prioritizes PAC Paying His Lawyers

A share of donations taken in by the Republican National Committee will go to the group footing his legal bills before any of the cash goes to the party itself.


As Congestion Pricing Nears Reality, It Faces Growing Opposition

A legal and political battle has erupted over the new $15 fee to drive into the busiest parts of Manhattan.

 

Mayor Adams Is Accused of Sexually Assaulting a Colleague in 1993

In a lawsuit, a former police colleague of Eric Adams said that he demanded oral sex in exchange for career help in 1993 and assaulted her when she refused. Adams denied the accusation.


Peter Navarro Begins 4-Month Prison Sentence for Contempt of Congress

The former White House trade adviser is the first senior Trump aide to serve time over efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

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