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Week In Review

By Jessie Schuster

Edited by Elissa D. Hecker


Entertainment

Megan Thee Stallion Song-Theft Lawsuit Dismissed

A NY judge found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Megan Thee Stallion infringed on the copyright of James A Greene, producer of the song ”It’s About To Be On” in her song “Savage,” despite the rapper’s producer having access to the 20-year-old song prior to Megan Thee Stallion’s song release.


Feid Sued After Allegedly Using Producer’s Guitar Loops Without Credit and Compensation

Colombian artist Feid is being sued by Producer Sébastien Graux for using his guitar loops on his most recent album without crediting the producer on the album, despite allegedly promising Graux royalties.


Film Crew Veteran, Injured in an Accident, Faults Amazon for His Pain

On the set of Amazon’s “Candy Cane Lane,” Jon Farhat, the film’s visual effects supervisor was hit by a tent that was set up despite 30mph winds. The 66-year-old blames

Amazon in a lawsuit for his injuries following the accident, but Amazon argues that it is not to blame, as the studio was not negligent on set.


Spotify Bundling Fallout Continues; Federal Lawmakers Present ‘Serious Questions’ to the Copyright Office About “A Compulsory Licensing System That Robs” Songwriters

Representatives Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, with Senator Marsha Blackburn released a letter to the Copyright Office posing bipartisan questions over Spotify’s bundling that has taken a toll on the music industry. The now-public letter acknowledged Spotify’s “abuses of the statutory rate process” as well as questions of what protections must be put in place to support American songwriters and their royalties.


Spotify’s First Post-Bundled Royalty Statements Have Arrive – 97% of All Subscription Accounts Are Now Lower-Paying Bundles

The percentage of mechanical royalties paid in the U.S. by Spotify accounts are about to drop significantly as the music listening platform has shifted to bundling. Despite the Music Licensing Collective’s lawsuit against Spotify and complaints filed by the NMPA, the platform is not holding back, and music publishers are noticing the financial difference.


Taylor Swift’s Economic Clout Has Now Come for Europe

Taylor Swift’s iconic Eras Tour has made its way to Europe, and with it comes “Swiftonomics,” the phenomenon where when Swift performs in a city and its local businesses begin to boom. Researchers at Barclays’ Consumer Spend predict that the UK’s economy will be boosted by $1.26B from the aftershocks of Taylor Swift’s shows.


Arts

Top Old Masters Dealers Accused of Workplace Hostility in $3M Lawsuit

Marco Voena and Edmondo di Robilant, owners of an Italian gallery Robilant + Voena are being accused of sexual harassment, bigotry, and participating in deliveries of unsolicited drugs.


Sports

Ahead of Summer Olympic Games, Senate Commerce Presses World Anti-Doping Agency on Chinese Swimmers’ Doping Scandal

Senators Maria Cantwell (chair) and Ted Cruz (member) of the Senate Commerce Committee responsible for overseeing Sports sent a letter to the World Anti-Doping Agency to guarantee a fair competition for Team USA at this year’s Summer Olympic Games.


Sports Betting Money Won’t Bail Out Cash-Hungry College Athletic Departments

Despite the NCAA searching for ways to bulk up their income, college athletic departments will not be partnering with the gambling industry, as new regulations make deals between the NCAA and betting platforms nearly impossible.


Media & Technology

Surgeon General Calls for Warning Labels on Social Media Platforms

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has shared that he believes a warning should be placed on social media platforms letting parents and teenagers know that the platforms can harm the mental health of teens. Some mental health professionals and others are pushing back, saying that such a warning would be too broad.


Robert Winnett Won’t Become the Washington Post’s Editor After All

Will Lewis, Publisher of the Washington Post, stated that Robert Winnett removed himself from the role of editor for the major newspaper due to his controversial history.  Winnett will remain with The Daily Telegraph in London.


U.S. Sues Photoshop Maker Adobe for Hiding Fees, Making it Difficult to Cancel

The FTC is coming after Adobe in federal court, as the government claims that the Photoshop application has been hiding its fees and making it difficult for users to cancel their subscription plans.


TikTok v. USA Oral Arguments Set for September 16th – A Little Over Four Months Before the Forced-Sale Deadline

September 16th has been set for TikTok v. USA as both the video based social media platform and the government have jointly moved to expedite the case’s schedule.


Reporters Without Borders Signal ‘Shrinking’ Press Freedom in Ukraine

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, five or more journalists have been reported to be under surveillance or threatened due to corrupt publications in Ukraine. Reporters Without Borders has laid out a roadmap of recommendations to combat the shrinking freedom of press in Ukraine by encouraging media pluralism and urging the country to join the International Partnership for Information and democracy.


Former Thai PM Thaksin Formally Charged in Royal Insult Case

Two-time prime minister and leader of the Pheu Thai party has been formally charged for defamation under Thailand’s lèse-majesté law for insulting the country’s royal family.


General News

Supreme Court Upholds Federal Law Banning Domestic Abusers From Owning Guns

In an 8-1 decision, SCOTUS upheld a two-year-old law disarming people under domestic violence restraining orders. The Court found that the law is a constitutional limitation on Second Amendment rights.


Supreme Court Upholds Trump-Era Tax on Foreign Earnings, Skirting Disruptive Ruling

In a 7-2 ruling, SCOTUS ruled that the mandatory repatriation tax is constitutional under the 16th Amendment. The question before the Court was “whether Congress may attribute an entity’s realized and undistributed income to the entity’s shareholders or partners, and then tax the shareholders or partners on their portions of that income”.


Supreme Court Rules for Ex-Council Member in Texas Arrested After Criticizing City Official

In an 8-1 ruling, SCOTUS ruled for Sylvia Gonzalez to have a shot at fighting her civil rights claim brought after the town councilwoman argued that her First Amendment rights were violated when she was arrested in 2019 as retaliation for complaining about Ryan Rapelye, the city manager.


The Major 2024 Decisions and Cases Still Before the Supreme Court

SCOTUS has self-imposed an end of June deadline to finish its term. With less than half a month to go, it still has yet to publish decisions on 14 cases that have been argued this term, including Trump’s immunity claims, Jan. 6 obstruction charges, Biden social media contacts, Florida and Texas social media laws, and federal agency power.


Biden Announces New Policy Shielding Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens From Deportation

Approximately half a million immigrants living in the U.S. are to be shielded from deportation, as President Biden announced his new policy that protects spouses of citizens. To qualify as a spouse under the executive action, the noncitizen would need to have resided in the country for at least 10 years, be married to a U.S. citizen, and the children of the citizen and noncitizen would have to apply for permanent resident in the U.S.


DACA Recipients Could Gain H-1B Visas Under New Immigration Policy

As part of his new immigration policy announcement, President Biden plans to streamline those ineligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program by allowing them to gain H-1B visas and other temporary employment visas to provide opportunities for “dreamers.”


Alvin Bragg Sends Urgent Warning on Threats, Asks Judge to Extend and Keep in Place Trump Gag Order

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has requested that former President Trump’s gag order be extended in his hush money trial after bomb threats have been made to

people involved in the case, in addition to hundreds of threatening emails that have been sent to the DA’s office.


New Louisiana Law Requiring Classrooms to Display Ten Commandments Churns Old Political Conflicts

Louisiana will require its public schools to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom in the state in a “large, easily readable font.” The new law will be challenged by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, in addition to the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, among other civil liberties groups.


Opponents of Congestion Pricing Dealt Blow in Lawsuit, but Plan Remains Halted by Gov. Hochul

Before the plan to charge drivers in Manhattan $15 per day under 60th Street to deal with NYC’s congestion issue could take effect in late June, the plan remains on pause as per Gov. Hochul.


Jenna Ellis and Boris Epshteyn Plead Not Guilty in Arizona ‘Fake Electors’ Case

Jenna Ellis and Boris Epshteyn, former associates to Donald Trump, in addition to 15 other defendants plead not guilty to the charges brought against them in Arizona on forgery, fraud, and conspiracy in the state’s “fake electors” case.


Colorado Club Q Shooter Pleads Guilty to 50 Federal Hate Crimes

Anderson Lee Aldrich, the shooter who killed 5 people and injured another 19 at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado has pleaded guilty to 50 hate crimes in a plea deal and will face 190 years on gun charges instead of facing the death penalty.

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