Dispute at 'Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812' Leads to a Lawsuit, Then Settlement
Ars Nova, the nonprofit theater group behind the Broadway show "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812", initiated a lawsuit and arbitration proceeding against Howard Kagan, the producer of the show, for failing to give proper credit to Ars Nova in thePlaybill. Mr. Kagan was previously a member of the Board of Ars Nova.
The show stars Josh Groban, and is adapted from a section of Tolstoy's War and Peace. It was seemingly unaffected by the lawsuit and grossed $1,131,919 during its first week in previews.
Although the suit and arbitration proceeding were initiated over a week ago, by Monday the parties quickly resolved the dispute, corrected the Playbill, and released the following joint statement: "Ars Nova and the producers of 'The Great Comet' deeply regret that a contractual dispute became public, and are pleased to share that the matter has now been resolved, privately, and will continue to work to achieve success for 'The Great Comet' on Broadway."
Rolling Stone Loses Defamation Case Over Rape Story
A federal court jury in Charlottesville, VA, found Rolling Stonejournalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely guilty of defaming a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 article about sexual assault on the University of Virginia campus. The jury also found Rolling Stone's parent company, Wenner Media, guilty of defaming the former associate dean. The story appeared on the Internet from November 2014 through April 2015, when it was eventually detracted after much of its content was questioned. The argument for damages is scheduled to commence on Monday, November 7th.
Universal Music's Deal for Prince's Song Rights May Bring a Wider Audience
Prince's estate reached a deal with Universal Music in connection with management of the songwriting rights to Prince's music catalog. The deal allows for Prince's estate to retain ownership of the songs, and excludes Prince's recorded music rights, which will be for sale separately. Prince had withdrawn from the performing rights societies, and the estate will need to strike a new deal with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.
Prince regained full control of his songwriting rights in 2014 and withheld his music from most online sources. This deal will likely bring Prince's music back to many music streaming services.
Gawker and Hulk Hogan Reach $31 Million Settlement
Gawker settled with Hulk Hogan for $31 million, and ended a dispute funded by billionaire Peter Thiel that has been ongoing for four years and led to Gawker's demise. Mr. Thiel, a founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, provided financial support for a number of cases against Gawker after being outed as a gay man by a Gawker publication 10 years ago. Several other plaintiffs with cases pending against Gawker also settled. As part of the settlements, the content posted by Gawker will be removed from the Internet.
Maurice Sendak's Estate Is Awarded Most of a Book Collection
A jury has decided a dispute between the estate of author and illustrator Maurice Sendak and the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, and has awarded the estate the majority of the disputed works. Much of the collection had been with the Rosenbach Museum prior the author's death in 2012. Mr. Sendak's will specified that the drawings and most of the works on loan would remain the property of the Maurice Sendak Foundation. Representatives for the estate stated that it was Mr. Sendak's intention to have a museum built in Connecticut to display the works. Much of the dispute surrounded the language of the will, which described items as "rare edition". Certain items not considered rare editions were to be left to the Rosenbach Museum.
Opera Lover Apologizes for Scattering Ashes and Silencing the Metropolitan Opera
A Dallas man and opera lover who scattered a friend's ashes in the orchestra pit at the Metropolitan Opera (the Met) on Saturday, apologized to the Met this week. The police decided not to press charges.
Roger Kaiser, a devoted opera lover, had made a promise to a dying friend, Terry Turner, to scatter Turner's ashes at various opera houses around the world. Musicians witnessed Mr. Kaiser scattering the ashes and police became concerned that anthrax may have been involved. The scare led to a performance being cut short and another performance being cancelled. Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Met, accepted Mr. Kaiser's apology.
YouTube Agrees to Pay Royalties, Ending German Music Dispute
On Tuesday, the dispute between YouTube and Germany's main performing rights organization, GEMA officially settled. Both parties reached a deal that will allow music videos to be displayed on YouTube in Germany. The dispute began in 2009 and, in 2012, a Hamburg court ordered Google, YouTube's owner, to install filters to detect and stop viewers from watching infringing content. The law in Germany does not protect websites from infringement caused by its users, and GEMA had repeatedly attempted to collect damages from Google.