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February 2022


The Pitch newsletter is a monthly update of legal issues and news affecting or related to the music, film and television, fine arts, media, professional athletics, eSports, and gaming industries. The Pitch features a diverse cross-section of published articles, compelling news and stories, and original content curated and/or created by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP’s Entertainment & Sports Industry team.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton 
AGG News

Lights, Camera, Legal Action: Avoiding Employment Pitfalls in the Film and Studio Industry   
February 15, 2022 (Arnall Golden Gregory LLP)
In the wake of the deadly Rust tragedy last year, independent studios and production companies began revisiting their practices, policies, and attitudes regarding safety on set. While robust safety practices are paramount, studios and production companies that operate in “Y’allywood” (and elsewhere) should also reexamine their employment policies to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Although high-profile accidents tend to garner the news cycle headlines, the failure to comply with regulatory and legal mandates occurs with far more frequency and is more likely to impact a production. More >

Industry News 
Medic Who Responded to Shooting on 'Rust' Movie Set Files Suit Alleging 'Severe Emotional Distress'       
February 10, 2022 (LAW.COM)     
The medic who attended to members of the cast and crew accidentally shot during the filming of the Alec Baldwin film “Rust” filed a negligence suit against multiple crew members, the ranch itself, the film’s production company and filming location on Feb. 4. In the complaint, Schaefer said she has suffered “severe emotional distress” affecting all aspects of her life and leaving her unable to return to her profession. The complaint included 10 counts against the film product company and several production members, including the set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed; its property master, Sarah Zachry; the assistant director, David Halls; and the armorer mentor, Seth Kenney. More >
What's Next for TikTok's Music Industry Revolution?       
Fenruary 10, 2022 (Yahoo!)   
With a billion users, TikTok has rapidly become one of the most important players in the music industry, and now has its sights set on revolutionising the way artists are discovered and get paid. More >
Atlanta-based MusicTech Startup Looks To Answer The Question: Whose Rights Are They Anyway?      
February 8, 2022 (Hypepotamus)     
Through the recently launched venture, the company founders say the goal is to “centralize ownership information and make it easily available for people who need to license music. Because at the end of the day, in order to license music properly, you have to know who owns it.” More >
Another Napster? Brown Rudnick’s Peter Willsey Expects NFTs to Fuel New IP Disputes      
February 8, 2022 (LAW.COM)      
’Willsey predcits: "On the non-litigation side, it is counseling clients who own brands or publicity rights or own copyrights and works of authorship as to how to enter into deals what those contracts should say. And in counseling NFT platforms: Advising them what they should be telling people who buy NFTs on their platforms as to end what restrictions they should impose on what a purchaser can do with an NFT. Then on the litigation side, it’s taking care of unauthorized uses of our clients intellectual property through litigation if necessary." More >
Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Widow Sues Wu-Tang Clan Over Unpaid Royalties       
February 8, 2022 (Variety)  
The widow of Ol’ Dirty Bastard sued Wu-Tang Clan Productions on Tuesday, alleging that the late rapper’s estate is owed at least $1 million in unpaid royalties. More >
Pandora Sued by Major Comedians Over Licensing Fees for Writing Jokes       
February 7, 2022 (The Hollywood Reporter)     
The audio giant was sued by the estates of Robin Williams and George Carlin, along with Andrew Dice Clay, Bill Engvall and Ron White, for allegedly shortchanging comedians by neglecting to obtain the proper copyrights to stream their works. Because spoken word recordings are treated differently than music recordings, streaming services only pay for the recording and not the composition itself, in this case comedy writing. More >
Gaming Giants Like Activision Blizzard, Riot Bet on Esports’ TV Prospects       
February 4, 2022 (Variety)   
Esports is the biggest opportunity in TV that nobody’s talking about — yet. That’s the view from video game industry veterans who see esports — or the exploding world of live video gaming competitions, complete with crowds of virtual fans cheering them on — as poised to explode in the coming years. More >
The Gamification of The Music Industry Has Just Begun       
February 3, 2022 (Music Business Worldwide)   
With the Activision deal, Microsoft has become a music publisher of soundtracks for the first time – not least Hans Zimmer’s Call Of Duty scores. If gaming is “the building blocks to the metaverse”, music is the cement. The commitment of Microsoft’s chairman and CEO Satya Nadella to ‘invest deeply in world-class content, community and cloud’ could result in the acquisition of a music-driven company. Concord could be it. More >
Lawsuit Against Live Nation Details the Killing of Drakeo the Ruler      
February 2, 2022 (The New York Times)      
The Los Angeles rapper’s family is suing the promoters of the Once Upon a Time in LA festival, citing negligence in the face of a large gang presence. The attack “was the result of a complete and abject failure of all defendants to implement proper safety measures in order to ensure the safety and well being of the artists whom they invited and hired to their music festival,” the suit said. At a news conference last week, lawyers for the rapper’s family called his death a “targeted assassination.” More >
California Judge Nixes Netflix's Bid to Toss Chess Grandmaster's Defamation Suit Over ‘The Queen’s Gambit’     
February 1, 2022 (The Recorder)     
Georgian chess player Nona Gaprindashvili, 80, filed a complaint in September 2021 alleging that Netflix made false statements about her in the popular Netflix show “The Queen’s Gambit.” U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips denied Netflix’s motions to dismiss and to strike this suit, saying that the fact the series is a fictional work does not protect Netflix from liability for defamation if all the elements of defamation are otherwise present. More >
Metaverse Real Estate Sparks Virtual 'Land Boom'      
February 1, 2022 (The Street)      
Metaverse real estate sales reached $501 million in 2021 and could reach nearly $1 billion this year. More >
Life in The Fast Lane: How Urban Car Ads Depicting 'Street Art' Can Backfire    
January 31, 2022 (JD Supra)    
Filming other people's art, even when in public view, can result in copyright claims, litigation and attorneys' fees, not to mention potential damages. Over the last decade, at least four automobile manufacturers have found themselves embroiled in copyright litigation as a result of having incorporated public art into their advertisements. (A word of caution to other retailers: American Eagle Outfitters, Coach, H&M, Marriott International, McDonald's, Moschino, North Face and Roberto Cavali, among others, also have found themselves navigating lawsuits over the alleged appropriation of street art.) More >
Florian Picasso’s NFT Auction Has Hit a Snag  
January 31, 2022 (Observer)
The descendant of Pablo Picasso had intended to sell an NFT linked to a Picasso ceramic, but the Picasso estate has intervened. More >
In Removing Neil Young’s Music, Spotify Didn’t Need to Listen to the Artist, but Did Have to Heed His Label    
January 27, 2022 (Variety)   
Entertainment law experts explain why the takedown request had to come from Warner Records. Other artists inclined to follow his lead in protesting the platform Spotify has given Joe Rogan might not have as much clout with their labels. More >

Bob Dylan Sells Recorded-Music Catalog to Sony Music  
January 24, 2022 (Variety)
Sony Music Entertainment today announced it has fully acquired Bob Dylan’s entire back catalog of recorded music, as well as the rights to multiple future new releases, in a major expansion of SME’s six-decade relationship with the artist. Sources tell Variety that the deal was worth between $150 million and $200 million, although the number was not confirmed; reps for Sony and Dylan declined comment. This follows Dylan's publishing catalog sale to UMPG in late 2020. More >

ABBA Settles Lawsuit Against Tribute Band Over Abba Mania Name 
January 21, 2022 (Reuters)
ABBA had sued on Dec. 3 in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accusing Abba Mania's managers of "parasitic and bad-faith conduct" for trading off its fame and goodwill and making fans think ABBA endorsed Abba Mania. It also accused the defendants of rejecting its demand to change its name and the website, or else to use "ABBA Tribute" in a way that wouldn't confuse people. More >
Jimi Hendrix Estate Sues Ex-Bandmate’s Heirs Over Royalties, Copyright Threat  
January 21, 2022 (American Songwriter)  
The Jimi Hendrix estate has filed a lawsuit against the heirs of former Jimi Hendrix Experience bandmates, drummer John Graham “Mitch” Mitchell, and bassist David Noel Redding, after they threatened to sue for millions of dollars in unpaid royalties dating back several decades. More >
Real Estate in the Metaverse Is Booming. Is It Really Such a Crazy Idea?   
January 9, 2022 (Cryptonews) 
The idea of spending thousands or even millions of dollars to buy fictitious “land” in a virtual world sounds, to be frank, absurd. But in recent months, we’ve seen significant investments in virtual land within the metaverse. PwC is among the latest to dive in, having purchased real estate in The Sandbox, a virtual gaming world, for an undisclosed amount. More >




Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.



George Bernard Shaw

About Us 
AGG's Entertainment & Sports Team

Our Entertainment & Sports team represents clients across the entertainment industry spectrum including film, television, radio, theater, music, visual arts, publishing, and athletics. As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, we help our clients navigate their inevitable legal and business challenges, offering the peace of mind and confidence necessary for our clients to focus their energies on creative pursuits.

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