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A recent decision out of the Federal Central District Court of California in the Spinal Tap v. Vivendi lawsuit is making headlines as the case will be allowed to continue. The "band" is alleging that Vivendi failed to pay them royalties on the film and merchandising to the tune of over $400 million. From the mid-eighties to the mid-2000s, the band received less than $200 in royalties and merchandising combined, total; which is a complete and utter shock given the immense popularity of the movie and soundtrack, and merch.

Unfortunately for the band, their claim of fraud has been dismissed, along with three of the four members of the band. Only Christopher Guest (a.k.a. Nigel Tufnel) remains as a plaintiff in the lawsuit for now, as the other three sued under their business enterprises rather than as individuals. Federal judge Dolly Gee will allow the band to amend their lawsuit so that the other band members can get back on board as individuals, and will even allow the band to try to make their fraud claim again as well.

That might be you in the pic, but do you have the right to post it? That's the gist of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by photographer Peter Cepeda against model Gigi Hadid. Cepeda is claiming he has exclusive rights to a photo Hadid posted on her Instagram and Twitter accounts last summer.

The shot required "great technical skill and careful timing" according to Cepeda's complaint, but he wasn't credited with the pic and "numerous prominent, commercial, online publications copied and posted the Copyrighted Photograph, crediting Hadid or Instagram." So whose photo is it?

The Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez on Me, has certainly garnered quite a bit of media attention since its release in June 2017. However, in addition to the criticism on social media that the film misrepresents Tupac's life, a lawsuit has been filed claiming the film violates copyright law.

The copyright infringement case was filed by Kevin Powell, a former writer for VIBE magazine, who wrote three of the most widely read biographical articles on Tupac in 1994, 1995, and 1996. Powell alleges that his articles, along with his own life story, were used as the basis for the film, and that the film even stole the creative embellishments he added into the articles to protect Tupac.

The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, who is widely considered the father of modern fantasy literature, has settled the $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. as a result of a dispute over the merchandising rights for "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies. The films were adapted from Tolkien's seminal works by the same name, which were licensed to United Artists back in 1969.

At the heart of this dispute were allegations that Warner Bros., the distributor for United Artists, had gone overboard with their merchandising. Tolkien's estate asserted that the limited merchandising rights did not extend to all the different products being made, especially the casino slot machines that were named and based upon Tolkien's works. While no dollar amount has been publicly stated related to the lawsuit, one can only imagine that it is substantial, given that Tolkien's estate was willing to settle and publicly state the settlement was amicable.

The Jenner sisters, Kendall and Kylie, have been on the receiving end of cease and desist letters from the estates of celebrities due to some t-shirts the two sold. Most recently, a cease and desist letter sent by the estate of Jim Morrison, the late great frontman for the Doors, blasted the sisters for their unauthorized use of the Doors trademark, as well as violating Morrison's post-mortem publicity rights.

The tees featured an image of Kendall superimposed over an iconic and well-known image of Jim Morrison that was used to promote the Doors. This specific shirt was just one of a line of vintage style t-shirts that feature well-known musical artists' work modified to superimpose images of the sisters.

While some people only felt robbed of the price of admission and 3 hours and 14 minutes of their life after watching the 1997 film Titanic, a Florida man recently filed a lawsuit claiming James Cameron stole his family's story for the film. Stephen Cummings is seeking $300 million as well as a 1 percent ongoing royalty as a result of the alleged theft.

According to sources, Cummings is claiming that the story of Jack Dawson and Rose Bukater mirrors the story of his two relatives, a husband and wife couple aboard the Titanic. When the real ship sank, only the wife escaped. The actual tale, which Cummings was known to tell to friends, has other similarities to the one told in the movie.

A recent decision in the civil case against Conan O'Brien is no laughing matter for the late night host. Writer Alex Kaseberg filed suit in 2015 over a series of jokes that he claims were stolen from his blog and Twitter feed. The federal judge hearing the copyright infringement claims ruled that three of the five allegedly infringing jokes can proceed to trial.

Kaseberg, who writes a comedy blog, alleged that Conan O'Brien, as well as others, stole and published his jokes. The jokes alleged to have been stolen were written about current events, and though none were stolen word for word, the similarities are obvious.

The way that Hollywood recycles movie plots, you would think that all the good stories have already been told. And pirate stories have been around for centuries. So how do you separate new, original works from the many predecessors? Or, more accurately, how do you prove a new movie based on old pirates isn't lifted from someone else's work?

One way is to show them that you have even older artwork, pre-dating their own and ask them to sign a release, absolving you from future copyright liability. But what if someone says they found artwork even older than what you've presented, and claims you altered your artwork, and claims you fraudulently obtained the release? That's what Royce Mathew says The Walt Disney Company did, in the latest chapter of their ongoing feud over the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise.

Even with the cool wind in their hair, the iconic classic rock band, the Eagles, has filed a lawsuit against a Mexican hotel due to pretending to be the very same Hotel California that the famous rock group sang about in their popular song, Witchy Woman. However, what a nice surprise it was that the hotel policies that prohibit ever checking out and wine (at least since 1969), weren't the basis of the lawsuit.

In all seriousness though, the lawsuit against the Hotel California is due to the unsurprising inevitability of a hotel trying to use an unlicensed, and sadly, fake, gimmick to attract guests. The Eagles are seeking to stop the hotel from using the name Hotel California and misleading guests into thinking there is any connection between the location and the song.

The Warhol Foundation has filed a lawsuit against a photographer claiming that a 1984 piece by Andy Warhol infringes upon her copyright. The work of art in question is the Prince Series, which includes several different paintings of the musician Prince. The photographer claims that her 1981 publicity photo of Prince was used to make unauthorized derivative works.

The photographer, after the death of Prince last year, contacted the foundation to demand payment of damages for an alleged copyright infringement. However, the foundation believes that the claim is frivolous and nothing more than a shakedown. Rather than continue to waste time and money negotiating, the foundation has sought the help of the court in settling the dispute.