U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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The members of the epic band Lynyrd Skynyrd may have taken a blood oath to never use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd again, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that their blood oath isn't strong enough to stop the Lynyrd Skynyrd movie, Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, from being distributed and released.

The district court ruled that the filmmaker could not release the film because it had partnered with one of the original members, Artimus Pyle, who had taken the blood oath. As reported, the court explained that but for his blood oath (i.e. making a deal prohibiting him from doing anything with the name Lynyrd Skynyrd), the filmmaker would have been "as free as a bird" to do so.

'Friday the 13th' Writer Can Claw Back Copyright

Everybody has nightmares, but some people are really good at writing about them.

Judge Stefan Underhill gave it a try. In Horror, Inc. v. Miller, he put some effort into writing about the famous "Friday the 13th" horror film.

The backstory started out with a handshake deal between the author and a producer. In the end, it turned into a nightmare for a company that exploited the work.

NFL Photos Royalty Dispute Revived by 2nd Circuit

A federal appeals court revived a copyright suit by photographers who claim the National Football League used their images without paying royalties.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a trial judge who dismissed their complaint early in the case. The appeals court said the plaintiffs alleged enough to proceed to trial.

It's been a long time coming for the freelance photographers, who filed Spinelli v. National Football League five years ago. It was even longer for the photographs; many were taken nearly a decade ago.

Screenwriter's Case Against 'Light Between Oceans' in Rough Waters

A boat comes to rest on a lighthouse island. It carries two passengers: a newborn baby and a dead man.

That's how the story begins in "The Light Between Oceans," a best-selling novel that became a movie by the same name. Margot Louise Watts, a former in-house intellectual property lawyer, wrote it.

In Nobile v. Watts, screenwriter Michael Nobile says it was his story first. But the ending looks dim for his appeal to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The infamous Lucky Brand 'Get Lucky' litigation has taken a turn for the even-more complicated, after 17 years of litigation between the fashion brand and its competitor Marcel Fashions.

The Second Circuit used the matter as a springboard to discuss the issue of claim preclusion. And unfortunately for Lucky Brand, the appellate court's significant discussion was anything but a stroke of luck.

Court Renews Copyright Case Against Timberlake

If you know Milli Vanilli, Justin Timberlake is no Milli Vanilli.

The Milli duo lost their Grammy because they didn't actually sing their award-winning song. They went down as the best lip syncers, instead.

Timberlake, at least, sings his songs. However, a federal appeals court says he might owe another band for sampling their song.

It may not be an old fisherman's tale, but when a group of Wall Street investors and seafood loving friends opened The Sloppy Tuna restaurant in Montauk in 2011, they likely didn't expect to be embroiled in litigation, especially against each other.

However, the Sloppy Tuna owners split up the business in typical corporate protect-against-exposure style. There was a business that owned the property, another that ran the operations, and a third that owned the IP. And when one of the two owners of the business that held the IP was ousted from the Wall Street investment group they all belonged to, litigation commenced over that IP and more.

According to one federal judge's reading of the law, if a website embeds another's copyright violation, that's a copyright violation. And while some folks who write on the internet might be up in arms about the recent decision holding such, as embedding is a common practice, there's more to it than most media outlets are letting on, and it's not the end of the internet.

For starters, the court decided a rather narrow issue. The parties basically asked the court to clarify whether it was a copyright violation to display another person's copyright violation via embedding. Not surprisingly, the court found that yes, republishing another person's copyright violation, even if you're not hosting the image and just creating a box where it is called forth from the bellows of the internet, it's still displaying the copyrighted content in violation of the law.

Puzzle Maker Sues Over Rubik's Cube Trademark

Did you see the kid who did a Rubik's Cube in less than five seconds?

That's faster than most Corvettes can do zero-to-sixty. That's faster than a Wall Street crash.

And that's about how long it took -- give or take a week -- to sue the Rubik's company after it dismissed a lawsuit against a competitor. In Cubicle Enterprises, LLC v. Rubik's Brand Limited, the New York-based puzzle maker claims Rubik's patents have expired.

$5M Sanctions Upheld for Counterfeit Headphones

A $5 million sanction by any measure is a stiff penalty.

But a $5 million discovery sanction is about as stiff as they get. The last time somebody abused a discovery that costly, it was when Rose threw the diamonds into the ocean in Titanic.

Mixed metaphors aside, this epic sanction could well sink the defendant in Klipsch Group, Inc. v. ePRO E-Commerce Limited. After all, that was pretty much the point.