Martha Davis and ‘The Motels’ Sue EMI over Royalty Payments

Martha Davis, a founding member of the ’80s rock band The Motels, filed a class action lawsuit today against the EMI record label. Davis and her group are known for their 1980’s chart topping hits, “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” The legendary songstress accuses the label that she and The Motels originally signed with of shorting her out

Opinions of the Week

We have some interesting cases from our daily summary writers this week. At the intersection of reality TV and the law comes Edmonds v. Oktibbeha County (5th Cir.). In this case, the Court upheld the denial of a 42 USC 1983 claim of a coerced confession from a minor, after the minor went on the Dr. Phil show and told

Class Action Accuses Warner Music of Shortchanging Artists for Digital Download Royalties

East Bay soul funk legend Tower of Power filed a class-action lawsuit against Warner Music on Tuesday, charging that the record label Warner Music, Inc. stiffed them out of music royalties by mischaracterizing digital downloads as sales, instead of licenses that pay artists a much higher premium. Tower of Power co-founders Emilio Castillo and Stephen “Doc” Kupka’s breach of contract

Apple Sued Over ‘Data Vending System’ Patent Held By South African Inventor

The South African holder of a U.S. patent for a Data Vending System (No. 6,799,084) sued Apple yesterday, alleging that the company’s iTunes Store infringes his patent for a system that stores a digital media database, processes payments, and calculates royalties that are due to copyright holders for downloads of their music and videos. The USPTO issued the patent to

H.S. Senior Tweets F-word from Home; School’s Response: Get the F**k Out

In an outrageous misunderstanding of students’ off-campus free speech rights, an Indiana school district expelled a high school senior just three months shy of his graduation for tweeting an F-bomb from home at 2:30 AM. Austin Carroll says that he sent the offending F-bomb tweet from home, from his own computer. He concedes that he agrees with the district that

The Law: Still Not Free

Carl Malamud of has a guest post on Boing Boing: Liberating America’s Secret, for-pay Laws. In it, he discusses the problem of laws that incorporate copyrighted technical standards by reference. Because the standards bodies that issue them are in the private sector, anyone who wants to view the standards (to comply with the law) must pay for a copy.

Facebook TOS Claims ‘Book’ Trademark & IP Rights

Watch out, Facebook users. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network giant recently modified the company’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (i.e., Terms of Service [‘TOS’]) to now allege that Facebook claims trademark rights to the word ‘Book.’ (Read it below) Oh, and in case you forgot, Facebook also claims intellectual property rights to the words ‘Face,’ Poke, and ‘Wall’ Take a look

An iPhone user walks into an Apple store…

An 83-year-old iPhone user sued Apple this week, claiming that she injured herself during prime winter holiday shopping season last December by walking “directly into the clear glass doors” at the company’s Manhasset, Long Island Apple retail store in New York. Ouch! Who was at fault here? Plaintiff Evelyn Paswell maintains that her “injuries were due solely to the negligence

This Week in Opinions

Our Daily Caselaw Summary writers have served up some interesting cases this week: In Colorado, the Supreme Court issued Air Wisconsin Airlines v. Hoeper, which found an airline was not immune from a defamation claim by an employee under the Aviation Transportation Safety Act. In that case, the employee was authorized to carry a firearem on the planes he flew,

Yahoo Mail Sender’s Class-Action Lawsuit: Revealing My Name in Email Violates TOS

Yahoo! Mail user Albert Rudgayzer sued the Silicon Valley web portal yesterday, charging that Yahoo’s revelation of users first and last names when they send email violates the portal’s own Terms of Service (‘TOS’), constituting a breach of contract. He seeks relief under federal and California state law. Rudgayzer, a New York lawyer, alleges that he began using Yahoo email