3 Count: Banana Dance

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1: Judge Rejects MGM’s Efforts to Get a Look at Universal’s ‘Section 6′

First off today, Lucas Shaw at The Wrap reports that a judge has rejected an effort by MGM and Danjaq to see the script for the upcoming Universal Studios film “Section 6”, saying that MGM’s efforts to expedite discovery are premature at this time.

According to MGM, “Section 6” is a film that is a close derivative to the James Bond series, featuring a tuxedo-wearing British secret agent. However, Universal claims that the script hasn’t even been “green lit” and that it is in the process of being rewritten.

MGM had sought an ex parte (meaning one-party) motion for discovery to expedite seeing the in progress script, something Universal said it was reluctant to provide. The judge agreed with Universal and said the nature of the discovery was inappropriate and encouraged the two sides to work on an out of court agreement first. Failing such an agreement, the door is open for MGM to file again.

2: Broadcasters Seek an Aereo ‘Plan B’

Next up today, Amol Sharma and Brent Kendall at The Wall Street Journal reports that broadcasters are already contemplating what their strategy will be should Aereo win the upcoming Supreme Court case.

Aereo is a TV streaming service that uses a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and stream it to users online. Broadcasters have repeatedly sued to shut it down, with mixed results, and now one denied injunction in New York is being heard by the Supreme Court next week.

CBS is said to be considering launching a competing product, its own online streaming service. Other broadcasters, including Fox and NBC, already have their own services through Hulu. Other plans, including converting broadcast channels to cable ones, could be complicated by affiliates that depend on network programming to attract viewers and have standing agreements with the broadcast networks.

3: Posner Tosses Copyright Suit by ‘Banana Lady,’ Notes Her ‘Incessant Filing of Frivolous Lawsuits’

Finally today, Debra Weiss at the ABA Journal reports that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has tossed a lawsuit filed by Catherine Conrad and has also suggested the the lower court should consider barring her from filing any further lawsuits until she pays her “litigation debts”.

In the current suit, Conrad claimed that her copyrights were violated by defendants who hired her to delivery a singing telegram dressed in a banana costume. She claims the defendants failed to warn others before her performance that they could not use photos or videos for anything other than personal use and that some images of her performance appeared online. Conrad has a copyright on her costume as a sculpture and on photos of her in the costume.

However the court ruled that the defendants did warn the audience after the performance and that there was no evidence any content was posted before the warnings were made. The court also noted that this is just the latest in 17 lawsuits Conrad has filed, including some eight federal and nine state cases, all of which have either ended in settlement or defeat, resulting in some $150,000 in damages sanctions that she owes and may be required to pay before filing more lawsuits.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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