Category Archives: Entertainment

No “Happy Birthday” for Trolls? Filmmaker seeks public domain judgement on song’s copyright

“Happy Birthday to You” is protected by copyright? The song is based on the tune from “Good Morning to All,” written in the late 1800′s. Over the years families adapted the tune for singing birthday greetings. Vexed with paying synch fees for use of the song in a film, producer Jennifer Nelson of Good Morning Productions asked a court to determine that “Happy (...) [Read More]

Maryland General Assembly approves $25M in film production tax credits.

Did you hear the roar? Opening Day is not until Friday in Baltimore, but Maryland’s film and television crew base  and hundreds of small businesses are cheering the General Assembly for extending the film production the tax credit, and approving an additional $17.5 million in tax credits for eligible televison and film projects in 2014. The (...) [Read More]

Distasteful criminal case sheds light on liability for violent user generated content

A New York court convicted the “Cannibal Cop” trial in for conspiracy to kidnap, murder and eat women for pleasure based on postings made by the defendant on darkfetish.net. The defendant intends to appeal. The question on appeal boils down to whether the defendant’s online fantasy role play provided the mens rea (criminal intent) to conspire (...) [Read More]

Can a celebrity’s post mortem right of publicity enter the public domain?

Banking on a dead celebrity’s right of publicity being public domain is an extremely dangerous advertising practice. Rights of publicity are a suite of legal rights that have developed from invasion of privacy and trademark law since the early 20th Century. There is a web of state and federal laws that can protect dead celebrities– even celebrities from (...) [Read More]

“Don’t be a Clown Bro,” Heavy hitters weigh in on protection of pro athlete catch phrases

Can professional athletes’ get exclusive rights to catch phrases like “DON’T BE A CLOWN BRO,”?  OberIPwatch’s Scott Johnson says that if catch phrase is is associated with the athlete, a catch phrase can become part of the athlete’s persona. Johnson was quoted in Sunday’s Maryland Daily Record article by Matt Owings: “…their persona is a brand,” Johnson said. “I don’t (...) [Read More]

Jamaica USA, Mon! Seacrets Wins Trademark Infringement, Injunction Against Coryn Group

With summer around the corner, it is only natural that our thoughts and attention start to shift to the shore.  If you are from Mid-Atlantic, you are likely familiar with Seacrets (http://seacrets.com/), one of Ocean City, Maryland’s premiere entertainment destinations.  Seacrets, which has nicknamed itself “Jamaica, USA”, started in 1988 as a single cabana type (...) [Read More]

Scott Johnson Awarded Golden Formstone for Support of Arts in Maryland

Baltimore’s Patterson Theater was packed Saturday evening for the Creative Alliance’s Grand Marquee Ball. Costumed patrons jostled for position as the CA honored E.Scott Johnson and Terri Rubenstein for their unflagging support for the arts in Maryland. Dressed as a mad hatter, Mark Steiner of WEAA bulleted Scott’s most recent arts accomplishments– reviving Maryland’s film (...) [Read More]

Welcome Home Maryland Filmmakers- Our Film Incentive Program is Back in Business

Our homegrown film industry was fleeing Maryland in 2011.  Skilled film workers needed film and television production jobs that had moved to states with generous film incentives. Conflicting priorities had reduced Maryland’s ability to offer incentives. What a difference a year makes.  Last year Maryland enacted the Maryland Film Production Employment Act of 2011 to provide tax incentives (...) [Read More]