Entertainment law news

Legal issue of PLAYER

There is a pretty common legal problem when it comes to the music business. When the band members split up, who gets to use the name of the band? This is a major problem in the music business and the latest case of such conflict incorporates the group Player. Player had a breakthrough in 70s with their various hits including “Baby come back”.

The founding members were Peter Beckett and Ronn Moss, and according to a new trademark lawsuit, they applied together with US Patent and Trademark Office to register Player. Now, when the band dissolved, the trademark was abandoned.

Moss is suing Beckett in a complaint filed with the federal court of California that Beckett has illegally seized the name “player” for himself. The complaint dictates that Beckett registered PLAYER trademark without having the consent of Moss, thereby deceiving the USPTO while falsely claiming himself to be the sole owner of the mark. Moreover, Beckett has been involved in different live performances of PLAYER but Beckett has been excluded and he is also using the trademark PLAYER all to himself only.

Bankruptcy of Weinstein Co

The heirs of Melvin Tolson tried to dodge the bankruptcy of Weinstein Co. In the 1930s, Tolson was a professor at Wiley college. Amid segregation, he led the debate team of his school to the national championship. In 2007, the film The Great Debaters was released where the role of Tolson was played by Denzel Washington. The family of Tolson is now suing TWC and MGM for commercial use of Tolson. However, owing to the bankruptcy of TWC, this lawsuit among many others came to a halt.

The solution of plaintiff was to drop TWC from this lawsuit, but Harpo and MGM objected saying that plaintiff has to seek permission from the bankruptcy court.

Ben-Hur remake

Paramount and MGM appear to have resolved their issues with American Federation of Musicians of Canada and United States over the Ben-Hur remake. This seemed to be a simple case, but escalated quickly into a brawl against the National Labor Relations Board for crashing allegations of witness tampering and union busting. However, the parties have now stipulated to a dismissal.

Google and Googles

Googles is a children’s multimedia platform which sued Google and is dueling to keep its legal fight alive. SM Kids are of the view that Google was limited to extend its ventures in children’s arena so that it doesn’t get confused with Googles. But Google launched YouTube Kids and Google play which are directed towards the interest arena of children specifically. In April, Google asked the court for dismissing the lawsuit, claiming that SM was not using its Googles mark and hence that terminates the agreement. SM filed an opposition stating that it hasn’t abandoned the Googles mark and that the contract is misread which allows only Google to maintain the services and products which existed in 2008.


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