Monday, December 31, 2012

To All of Out Friends, Have a Wonderful and Safe New Year!

                                          To All of Out Friends, Have a Wonderful and Safe New Year!

If you need us just give us a call,
we are here for you! 


                              Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pizza Hut Demotes Delivery Man for Defending Himself Against Attackers

                       Sam shows how if defended himself with a thin rod from 5 guys that attacked him.

Pizza Hut Demotes Delivery Man for Defending Himself Against Attackers

Protect yourself from attackers and receive … a demotion? A pizza delivery man in Maryland who fought off a group of attackers was given just that. Sam Swicegood was demoted from his job at Pizza Hut after he defended himself from being beaten up.

Swicegood described being sucker punched, after which defended himself by covering his face and swinging a small pole at them repeatedly. “I thought that I was about to die,” he said.

Pizza Hut cut his hours and his pay for violating their no weapons policy.

See Video:

Murdoch Against Disney With Purchase Of Cleveland Indians

Murdoch Continues To Arm For Battle Against Disney With Purchase Of Cleveland Indians
The looming national sports cable network battle between Fox and ESPN just got a lot more serious.

Yesterday’s purchase of SportsTime Ohio by Fox Sports Media Group for $300 million gives Rupert Murdoch one more big weapon in the war he is going to wage against Walt Disney’s ESPN in 2013. Murdoch will now  own regional networks that combined produce over 5,000 live local events each year and serves as the regional TV home to more than half of all MLB, NHL, and NBA teams.  FSN is also one of the leading national distributors of collegiate sports, televising more than 1,000 events from the Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, ACC, and Conference USA.

Last month Murdoch purchased 49% of the New York Yankees YES Network, the most-watched RSN in the country, for $3.4 billion, with Fox increasing its stake to 80% in three years.

While Cleveland may is not New York, the purchase of SportsTime Ohio is a big move strategically because it gives Murdoch exclusive long-term local telecast rights for Indians baseball, ensuring that the Indians will once again be part of the FOX Sports portfolio of regionally televised hometown teams.  Prior to the 2006 season, Indians games were locally televised by FOX Sports Ohio. FOX Sports Ohio serves more than five million homes throughout the state of Ohio, as well as portions of Kentucky, Indiana, western Pennsylvania, western New York, and West Virginia.  FOX Sports Ohio is the exclusive regional TV home of the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, Xavier Musketeers, and Cincinnati Bearcats. SportsTime Ohio also offers other locally relevant sports content, including Cleveland Browns programming, OHSAA football and basketball playoffs and championships, and Mid-American Conference events.

By my calculations, the ESPN brand is worth $11.5 billion (roughly one-fourth of the amount Walt Disney would get for its national cable network in an arms-length transaction), and is the second-most valuable sports business brand in the world. Murodch lusts after the 35% operating margins (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as a percent of revenue) enjoyed by ESPN. Sure, rights fees have been going through the roof, but ESPN keeps passing the costs on to carriers, who in turn pass them along to sports junkies like me. Last year ESPN got an average of $5.06 per month, per subscriber. But SNL Kagan predicts ESPN will command $5.26 in 2013.

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Tribune Co. to Exit Bankruptcy on Dec. 31 ex-Disney strategic planning chief Peter Murphy

The company will reportedly name ex-Disney strategic planning chief Peter Murphy as a board member and advisor to incoming CEO Peter Liguori.

"Liguori is expected to build Tribune's TV operations, including through acquisitions," the report stated. Ligouri was an executive at News Corp's FX Network and had been the chief operating officer of Discovery Communications.
Tribune Co. -- which counts The Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, and Los Angeles Times among its stable of newspapers -- has garnered numerous potential suitors for a possible sale of its newspaper assets.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch has flirted with the idea of purchasing The Los Angeles Times and adding it to a collection of U.S. papers that includes The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post tabloid.

Conservative real estate developer Doug Manchester -- who recently snapped up both the San Diego Union Tribune and The North County Times and invested in a cable news operation for the now renamed U-T San Diego paper -- has expressed interest in acquiring Tribune papers.

Aaron Kushner, who bought The O.C. Register and hired dozens of new staffers as he reinvested in the print publication by adding new sections, stated that his company was looking at acquiring Tribune papers.

"There's a tremendous amount of infrastructure that's shared among the newspapers, and they have been together, with the exception of the LA Times, for a long time," Kushner told the Associated Press on Thursday. "Disassembling them in an auction sort of a way or a process may be achievable, but our sense is it would end up resulting in significantly less for the current owners of the Tribune Co."

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Emmylou Harris is now in the crosshairs of the L.A. County District Attorney for allegedly hitting a car on an L.A. Freeway and then hightailing it out of there ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the alleged incident occurred on October 1 at around 10:00 PM.  They say Emmylou was driving a rental car on the 405 Freeway when she struck a car and took off without stopping or exchanging info.

We're told the CHP opened a hit and run investigation after the other driver filed a report.  The investigation is now complete and we're told the file was sent to the D.A., who will decide if the country legend should be prosecuted.

Emmylou's rep acknowledges to TMZ she was involved in a "minor traffic accident," adding "she unintentionally rubbed bumpers with another vehicle." The rep says Emmylou didn't realize the cars made contact so she took off.

The rep calls it a "garden-variety accident that happens everyday on the 405," and Emmylou has turned the matter over to her insurance company.

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8 U.S. sailors sue Japanese firm over radiation from nuclear meltdown

Eight sailors from the Coronado-based carrier Ronald Reagan are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. for allegedly lying about the danger from radiation caused by the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant, according to Bloomberg News.

The ship was involved in disaster relief operations after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that led to the nuclear catastrophe and left devastation in regions of Japan.

Each of the eight is seeking $10 million in damages, $30 million in punitive damages and creation of a $100 million fund to pay for medical testing and treatments, according to a complaint filed in U.S. federal court in San Diego, the news service reported.

The Japanese government was "lying through their teeth about the reactor meltdown" when it assured the crew that everything was under control, the plaintiffs' lawyer said in the complaint. "The plaintiffs must now endure a lifetime of radiation poisoning and suffering."

The company declined comment, according to Bloomberg. The nuclear-powered carrier's homeport is North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado.


Animal rights group settles lawsuit with Ringling

An animal rights group will pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday it was not admitting any wrongdoing in settling the lawsuit. The New York-based animal rights group was one of several involved in a lawsuit filed in 2000 against the circus' owner, Feld Entertainment Inc., claiming elephants were abused. Courts later found that the animal rights activists had paid a former Ringling barn helper involved in the lawsuit at least $190,000, making him "essentially a paid plaintiff" who lacked credibility.

Two courts agreed the former barn helper, Tom Rider, wasn't credible and didn't have a right to sue. As a result, they didn't address claims the circus violated the federal Endangered Species Act by allegedly chaining the elephants for long periods and allowing trainers to use sharp tools called bullhooks.

Friday's settlement covers only the ASPCA. Twelve other defendants including The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute and The Fund for Animals are still involved in the lawsuit.

The ASPCA said in a statement that "this litigation has stopped being about the elephants a long time ago" and that officials decided it was in the group's best interest to resolve the lawsuit after more than a decade.

The chairman of Feld Entertainment, Kenneth Feld, said in a statement that the settlement was a vindication for the company and its employees.

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Actor Nick Stahl Arrested

Actor Nick Stahl Arrested on Suspicion of Lewd Conduct in Adult Movie Store

This comes months after the 33-year-old was reported missing by his wife.

Stahl, 33, was taken into custody after he was found by detectives during a routine check. The actor was released several hours later.

A spokesman for L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said that prosecutors were expecting to receive the official LAPD report by Monday, where they will then decide to file misdemeanor charges against Stahl or not.

This comes months after Stahl disappeared earlier this year, prompting a search in L.A.'s Skid Row area and worrying his wife, who made public pleas for his safe return. It was then reported that Stahl had checked into rehab for treatment.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will be..

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will conduct a checkpoint to screen drivers for alcohol and license possession Friday starting at 7 p.m. and ending 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

You need our help, just call us at: 310-273-9600

Arrest of NBC's David Gregory

Petition Seeking Arrest of NBC's David Gregory Reaches 11,000 Signatures

The journalist is under investigation by D.C. police after displaying what appeared to be a 30-round ammunition clip on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”

A White House petition seeking the arrest of NBC’s David Gregory has attracted more than 11,000 signatures as of Thursday. Gregory is under investigation by Washington D.C. police for displaying what appeared to be a 30-bullet gun clip during an interview with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet The Press.

“David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person,” reads the petition. “We the People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on Meet The Press."

Gregory used the object to challenge LaPierre on the necessity of high-capacity clips in the wake of the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

"Now isn't it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, 'Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or 10 bullets,' isn't it just possible that we can reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?" Gregory said on Meet the Press while holding the clip.

Appearing on CNN on Thursday, NRA president David Keen came to Gregory’s defense, calling the investigation “silly.”

“I’m not a vindictive guy who wants to go after David Gregory,” he said. “I really think what David Gregory did while he was inadvertently flouting the law was illustrating in a very graphic way, perhaps not intentionally, but in a graphic way just how silly some of these laws are.”

The D.C. code in question states “no person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term 'large capacity ammunition feeding device' means a magazine, among other devices."

Possessing such a clip in D.C. is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The petition seeking Gregory’s arrest was posted on the White House’s We the People site, which allows users to create a petition which will get official response if it obtains enough signatures. This petition needs about 14,000 more in order to elicit a response.

It is unclear if NBC received clearance to show the ammunition clip on air. TMZ reported the network got permission from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as a D.C. police official. But The Washington Post reported NBC asked permission from D.C. police, which denied the request.

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Husband Of Slain Officer Arrested in Wisconsin

The husband of a police officer who was slain while patrolling a Wisconsin neighborhood Christmas Eve has been arrested in connection with her death.

Wauwatosa police officials confirm that Benjamin Sebena, of Menomonee Falls, was booked into Milwaukee County Jail on first-degree murder charges.

He has not been formally charged with the death of Jennifer Sebena, 30, however he is being held under the assumption that charges with be forthcoming.

Police officers discovered Sebena's body a couple of hours after she was patrolling in Milwaukee and failed to respond to radio calls early on Christmas Eve.

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Judge grants music student stalking order against parents

A US student has won a stalking order against her own parents after they followed her to university and installed tracking software on her computer and phone.

Aubrey Ireland, a gifted, 21-year-old music theatre major, said her parents David and Julie Ireland would jump in their car and drive almost 1000 km from their Kansas home to the College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio and drop in unannounced.

Ireland told the court her parents became over-involved in every facet of her life and bad-mouthed her to college staff, once even telling her department head that she suffered from serious "mental issues".

They also accused her of using drugs and "promiscuity" and installed tracking software on her computer and mobile phone to monitor her social life.

When Ireland decided to cut off all contact with them, they stopped funding her college tuition.

However, the university backed their star pupil, awarding her a full scholarship and hiring security guards to block her parents from her performances.

Judge Jody Luebbers dismissed the Irelands' claim that their daughter was "lying" about the stalking. She ordered them to stay 150 metres from her at all times and make no attempt to initiate contact before Sept 23 2013.

Read More:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

$1 billion deal major step in Toyota legal trouble

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a proposed payout of more than $1 billion, one major chapter of a nearly four-year legal saga that left Toyota Motor Corp. fighting hundreds of lawsuits and struggling with a tarnished image has ended, though another remains.

The settlement — unprecedented in its size according to a plaintiff's attorney — brings an end to claims from owners who said the value of their vehicles plunged after recalls over sudden and unintended acceleration.
Lawsuits claiming that the defects caused injury or death remain, with the first trial beginning in February unless another major deal comes first.

Steve Berman, a lawyer representing Toyota owners, said the settlement is the largest in U.S. history involving automobile defects.

"We kept fighting and fighting and we secured what we think was a good settlement given the risks of this litigation," Berman told The Associated Press.

The courtroom claims began with a highway tragedy. A California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members were killed in suburban San Diego in 2009 after their car, a Toyota-built Lexus, reached speeds of more than 120 mph, hit an SUV, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames.
Investigators determined that a wrong-size floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash.
That discovery, and the accident's grisliness, spurred a series of recalls involving more than 14 million vehicles and a flood of lawsuits soon followed, with numerous complaints of accelerations in several models, and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.
The Japanese automaker has blamed driver error, faulty floor mats and stuck accelerator pedals for the problems.

The runaway Lexus case was settled separately for $10 million in 2010, before the cases were consolidated by U.S. District Judge James Selna.

Selna divided them into two categories: economic loss and wrongful death. He needs to approve Wednesday's settlement, which only applies to the first group of lawsuits. The deal was filed Wednesday and Selna is expected to review it on Friday.

Toyota said it will take a one-time, $1.1 billion pre-tax charge against earnings to cover the estimated costs of the settlement. Berman said the total value of the deal is between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion.

As part of the economic loss settlement, Toyota will offer cash payments from a pool of about $250 million to eligible customers who sold vehicles or turned in leased vehicles between September 2009 and December 2010.

The company also will launch a $250 million program for 16 million current owners to provide supplemental warranty coverage for certain vehicle components, and it will retrofit about 3.2 million vehicles with a brake override system. An override system is designed to ensure a car will stop when the brakes are applied, even if the accelerator pedal is depressed.

The settlement would also establish additional driver education programs and fund new research into advanced safety technologies.

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LAPD's gun buyback off to busy start in Van Nuys

Drivers went through the lot and popped their trunks for Los Angeles police officers, who took the guns out and handed them $100 to $200 in Ralphs gift cards in exchange.

Police had already collected 185 guns in less than an hour this morning at a city-sponsored gun buyback in Van Nuys.

Before the 9 a.m. start, a line of cars already stretched through the parking lot of Van Nuys Masonic Center and out onto Sherman Way.

The tally as of 9:50 a.m. included 50 handguns, 80 rifles and 45 shotguns. The long guns were piled in several brown city trash bins sitting in the parking lot.

Many of the weapons turned in were family heirlooms.

But Doug Johnson, an undercover gang and narcotics officer at the event, said they also included two fully automatic TEC-9s, a common gun for gang members, along with an AK-47 and a Bushmaster rifle, the same brand used in the Newtown, Conn., school massacre on Dec. 14.

Danny Reyes of West L.A. said he turned in two handguns for his brother, who believed they might be illegal and was nervous about dealing with the police.

"He was leery, but I was explaining to him they want the guns off the streets," Reyes said after getting $200 in gift cards. "This is the perfect opportunity."

Lee Bramer of Santa Clarita said he turned in a .22-caliber handgun he'd gotten after his mother-in-law's estate sale. "Any time we can take guns off the street, it's better and safer," he said.

Referring to the Connecticut school shooting, he added, "I've got a 5-year-old grandson. I wouldn't want to see anything like that happen out here."

At the same time, another buyback was happening in South Los Angeles.

L.A.'s gun buyback is normally held around Mothers Day, but it was moved up this year after the Connecticut shooting.

Police said they did not record the names or license plate numbers of people dropping off guns. Having been promised anonymity, some people were reluctant to talk to reporters.

A Burbank woman, who would not give her name, said as she drove out of the Van Nuys event that she turned in a gun that had belonged to her parents.

Both the gift card and the opportunity to get rid of the gun drew her in.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Andruw Jones Arrested For ‘Battering His Wife’ On Christmas

Although Christmas day was supposed to be full of high spirits and good deeds, at the Jones’ household, Dec. 25 started off a bit rocky. Gwinnett County jail received a phone call early in the morning, when a tussle between baseball star Andruw Jones and his wife of 10 years occurred.

Andruw Jones 35, and Nicole Derick 35, raise two kids together — a daughter Madison, from his previous marriage and their son Druw. You would think they could put the boxing gloves away for a night as special as Christmas, but that wasn’t the case.

Police were alerted of a fight at Andruw’s residence in Duluth, Georgia around 1:25 AM on Christmas morning, Dec. 25. When they arrived to the elaborate country club home, police reportedly found the couple engaged in an argument. Andruw was booked around 3:45 AM for simple assault and was released around 11 AM on a $2,400 bail.

However, this isn’t the first time Andruw has been in the spotlight in a negative fashion. Back in 2001, the former Atlanta Braves star was tried for a prostitution scandal due to alleged risque behavior at an Atlanta strip club with a few employees. In that case, he was never charged.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Deal comes after judge refused to allow Paramount's "Godfather" contract to be canceled.

Paramount Pictures and the Mario Puzo estate have settled a legal war over a new Mario Puzo estate. On Thursday, the parties told the court about a deal and stipulated to the dismissal of the litigation.

Terms of the agreement have not been made public, but it resolves both a claim and counterclaim that were lodged this year in New York federal court. Both sides have agreed to bear their own legal costs.

Paramount sued first in February, alleging that it had a copyright interest in Puzo's famed novel The Godfather, and an agreement that granted "the sole and exclusive right to make and cause to be made literary and dramatic and other versions and adaptations of every kind and character."

The studio had alleged that prior "sequel novels" had tarnished the legacy over the Godfather franchise and that it was promised in writing that there would be no more literary sequels. It wanted confirmation to preclude the release of The Family Corleone, which was to detail Vito Corleone's rise to power in Depression-era New York.

In May, the two sides came to an interim deal to allow The Family Corleone to come out. Money from the book was to be put aside in escrow until the parties reached a conclusion to the litigation.

The judge allowed a breach of contract counterclaim to continue, and a trial could have clarified rights under deals made in the 1960s, but the two sides have now put the dispute to sleep.

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BACKSTREET BOYS & NKOTB Judge Dismisses $5 Million Brain Trauma Lawsuit

It's official: the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys can't be held responsible for brain trauma -- at least, according to a judge who dismissed the bands from a $5 million lawsuit filed by an injured stagehand

William Wesley Styron sued NKOTBSB for injuries he allegedly suffered when he fell through a hole in the stage prior to a 2011 concert.

Styron said he fractured his skull and suffered brain trauma from the fall ... and was looking for a cool $5 million from the bands and other parties who he held responsible.

NKOTBSB denied the allegations, claiming it wasn't their fault Styron didn't see the huge hole in front of him ... and it looks like a judge agreed ... ruling that responsibility for the fall lies with the production company who hired him -- not the bands themselves.

The judge promptly dismissed the case against NKOTBSB, finding they "owed no duty to plaintiff that was breached when he was injured."

Read more:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Disney Wins `Pooh' Battle

Has won an appeals court ruling that protects it's right to the Winne The Pooh Character

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was correct to throw out challenges to the trademark ownership filed by Stephen Slesinger Inc., which has waged a decades-long battle with Disney over ownership of the Pooh characters, an appeals court in Washington said today. Slesinger had already litigated the issue and lost in district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an opinion posted on its website.

A.A. Milne, who wrote the Pooh books, transferred merchandising rights to Stephen Slesinger in 1930, and his widow licensed the rights to Disney in 1961. The Slesinger company and Disney have been fighting in court over royalties since at least 1991.

In 2009, a federal court ruled that Slesinger had transferred all of its rights in the Pooh works to Burbank, California-based Disney. The Federal Circuit today said that, based on that 2009 ruling, the trademark office was right to bar Slesinger from seeking to cancel the Disney trademarks.

Disney fell $1.08, or 2.1 percent, to $49.85 at 12:28 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have risen almost 33 percent so far this year.

The case is Stephen Slesinger Inc. v. Disney Enterprises Inc., 2011-1593, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

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Steve Jobs' $197 million super yacht "Venus" has been literally CHAINED to a dock in Amsterdam by Dutch authorities ... after the ship's designer claimed the Jobs family stiffed him on $4 million in unpaid wages.

The designer -- Philippe Starck -- claims the late Apple founder had agreed to pay him a fee that equaled 6% of the ship's building cost ... back when Jobs commissioned the yacht in 2009 ... but no formal contract was ever written up.

Starck claims the yacht cost roughly $197 million to build -- entitling him to an estimated $12 million fee.

But the Jobs family insists the boat only cost $138 million -- meaning Starck deserves no more than $8 million.

Starck has since obtained an Amsterdam court order, requiring the family to pay the $4 million balance ... or the massive 260 ft yacht stays chained to the dock.

FYI -- the boat was only launched a couple months ago. Jobs passed away in October 2011.

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SE _EN  S_ _ NS    _ -S_ _ MM _ NG

Pretty easy right? Not if you were a contestant named Renee on Wednesday night's show -- who correctly solved the puzzle, but mispronounced "Seven Swans a Swimming" ... as "Swimmin."

Turns out, no "g" ... meant no cash (which in Renee's case was thousands) -- because even though the letter was clearly on the board, Pat Sajak and the "Wheel" honchos quickly rejected the answer and moved on to the next player.

See video here:     Not surprisingly, when the next contestant went to solve the game, she made sure to say "Swimming"
-- HARD G.

Lesson: enunciate your words at all times!

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Sony Pictures Asks Judge to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Faulkner Quote in 'Midnight in Paris'

The use of a nine-word quote from a 220-page novel in a feature film presents a classic case of "fair use," argues the studio that distributed the movie that earned Woody Allen an Oscar for best original screenplay.

Sony is asking for a dismissal to the lawsuit and gives the judge reasons why it was fair to repurpose a passage in Faulkner’s 1954 work Requiem for a Nun, which the studio labels a "relatively obscure work." The studio points to those like Woody Allen who are familiar with what Faulkner had to say -- “The past is never dead. It’s not even past" -- arguing that these nine words have been paraphrased by others, including the band Ben Folds Five, ABC News, The New York Times and President Barack Obama.

"Plaintiff's extreme -- and absurd -- position in this case is that it is unlawful to even minimally quote Mr. Faulkner's work without consent," say Sony's lawyers. "Such a holding would be contrary to the very purpose of the Copyright Act, and other laws."

Midnight in Paris features a protagonist played by Owen Wilson who travels to Paris and finds himself spending time with literary greats including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein.

In theory, the movie could have invited the various estates of the 20th century literary canon to object over their likenesses; instead, the lawsuit that actually followed came from a place that Sony probably didn't anticipate -- not from any author who was featured as a character (at least not on screen), but rather an author who was quoted -- or rather, misquoted.

In the film, the Wilson character describes his experience of magical realism by saying, "The past is not dead! Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party. ”

In a memorandum asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, Sony's attorney Christian Carbone at Loeb & Loeb articulates why the claims by Faulkner Literary Rights LLC should be regulated to the past.

The big reason given is that use of Faulkner's quote was de minimis and "fair use."

Sony is also hoping to knock out Faulkner's commercial appropriation claim (which is akin to asserting publicity rights), arguing for dismissal because it is also a "reformulated copyright claim," and thus preempted. And even if it's not, the studio adds, "Mr. Faulkner is deceased, and thus has no 'privacy' right that can be invaded," and "Mississippi has not recognized any post-mortem publicity right either."

One of the ironies of this lawsuit is that it has come within Hollywood's ranks. The person who gave it  the green light was Lee Caplin, who manages Faulkner's literary estate and also happens to be a producer, responsible for a dozen films including Ali.  We spoke to him, and he insists that the fair use defense will fail because the movie was "commercial" in nature. It's a major source of disagreement with Sony, which believes the film was an "expressive work" and thus afforded more First Amendment protection. As an example of what's an expressive use of Faulkner's words that falls in-bounds, Caplin mentions the same Obama speech. The next question is whether it's permissible for Obama to leave office, print his major speeches in a book, and sell it to the public with the Faulkner quote included.

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Documentary Producer Claims Spike TV Stole Film Footage for 'I Am Bruce Lee'

Two fight films allegedly had a lot in common. Did one fight film appropriate scenes from another?

Read Full Complaint here:

Chris Tavlarides, the producer of a TV documentary entitled The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini has filed an unusual lawsuit against Spike Cable Networks over its film, I Am Bruce Lee.

According to a complaint filed this week in California federal court, he made a deal in 2010 with Network Entertainment Inc. to film a documentary based on a book by Mark Kriegel about the career of a boxing legend. The following summer, after the conclusion of principal photography, nearly all of the film's production personnel was pulled off of The Good Son and moved over to another Network production, I Am Bruce Lee.

He says he never granted permission and believes that Network "diverted" funds from his film to help complete I Am Bruce Lee for Spike.

Tavlarides, represented by attorney David Berke, is suing for copyright infringement and asking that Spike be enjoined from re-broadcasting I Am Bruce Lee and hand over all gains, profits and advantages from its acts of alleged infringement.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Charlie Rose' Interns Settle Unpaid Wages Lawsuit

The host will pay them $110 per week worked -- plus $50,000 in legal fees to the college grad who sued on their behalf.

A class action lawsuit brought by a former intern at the Charlie Rose show has been settled.

On Tuesday, attorneys for Lucy Bickerton, who sued on behalf of herself and other situated, told a New York court that a deal had been struck to end litigation that contended violations of New York's labor laws arising from a failure to pay the show's interns.

Bickerton sued in March, alleging that she wasn't paid despite working 25 hours a week for three months in the summer of 2007. In her original complaint, she said there were 10 other interns working for Rose during the time she spent on the show. A 2008 graduate of Wesleyan University, Bickerton said her duties included assembling background research and press packets, escorting guests, digesting Rose's interviews and cleaning.

The lawsuit didn't get very far before negotiations commenced. Rose never responded to the claims.

According to court documents filed this week, each class member will receive $110 for each week that he or she interned on the show, up to a maximum of 10 weeks. The payment is noted to be based on an average internship day of 6 hours, and an average internship week of 2.5 days. The class covers those interns who worked on the show between March 14, 2006 and October 1, 2012.

Labor attorneys have cautioned that Hollywood could see more litigation over internship programs unless they follow protocol from the Department of Labor that internships be expressly educational, for the benefit of the intern, that the intern doesn't displace regular employees, that the employer derives no immediate advantage from the intern, that the intern is not entitled to a job after the internship, and that the intern understands that he or she is not entitled to wages. The interpretation of these criteria hasn't been particularly well addressed in courts as of yet.

In arguing for a judge's approval, the plaintiff's lawyers note, "The determination whether interns are employees covered by the [New York Labor Laws] would be fact-intensive, requiring Plaintiffs to present evidence regarding the nature of the internship program, the activities in which interns participated, and the benefits that they provided to Defendants, all of which would likely be disputed by Defendants... While Plaintiff believes that she would ultimately prevail, the settlement eliminates these risks and will allow all class members to recover now."

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Drivers here are some New Laws for CA. come Jan 1, 2013

SB 435: Motorcycle Noise
Any motorcycle and aftermarket exhaust system that is manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2013 and is registered in the state of California must maintain federally required emissions equipment, including a readily visible EPA stamp that certifies compliance. Under the new law, motorcyclists pulled over for other traffic violations may also be cited for illegally noisy exhaust pipes – a fix-it ticket that can be dismissed, on first offense, with proof of correction.

AB 1536: Hands-Free Texting
California drivers have been legally prohibited from using mobile devices to write, send or read text-based communications while operating their vehicles since Jan. 1, 2009. But AB 1536 removes that prohibition if the device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-controlled, hands-free operation and is used to dictate, send or listen to texts while driving.

AB 1708: Electronic Proof of Insurance
California already requires drivers to carry evidence that their vehicles are insured. AB 1708 authorizes insurers to issue electronic verification of insurance coverage to mobile devices that drivers can present to law enforcement officers in lieu of a paper or plastic insurance card.

AB 2405: HOT Lane Access
Designed to encourage clean vehicle purchases, AB 2405 exempts single-occupant vehicles operated with natural gas or pure electric powertrains from having to pay tolls when driving in HOT lanes. The law takes effect for most HOT lanes January 1; it kicks in March 1, 2014 for state highways 10 and 110.

AB 1534: Buy Here Pay Here Dealer Labeling
Buy-here-pay-here auto dealers must prominently display labels on used vehicles that indicate their reasonable market values, including specific information the dealers used to determine their values. Buy-here-pay-here dealers must also provide prospective buyers with information from nationally recognized pricing guides that show how vehicles' prices were determined.

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Former SAG Pension & Health Plan Employee Sues Plan a Second Time

Craig Simmons alleges he was defamed when the Plan told participants that his allegations against the Plan director were false.

This is the second lawsuit filed by Simmons against the Plan. In his first suit, filed in March, he alleged wrongful termination a year earlier, in retaliation for reporting alleged illegal conduct by the organization’s CEO, Bruce Dow.

In response to those allegations, the Plan allegedly issued a letter to Plan members stating that Simmons’ allegations were false. But Simmons says that that statement by the Plan is itself false and defamatory.

A source close to the situation told The Hollywood Reporter that the wrongful termination suit is now in arbitration, as a result of an arbitration clause in Simmons’ employment agreement. The new lawsuit includes a demand for jury trial, and may not be blocked by the arbitration clause.

Christopher Dowdell, CEO of the Plan, told THR “We consider the matter of Mr. Simmons to be closed and will not comment on this or any other legal proceedings initiated by him.”

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