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Archives: Entertainment Law

Who Owns Lady Gaga – Names as Trademarks

Lady Gaga is currently one of the biggest selling recording artists in the world, the most followed person on Twitter with almost 15,000,000 million followers, and generates millions in revenue from her recordings, tours, and merchandise. So when Excite Worldwide, a company unaffiliated with Lady Gaga, attempted to register the name LADY GAGA as a trademark for their cosmetics and jewelry line, Lady Gaga responded by filing a lawsuit. What are the rules about names as trademarks, and do they apply equally to famous names and the names of regular people?

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Are Cloud Music Services Legal?

Over a decade ago, a teenage Sean Parker took on the music establishment with his basement project Napster and the industry has never been the same since. While Napster was ultimately shut down, various online music download services have continued to sprout up. The latest trend involves “Cloud Music Services” such as Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player and Google’s Music Beta, both of which launched within the last 6 months. Music “clouds” are services that store your music on the Web and allow you to stream those songs to any computer or mobile device, such as a computer or…

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College Logo Showdown: Hawkeye vs. Golden Eagle

Iowa says USM’s “Golden Eagle” to similar to their “Hawkeye” In the world of college athletics, a university logo or mascot means almost everything. Especially at a place like the University of Iowa, where there is no professional athletic team and the Iowa Hawkeyes have come to represent not only the school itself, but an entire state. So it’s not surprising that University of Iowa officials were not pleased in 2003, when the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) debuted a Golden Eagle logo that looked eerily similar to the Iowa Hawkeye, a logo that has been in use for over…

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Rockabye Baby!

Does Rockabye Baby!, a company that produces and sells “lullaby renditions of baby’s favorite rock bands,” have to seek permission from the bands themselves in order to create and market their products? Rockabye Baby! (the exclamation point is in their name; don’t worry, I’m not that excited about them) sells baby-safe versions of the music of a variety of rock artists, from AC/DC to Zeppelin. My fiancee and I recently gave their “Pixies” CD to the indie-rock loving parents of a newborn. They were excited to receive the CD, and we all enjoyed listening to the mellow instrumental take on…

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