The founding members of popular '80s metal band Megadeth are banging their heads in court. Two separate actions hinge on a purported settlement ending the bandmates' corporate partnership, and whether
- Megadeth Founders Exchange Lawsuits
- Harry Fox Agency Developing Live-Concert CD Licensing Program
- Country Artist John Conlee Sues Labels For Missing Masters
- Injunctions Put Software Maker 321 Studios Out Of Biz
- Universal Says It Will Appeal Hallyday Case
- IFPI Revamps Legal Team In London
- 57 Arrested In Brit Piracy Raids
- Attorneys General Call For Halt To P2P Swapping
- Industry Lobbies FCC Over Digital Radio
- Case Analysis Of Sony Music Entertainment v. Does 1 - 40
- This Week's Dream Makers & Deal Breakers
Megadeth Founders Exchange Lawsuits
By Chris Morris
LOS ANGELES -- The founding members of popular '80s metal band Megadeth are banging their heads in court.
Two separate actions hinge on a purported settlement ending the bandmates' corporate partnership, and whether it was actually executed.
The dispute began with an action filed July 12 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (case no. 04 CV 5395) by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson against guitarist David Mustaine. The band's corporate entities -- Megadeth Inc., Majestic IV Inc. and MegaMerch Inc. -- are named as co-defendants.
Ellefson claims that although Megadeth began as a 50-50 partnership with Mustaine in 1983, he subsequently was assigned only a 20% interest in the group's shares when the group was incorporated in 1990.
He alleges that Mustaine subsequently claimed the lion's share of Megadeth's income -- estimated at more than $200 million since 1984 -- for himself and cut Ellefson out of revenues generated by song publishing and tour merchandise.
Ellefson is seeking at least $18.5 million in damages.
In a counterclaim filed July 29 in California Superior Court in L.A. (case no. BC319329), Mustaine maintains that Ellefson signed a May 14, 2004, settlement agreement that released Mustaine and the band's corporations from any legal claims. (Ellefson's claim alleges that the settlement agreement was executed under pressure and ultimately withdrawn.)
Mustaine seeks damages in an amount to be determined.
Ellefson's bitterly worded 30-page action accuses his erstwhile partner of fraud, defamation, libel, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of California corporation law, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
It depicts Mustaine as a chronic drug abuser who has entered rehabilitation programs approximately 17 times. (For his part, Ellefson admits he has been clean since entering rehab for drug and alcohol abuse problems in 1989.)
Ellefson's suit claims that Mustaine's drug abuse "began to affect his management of the partnership as early as 1988," and made the guitarist "arbitrary, egomaniacal and paranoid to the detriment of the group and the corporation."
Ellefson alleges that Mustaine retained exclusive control over advances paid by Megadeth's labels, and that he arbitrarily hired himself or his friends as producers.
Mustaine "generally used the record company advances ... as his own personal 'piggy bank,'" and diverted thousands of dollars for the purchase of recording equipment and the building of studios in his homes, according to the suit.
Ellefson claims that he received no part of the profits of the band's merchandising firm MegaMerch; that Mustaine failed to credit Ellefson's songwriting contributions and copyrighted all Megadeth compositions solely in his own name; and that Mustaine libeled Ellefson by accusing him of extortion in a May 2004 e-mail that was posted on Megadeth's Web site.
The suit also claims that Mustaine interfered with Ellefson's participation in two recording opportunities with Sanctuary Records.
Ellefson's action characterizes the purported May settlement as a "proposal" that was designed "to force ... Ellefson out of the group and the corporation." The proposed agreement "offered extraordinarily little compensation ... in return for virtually all [Ellefson's] rights, title and interest" in Megadeth.
As laid out in his own suit, Mustaine's defense against Ellefson's multitude of charges is simple: The bassist's claims were rendered moot when Ellefson delivered a signature page of the settlement agreement to Mustaine's attorneys.
According to Mustaine's breach-of-contract action, execution of the settlement agreement made Mustaine the sole owner of the Megadeth companies, and Ellefson "released plaintiffs from all past, present and future claims."
Mustaine alleges that Ellefson has breached the settlement agreement and denies the basic claims laid out in the bassist's suit. He seeks a declaration that the settlement agreement is valid and enforceable.
This exchange of suits is only the first salvo: Ellefson's attorney, Randall S.D. Jacobs of Bienstock & Michael in New York, says he plans to file an amended complaint within 30 days.
Back To Top
Harry Fox Agency Developing Live-Concert CD Licensing Program
By Susan Butler
NEW YORK -- The Harry Fox Agency Inc. (HFA) is developing a program to pre-license its repertoire to companies that record and manufacture CDs of live concert performances on-site, according to HFA senior VP/general counsel Jacqueline Charlesworth.
HFA says a few companies have approached it requesting compulsory mechanical licenses, but would not reveal the names. The technology is an "exciting new development," says Charlesworth, and HFA is developing the "flexible" program in an attempt to meet the licensing demands for new technology.
At this point, HFA requests a list of the "entire range" of songs the artists may perform at the concert in advance because, as only an agent of its member publishers, HFA isn't authorized to license the songs after the recording without specific permission from the publisher involved.
In addition, the agency "can't bless in advance" any possible derivation of the songs, such as a medley or change in the song since such recording wouldn't fall under the compulsory license provisions of the Copyright Act.
Charlesworth expects the program to be fully functional by this fall.
Immiediatek Inc. (parent of DiscLive) and Clear Channel Entertainment are among companies that have been manufacturing and selling on-site concert recordings.
Back To Top
Country Artist John Conlee Sues Labels For Missing Masters
By Deborah Evans Price
NASHVILLE -- Veteran country artist John Conlee has filed suit against MCA Records and others, claiming the label is in breach of contract by refusing to return artwork and "19 missing 24-track masters."
The suit, filed July 27 in the Davidson County Chancery Court in Nashville, also names as defendants MCA predecessor ABC Records Inc. as well as Geffen/A&M Records, MCA Nashville and parent company Universal Music Group as successors.
In the complaint, Conlee states that he entered into various contracts with MCA in 1976, 1980 and 1985.
In addition to the allegations over the artwork and missing masters, Conlee claims that MCA licensed his masters to Curb Records, record clubs and other entities for use in compilations without notifying him, as required by his contract. He also says MCA refused to provide an accounting of royalties due since 1997.
Conlee seeks reversion and delivery of the masters and artwork, a full accounting of all royalties due, pre-judgment interest and other relief.
After early jobs as a mortician and disc jockey, Conlee signed with MCA in 1976 and became a fixture on the label throughout the late '70s and '80s. He had 22 singles on the chart during his MCA tenure, including "Backside of Thirty," "Miss Emily's Picture," "Common Man" and "Rose Colored Glasses." The Grand Ole Opry member currently operates his RCR Records labels and is readying the fall release of a gospel collection, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."
MCA says it has not been served with the complaint and has no comment.
Back To Top
Injunctions Put Software Maker 321 Studios Out Of Biz
By Jill Kipnis
LOS ANGELES -- Software company 321 Studios -- developer of "Games X Copy" and "DVD X Copy" software, which allegedly allows users to bypass PC game and DVD encryption technology -- ceased operations on Aug. 3.
According to a statement on its Web site, the company could no longer operate as a result of "injunctions entered against 321 Studios by three U.S. federal courts earlier this year."
The St. Louis.-based company, which once reportedly had more than 300 employees -- was battling three separate lawsuits this year filed by various movie studios and videogame publishers.
Plaintiffs in the cases claimed that the "DVD X Copy" and "Games X Copy" software lines directly violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In another suit, software developer Macrovision Corp. claimed that "DVD X Copy" infringed its DVD encryption-code patents. Injunctions issued by various courts enjoined 321 Studios from selling the software lines.
In June, 321 announced that it was considering seeking federal bankruptcy protection due to increasing legal fees and decreasing income. The company had yet to file for bankruptcy before announcing that it was closing its doors for good.
On its Web site, 321 states that online customer support will be available through Aug. 1, 2005. Creditors are asked to e-mail 321 at [email protected] before Aug. 30 of this year to resolve any outstanding invoices.
Additionally, the Web site directs consumers to www.jambalayabrands.com if they are interested in purchasing any close-out products.
Back To Top
Universal Says It Will Appeal Hallyday Case
By Emmanuel Legrand
LONDON -- Universal Music France is planning to appeal a decision by a French labor tribunal ordering the company to hand over to one of its leading artists the masters to his complete catalog.
The ruling by the Conseil des Prud'hommes in Paris came July 28 in a case brought by veteran rocker Johnny Hallyday against his record company, Universal Music France.
The 61-year-old artist signed a new contract with Universal in December 2002. According to the terms of the contract, Hallyday was due to record six albums for the company. But in 2003, he began questioning the terms of the deal. On Jan. 5, he declared that he was "resigning" from Universal and taking the case to the Prud'hommes.
Under French labor law, recording contracts are considered to be "working" contracts, and artists are technically considered employees of the label. Therefore, they can "resign" before the end of their term in case of a conflict with their "employer."
Universal and Hallyday's representatives worked out an arrangement. Universal said it accepted Hallyday's resignation, and the artist agreed to record one more album for the company, to be released before Dec. 31, 2005.
In the July 28 ruling, the Conseil des Prud'hommes in Paris confirmed the artist's resignation, effective Dec. 31, 2005. However, the court decided to defer until next year a ruling on whether to grant Hallyday a damages claim of 50 million euros ($60.3 million) against Universal Music France.
In addition, the court asked for an analysis of all contracts between the artist and the record company, especially those in which the company "lent" money to Hallyday. Universal is said to have lent Hallyday 107 million francs ($19.9 million) between 1978 and 1997.
The most contentious issue ruled on by the tribunal is the handover of more than 1,000 tracks recorded by Hallyday during his tenure with the company. After his two debut albums in the early '60s on then-indie label Vogue (now part of BMG), Hallyday signed with Philips, which became part of PolyGram, later to merge with Universal.
Paris-based intellectual property lawyer Gerald Bigle says the court's decision can be interpreted as "a conservatory measure destined to offer some safeguards to the artist-employee." However, Bigle finds it confusing that the labor tribunal could mix labor laws with IP rights. "The Conseil des Prud'hommes has no jurisdiction over IP issues," he says. "I doubt that a civil court would have reached the same decision."
Sources close to Universal say the management was "stunned" by the court's decision. A Universal Music France spokesperson said the company would appeal the ruling.
In a statement, Universal says the tribunal has not found it guilty of wrongdoing. Universal notes "with surprise" the court's decision to link the handover of the masters to the end of the exclusive contract, which was mutually agreed upon by the two parties. Universal says this decision is "contrary to the contractual will of both parties, contrary to usage, contrary to Universal's right of ownership." Universal says the decision will lead to "the paralysis of the exploitation of Johnny Hallyday's catalog."
Bigle admits that the ruling regarding the masters is ambiguous. "It says Hallyday has the possession of the masters -- which in itself is quite peculiar because it [amounts to transferring] assets owned by a company to an employee -- but does not say who has the exploitation rights. If he wants to exploit the catalog, he will have to clear it with all the other rights owners, and that includes not only Universal, but also all the authors and composers."
He adds, "If, for the sake of discussion, the works end up not being exploited, it could create a series of conflicts between other rights owners and Hallyday, who can claim they are deprived of the revenues they could have expected from the exploitation of the works."
A source close to French author society SACEM says that "if the whole Hallyday catalog was to remain unexploited because of differences between Universal and Hallyday, this would have massive consequences not only for SACEM, which collects a significant level of royalties from the use of Hallyday's works, but for all the authors and composers who penned works for him. There's a lot of money at stake."
Jerome Roger, director general of French indie labels body UPFI, says the ruling is of "major significance." He elaborates, "If the exclusive contract between an artist and a record company can be broken so easily by a labor court, and if artists can be handed the masters to works that they have not produced [financially], it will create a climate of extreme insecurity with the industry."
Roger says the ruling comes at a "period of great tension between major companies and artists. A lot of artists are dismayed and unsettled by what is happening with major companies. Many have handed back their contracts, but there are also a few number who are unhappy with their relationships and who are looking at pursuing the same road as Hallyday. My feeling is that we haven't seen the end of these procedures."
Back To Top
IFPI Revamps Legal Team In London
By Lars Brandle
LONDON -- The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has unveiled a new legal structure at its secretariat in London.
Lauri Rechardt has been upped to deputy general counsel/director of licensing and litigation. Prior to his promotion, Rechardt was senior legal advisor, legal policy and licensing. He joined the IFPI in 2000 after serving as assistant director of copyright society Gramex in his native Finland.
Separately, Maria Martin-Prat has taken the role of deputy general counsel/director of legal policy and regulatory affairs. She was deputy general counsel/director of legal policy and licensing.
Rechardt and Martin-Prat report to Allen Dixon, IFPI's general counsel/executive director.
"IFPI's legal department works on deterring online and physical theft of music, promoting healthy licensing practices and new-media services, and convincing governments to provide the legal protections needed to accomplish these things," Dixon tells ELW. "The reorganization of the legal department will help keep us sharply focused on those priorities."
Meanwhile, Tim Smith has joined the trade body as senior legal advisor/litigation manager. Smith, who reports to Rechardt, was a litigation lawyer with London-based law firm Ashursts.
In addition, the IFPI has hired Mark Simpson as senior legal advisor, working on legal policy and regulatory affairs issues. Most recently, he was a senior solicitor at New Zealand law firm Kensington Swan, specializing in competition law, regulatory issues and copyright law. Prior to that he was a senior analyst at the ministry of economic development, working on copyright law reform and competition policy.
In his new role, Simpson reports to Martin-Prat.
The reorganization follows the departures earlier this year of Geoff Taylor and Trevor Albery.
The British Phonographic Industry recruited Taylor as general counsel in May. At the IFPI, he was deputy general counsel/director of litigation and regulatory affairs.
Albery exited his role as IFPI senior legal advisor, litigation, to become director, European anti-piracy counsel and corporate anti-piracy affairs, for Warner Bros. Entertainment Europe, based in London.
Additionally, Emma Pike, European affairs executive at the IFPI's office in Brussels, will be taking on her new London-based role as director general of trade body British Music Rights in September.
Back To Top
57 Arrested In Brit Piracy Raids
By Lars Brandle
LONDON -- A cross-industry investigation into counterfeit CD and DVD merchants in Britain last weekend culminated with 57 arrests. The arrests were made during raids on 12 market sites throughout the east and northeast of England.
The operation -- code-named "Zouk" -- was led by the British government's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in cooperation with police and trading standards officers. The DWP's anti-fraud investigators also worked closely with the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, the British Phonographic Industry and the Federation Against Copyright Theft.
The raids yielded more than £500,000 ($913,000) worth of illicit DVDs and CDs.
Those arrested could face charges of benefit fraud and copyright offenses. According to a DWP statement, 45 of those arrested were claiming benefits from the government.
"This is an excellent example of how well we can tackle benefit fraud when we work closely with other agencies," comments Britain's anti-fraud minister, Chris Pond. The DWP estimates that benefit fraud in Britain costs about £2 billion ($3.65 billion) each year.
The DWP also undertook a series of raids last month as part of the "Zouk" operation. Those raids netted £1.1 million ($2 million) in counterfeit goods and led to investigations into 15 individuals.
Back To Top
Attorneys General Call For Halt To P2P Swapping
By Brooks Boliek, The Hollywood Reporter
WASHINGTON -- Nearly all the top law enforcement officers in the individual States signed on to a letter delivered to the peer-to-peer services and their Washington, D.C.-based trade associations yesterday (Aug. 5), urging the wildly popular Internet distribution systems to clean up their act.
The letter, which has been in the works for months, marks the first time the state attorneys general have weighed in on the issues surrounding the services. The effort -- led by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist -- is designed to get the P2P services to "take concrete and meaningful steps to address the serious risks posed to the consumers of our states by your company's peer-to-peer file-sharing technology," the letter said.
In all, 46 state attorneys general signed the letter, as did the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The letter outlines several ills that have been associated with P2P networks, including the dissemination of pornography, spyware and widespread copyright piracy, and warns that legal action could be in the offing against individuals who use the networks for ill-gotten ends.
"We have in the past initiated Internet-related actions to stop individuals from disseminating unwanted spam, including deceptive e-mail designed to lure unsuspecting adults and children to pornographic Web sites," the attorneys wrote. "We will, as appropriate, continue to initiate such actions in the future to stop deceptive and illegal practices by users of the Internet, including users of P2P software."
While the attorneys general don't specifically threaten the services with a lawsuit, they don't rule it out.
"The undertaking of enforcement actions against individual users does not excuse your companies from fostering deceptive practices on our consumers that invade their privacy and threaten their security," they wrote. "Nor do they excuse your companies from avoiding software design changes that deliberately prevent law enforcement in our states from prosecuting P2P users for violations of the law."
While the letter is written on National Association of Attorneys General stationery, calls to the association about it were forwarded to Lockyer's office.
Adam Eisgrau, executive director of P2P United, which counts Grokster, Morpheus, eDonkey, Blubster and BearShare as its members, said his members hope the attorneys general are open to working toward a solution.
"We hope NAAG regards the letter, as we do, as the beginning of constructive dialogue and not the end," he said. "It is entirely right and appropriate for the nation's attorneys general to be concerned with consumer welfare, just as members of P2P United are, as we have continued to work with the FTC to strengthen consumer notices and warnings."
Eisgrau pointed out that the FTC testified before Congress that the companies are "not engaged in false or misleading or deceptive practices," but he took umbrage to some of the language in the letter, saying he was amazed at the "entertainment industry-generated propaganda that continued to find its way in correspondence by an organization as respected as NAAG."
While Eisgrau said P2P companies are committed to "help apprehend the scum who prey on our children and to ensure that the systems are law enforcement friendly," he rejected calls to change the networks.
"We reject the notion that because some people use P2P systems for copyright violations or other misuse that we should change the very nature of software at its fundamental nature," he said. "That would be very, very bad public policy as would acknowledging that it is a state prerogative to make national technical policy."
Back To Top
Industry Lobbies FCC Over Digital Radio
By Scott Banerjee
SAN FRANCISCO -- Recording artist groups are calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for protection as digital audio broadcasting (DAB) emerges in the radio marketplace.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Federation of Musicians, the Future of Music Coalition, the Recording Academy and the Recording Artists' Coalition collectively filed reply comments yesterday (Aug. 2) with the FCC in light of its examination on radio's transition from analog to digital.
While the groups acknowledged the potential for "increased access to the airwaves, greater musical diversity and more localism," they voiced concern over the medium's ability to allow listeners to "rewind, buffer and record radio broadcasts and songs."
These digital options, they say, will undermine existing revenue from CD sales as well as emerging Internet-based digital-music services.
As a result, the groups asked the FCC to create a "technological and regulatory framework that will ensure that recording artists, songwriters and copyright owners are fairly compensated in the future."
"The Recording Artists' Coalition looks forward to a digital future that will allow for greater access to the radio for musicians and more choices for music fans," says Rebecca Greenberg, national director for RAC, in a statement. "But policymakers and the FCC must recognize that we're at a crucial crossroads and that recording artists' livelihoods are at stake. The transition to DAB has to include measures that will ensure that recording artists are compensated for their work."
The organizations asked the FCC to conduct a full "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" before allowing DAB to launch.
Back To Top
Case Analysis Of Sony Music Entertainment v. Does 1 - 40
By Susan Butler
On July 26, 2004, judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an opinion in the RIAA case filed by 17 record companies against 40 unidentified Doe defendants for copyright infringement. The opinion -- in which the court ruled on motions to quash plaintiffs' subpoena duces tecum served upon Cablevision that sought the identities of the Internet service provider's subscribers -- discusses First Amendment and privacy issues.
The motions raise two First Amendment issues: (1) whether a person who uses the Internet to download or distribute copyrighted music without permission engages in the exercise of speech; and (2) if so, whether the First Amendment protects such person's identity from disclosure.
The court concluded that a person engages in the exercise of speech by downloading or distributing copyrighted music, "albeit to a limited extent only." In addition, "such a person's identity is not protected from disclosure by the First Amendment."
The court writes its opinion fairly clearly and succinctly. It analyzes applicable law and application of First Amendment rights, considering the following issues:
Anonymous Speech: The court initially recognizes that the First Amendment protects anonymous speech. The three U.S. Supreme Court decisions cited in the court's opinion were rendered between 1960 and 1999 and involve political expression or civil rights.
In the earliest case, Talley v. California (1960) 362 U.S. 60, the court invalidated a Los Angeles city ordinance prohibiting distribution -- in any place and under any circumstance -- of any handbill that did not include the name and address of the person who prepared, distributed or sponsored it. If the "person" was a fictitious person or club, the handbill must include the true names and addresses of the owners, managers or agents of the sponsor.
In reversing Talley's conviction for distributing handbills that didn't identify owners or agents of the organization, the court emphasized the importance of anonymity. "Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all ... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes."
Speech on the Internet: The court cites several cases to support its conclusion that the First Amendment protects speech on the Internet.
Most notable is Reno v. ACLA (1997) 521 U.S. 844, in which the U.S. Supreme Court explored the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The Reno court compared Internet users to potential handbill distributors, stating: "Through the use of chat rooms, any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer."
Limited Protection for Anonymous Speech on the Internet: Noting that all speech, whether anonymous or identifiable, does not have absolute protection, the court cites cases rejecting First Amendment protection for copyright infringement.
For instance, the U.S. Supreme Court in Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enters. (1985) 471 U.S. 539, rejected the fair use defense raised by The Nation magazine for its unauthorized publication of portions of former president Ford's unpublished memoirs. That court also rejected defendant's attempt to, in effect, extend the First Amendment's "public figure" exception to the fair use doctrine.
Civil Subpoenas: Next, the court explores First Amendment implications of civil subpoena power to obtain Internet subscribers' identities.
It notes that courts permitted discovery of subscriber information in three cases, two of which were based on violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and the other based on defamatory statements and disclosure of confidential insider information made online. Three courts denied production of subscriber information "in different circumstances" involving a shareholder derivative suit, a subpoena seeking information about subscribers affiliated with an organization and a defamation case where the subpoenaing party failed to establish a prima facie defamation claim.
P2P Use and Speech: The court held that a person who engages in P2P file sharing isn't engaging in "true expression," such as chat-room participation or e-mail communications; the person isn't seeking to "communicate a thought or express an idea." The court recognized the argument, however, that a person sharing files is making a statement by his or her actions and, alternatively, may be expressing himself or herself through the music selected. Therefore, this type of speech is entitled to some protection.
Disclosing Identities: Five factors were weighed to determine the need for disclosing identities: (1) whether plaintiffs presented a concrete showing of a prima facie claim of actionable harm; (2) whether the discovery request was specific; (3) the absence of alternative means to obtain the subpoenaed information; (4) a central need for the subpoenaed information to advance the claim; and (5) the party's expectation of privacy.
The court concluded that all five factors supported disclosure of the identities.
First, plaintiffs submitted evidence of ownership or exclusive rights of a valid copyright and copying of the original copyrighted work.
Second, the subpoenas included specific times and dates when particular Cablevision subscribers downloaded specific songs.
Third, plaintiffs established their efforts to locate the Doe defendants and their inability to obtain the information by other means.
Fourth, they established the importance of the identities to advance their copyright claims.
Finally, Cablevision's terms of service, to which its subscribers must agree, prohibited transmission or distribution of any material in violation of laws or regulations, and stated that Cablevision had the right to disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any law, regulation or other governmental request.
Therefore, the court concluded that defendants' expectations to privacy were minimal. The motions to quash were denied.
Case: Sony Music Entertainment Inc., et al., v. DOES 1-40, Case No. 04 CIV. 473 (DC), F.Supp.2d cite not yet available
Date: July 26, 2004
Court: U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Chin, District Judge
Counsel for Plaintiffs: Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman P.C., by J. Christopher Jensen and Jason David Sanders, New York; Jenner Block LLP, by Thomas J. Perrelli, Washington, D.C.
Counsel for Doe Defendant: Louis P. Pittocco, Greenwich, Conn.
Counsel for Amici Curiae: Electronic Frontier Foundation, by Wendy Seltzer and Cindy A. Cohn, San Francisco; Public Citizen by Paul Alan Levy and Charlotte Garden, Washington, D.C.; American Civil Liberties Union, by Christopher A. Hansen and Aden J. Fine, New York
Back To Top
This Week's Dream Makers & Deal Breakers:
- Sirius Satellite Radio promotes Doug Kaplan to senior VP, business affairs and business development, for entertainment and sports. Based in New York, he will oversee all entertainment and sports transactions for the broadcaster, reporting to Scott Greenstein, president of entertainment and sports.
Kaplan, previously VP of business affairs, joined Sirius in 1999. Prior to that, he was an associate at Cravath, Swaine and Moore in New York and was president of the Lakeland Prowlers in the Southern Hockey League from 1995-96.
- The ACLU Foundation of Southern California honored Loeb & Loeb co-chairman John T. Frankenheimer with the 2004 Torch of Liberty Award at an event July 26 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Torch of Liberty Award was created to acknowledge contributions made by individuals from the arts and entertainment industry and the media whose work affirms the democratic principles that underlie the promise of liberty and justice for all.
The Foundation cited Frankenheimer's "extraordinary commitment to social issues central to the work of the ACLU, including artists' rights, children's rights, medical rights, immigrant rights and the rights of the homeless." It noted his involvement in numerous other civic organizations and bodies.
The Foundation also highlighted Loeb & Loeb's "outstanding dedication" to civil rights and civil liberties. It cited, among other things, the firm's pro bono work in landmark litigation concerning free speech, non-discriminatory housing, minority voting rights and other issues.
In 2003, Loeb & Loeb partner Douglas E. Mirell received the Foundation's Pro Bono Advocate of the Year Award.
Back To Top