News

A Wellness Tip from the Attorney Well-Being Committee

Rather than checking on every e-mail as it arrives, schedule time in your calendar for reading and managing e-mail (and leave e-mail notifications silent during the other times of the day).  This will enable you to have focused time for given tasks without constant interruption and distraction.
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Nashville Attorney Dick Frank Dies at 90

Nashville lawyer Richard “Dick” H. Frank Jr. died on May 31, his 90th birthday. Born in Maury County, Frank served in the U.S. Navy before attending New York University for law school, where he graduated in 1956. Two years later he filed the corporate charter for the Country Music Association, where he served as counsel for the next 40 years. He also represented leading writers, artists and publishers in country music during his career, and taught entertainment law and copyright law at Vanderbilt and the Nashville School of Law.
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Trump Lawyer Sent Cease and Desist Letter to The Onion

The editorial staff at satirical news organization The Onion recently unearthed a cease and desist letter written in 2013 by President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, Above the Law reports. The letter was drafted in response to a parody editorial with Trump’s byline. Cohen, who began the message by clarifying that the piece was not written by Trump, goes on to call the article “an absolutely disgusting piece that lacks any place in journalism.”
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NBA YLD Helps Host Arts Council Benefit

The Nashville Bar Association's YLD, in partnership with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, is hosting the Arts Immersion summer party on May 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Fort Houston. The evening will feature live performances, a silent auction, drinks and more. Tickets are available here, with proceeds going to support the Arts & Business Council’s Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts program, which has provided over $3.5 million in free legal services to the Nashville arts and entertainment community.

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Entertainment and Sports Forum Tomorrow at Belmont

A CLE program on entertainment and sports law will be held tomorrow at the Belmont University College of Law. Topics include an in-depth review of new proposed music legislation, legal issues facing in-house counsel at top entertainment companies, the representation of legacy artists, and alternative fee arrangements among entertainment attorneys. 
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U.S. Supreme Court Rules States Can Legalize Sports Betting

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a 1992 law that prevented most states from instituting legal sports betting, NPR reports. Prior to the decision, only Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon had legalized sports betting. The ruling does not immediately legalize sports betting in all 50 states; rather, states many now choose whether they wish to legalize what has become a $150-billion-a-year industry.
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Share Your Thoughts on Proposed Amendments to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 6

The Supreme Court recently requested comment on proposed amendments to TSC Rule 6 that would require new attorneys to complete a Tennessee Law Course within one year of admission to the Tennessee bar. The Tennessee Bar Association has a working group on this issue and will be drafting comments in response to the court's Order for Comment. To ensure this comment best reflects members’ views and positions, the groups is looking for your feedback. Share your thoughts about the proposed amendments through this form by June 8.
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    Rap Icon Loses Trademark Battle to Gynecologist

    Rap pioneer Andre “Dr. Dre” Young lost a trademark dispute against Pennsylvania gynecologist Draion M. Burch on May 3, ending a years-long legal battle between the rapper and the practicing doctor, The Washington Post reports. Dr. Dre filed a lawsuit in 2015, arguing Burch’s use of the moniker “Dr. Drai” would cause “confusion” among consumers. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shot down the claim, maintaining the rapper failed to show people would be misled by Burch’s Dr. Drai branding and purchase his products thinking they were Dr. Dre’s.
     
    Dr. Drai hosts sex education classes for adults and teens, and is featured on webinars titled, “What Your Mama Didn’t Tell You About Making Babies” and has authored several books, including “20 Things You May Not Know About the Vagina.”
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    U.S. Circuit Court Not Monkeying Around on Copyrights

    A federal appeals court ruled recently in a case over selfies taken by a monkey that U.S. copyright law does not allow lawsuits claiming animals have copyrights to photographs. To read more swing on over to the Mercury News for the whole story.

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    Former NFL Cheerleaders Agree to Settle Suit for $1, Meeting with Goodell

    Two former NFL cheerleaders who filed discrimination claims against the league said yesterday that they will settle their case for $1 each and a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league officials, The Washington Post reports. The women’s attorney said the goal of the meeting would be to create “binding rules and regulations” for teams that employ cheerleaders. Currently cheerleaders are subject to intense restrictions, such as rules on what clothing to wear, social media rules, and being outlawed from having any association with players, including having to leave restaurants if a player enters.
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    Magician Forced to Reveal Secrets in Negligence Lawsuit

    The secrets behind one of magician David Copperfield’s tricks were revealed in court documents thanks to a negligence lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was badly hurt while participating in a 2013 performance in Law Vegas, the Associated Press reports. Copperfield’s lawyers lost pretrial bids to close proceedings to the public to avoid giving away the secrets. Copperfield himself will take the stand on Wednesday in the trial.
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    Ambassador Lighthizer Urged to Include Intellectual Property Protections in New NAFTA

    The United States Senate Finance Committee has urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to include strong copyright protections in U.S. trade agreements, including the new North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), JD Supra reports. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Senate Finance Committee Member Bill Nelson, D-Florida, sent a letter to Lighthizer on Friday expressing concerns over adequate copyright enforcement for intellectual property in global markets.
     
    Areas of concern related to NAFTA are a lack of protection for geographical indicators in trademark, the Minister of Health’s broad discretion in the disclosure of confidential information, and a lack of clarity on patent requirements in Canadian courts and Mexico’s decline in seizures of goods that violate intellectual property rights, widespread availability of pirated and counterfeit goods, and a copyright regime that is not equipped to adequately handle digital trade. You can read the full letter here.
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    City in China Intends to Replicate the Magic of Music City

    The city of Chengdu, China, is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to build a music-fueled entertainment district in hopes to replicate the magic of Music City, reports The Tennessean. Music Row executives have been hosted on trips where Chengdu officials have unveiled their vision for their own music corridor called the Chengdu Musical Fun District, which includes several new music venues, recording studios, office space to host publishing companies and instrument makers. They were also given presentations of the incentive and rent-reduction programs that the district will offer an array of music businesses that set up shop there.

    The investment will include incentives for music businesses to set up shop in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. It is also part of a broader effort in China to invest in copyright and open the nation up to creative commerce that has been undermined by rampant piracy. The two cities have discussed joining through the international Sister Cities program as well.

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    Services April 28 for Nashville Lawyer Dorothy Campbell

    Nashville lawyer and professor Dorothy Kathryn Campbell died on April 3 at the age of 62. Campbell was a 1980 graduate of Vanderbilt Law. She practiced in the fields of entertainment law, intellectual property and arbitration, and served as an associate professor at Middle Tennessee State university and adjunct faculty at the University of Tennessee. In 1990, she received the Red Cross Clara Barton Honor Award and a Volunteer Service Commendation from President George Bush. A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held at St. George's Episcopal Church in Nashville at 11 a.m. on April 28. In lieu of flowers, her family recommends contributions to the Red Cross.
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    The 2018 Arts Immersion

    The 2018 Arts Immersion event will be held at Fort Houston on Wednesday, May 23, from 6 - 9 p.m. Valet parking is available for attendees. 

    Performers that have confirmed are the following: Quiet Entertainer (turntablist), Steven Dunning (violinist) and live painting with Poverty and the Arts. 

    Bradley is the lead sponsor and the following firms or companies are also sponsoring: 

    ·       191 Touring; Anderson Benson

    ·       Bass, Berry & Sims

    ·       Belmont University College of Law

    ·       Butler Snow; Hall Booth Smith

    ·       GSRM; IEBA

    ·       Jack Daniels

    ·       Kraft CPA

    ·       Loeb & Loeb

    ·       Neal & Harwell

    ·       Patterson Law

    ·       Riley, Warnock & Jacobson 

    ·       Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP 

    ·       Sherrard, Roe, Voigt & Harbison

    ·       Thinking Out Loud Designs

    ·       Waller

    ·       Wiatr & Associates

    Attendees will enjoy appetizers, beverages, a silent auction and more. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door.

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    10 Essential Documents for Your Practice

    Instructions and rules for client file retention, list of current curse and copy of bank’s form for IOLTA access are three of the top 10 documents attorneys need for succession planning and practice management. Learn more in this 3-hour dual credit workshop with attorney Timothy Takacs.

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    Earl 'Peanutt' Montgomery sues George Jones' Widow, Record Label for $5 Million

    A frequent George Jones collaborator is suing the late country icon's widow, Concord Music Group and Cracker Barrel for releasing a long-shelved album without permission, reports The Tennessean. Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery co-wrote 73 songs cut by Jones, nearly 40 of which were released as singles by the late entertainer. Montgomery also played in Jones’ band and produced music for the late entertainer.

    Montgomery claims that in the late 1970s, Jones contacted him about an idea to collaborate with Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys on an album. Jones wanted Montgomery "to produce and own (the album) as his retirement package for all his years of service and friendship to Mr. Jones," according to the lawsuit. The album was eventually shelved as Jones entered into several different recording contracts delaying its release.

    As the producer, Montgomery maintained possession of the original mixed version of the album, but the master tapes were kept in the vault at Doc's Place Recording Studios in Nashville. Despite several attempts to work out a deal with CBS and then Sony Records, the long-lost album "George Jones & the Smoky Mountain Boys" was not released.

    Subsequent to his death, Jones’s widow Nancy Jones entered into an agreement to sell his intellectual property and other assets to Concord, which owns Rounder Records, for a reported $30 million. In 2017, Concord entered into an agreement to release "George Jones & the Smoky Mountain Boys" through Cracker Barrel. The album is also on streaming services, including Spotify. "The release further misrepresents the album as lost recordings which were discovered, when in fact recordings were converted by defendant Nancy Jones and ultimately the Concord defendants with full knowledge of (Montgomery's) ownership," the lawsuit states.

    Even though Montgomery produced the original recordings, he was allegedly not paid for his work or listed in the album's liner notes. Instead, two other executives, who added other musical elements to the version that was ultimately released, were credited as executive producer and project supervisor. The complaint, filed in federal court in Nashville, can be viewed here

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    George Jones Collaborator Sues Jones’ Widow, Record Label for $5 Million

    Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery, a frequent collaborator of the late country artist George Jones, is suing Jones’ widow and record label for releasing a shelved album without permission, The Tennessean reports. Montgomery co-wrote 73 songs with Jones and played in his band. The record was in a vault since the 70’s and was released last year through Cracker Barrel and Concord Music Group. Montgomery claims he is the true owner of the recordings.
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    Fall Happy Hour

    Milom Horsnell Crow Rose Kelley PLC and Ritholz Levy Fields LLP hosted the section's fall happy hour. Keep your eyes out for the next happy hour, happening this spring! 

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    Section Held Successful Annual Forum

    Every May, the Entertainment and Sports Law Section hosts the Entertainment and Sports Forum CLE. The 2017 CLE covered a wide variety of topics ranging from an overview of cases pending before the US Supreme Court to a discussion regarding the ethical and legal dilemmas faced in the word of virtual reality. Program Producer, Jeff Allen,did a great job producing the 2017 Entertainment and Sports Forum! 

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    Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts Fall 2017 Legal Clinic

    The TBA Entertainment and Sports Law Section partners with the Arts and Business Council of Nashville to provide the community with free legal clinics for artists and arts organization. This fall SESAC hosted the legal clinic.

    Pictured; Reid Waltz and Belmont law student, Elizabeth Lombardi, providing legal counsel to a local artist. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    2017 Highlights

    Happy New Year from the TBA Entertainment and Sports Law Section! We hope that your year is off to a great start. Check out what the Section has been up to over the past year! 

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    Federal Judge Dismisses Taylor Swift Copyright Suit

    Taylor Swift is victorious in court again, after a California judge dismissed a copyright lawsuit over the lyrics to her song “Shake It Off,” The Washington Post reports. The suit claimed Swift stole lyrics from the 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” by 3LW, which featured the lyrics “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate.” U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled that those lines alone to not qualify as creative and original enough to warrant copyright protection.
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    Sweeping Music Copyright Package Headed to U.S. House Committee Next Month

    House Judiciary Committee Chair U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlette, R-Virginia, plans to introduce an umbrella music licensing bill next month, The Tennessean reports. The bill will include the Music Modernization Act, the Classics Act and the AMP Act. The Music Modernization Act would overhaul the digital mechanical licensing process and lead to better payouts for songwriters, according to advocacy groups representing songwriters and publishers. The Classics Act would require digital radio companies to pay artists and labels royalties for songs recorded prior to 1972. The AMP Act would codify the existing practice of paying music producers compensation stemming from digital royalties earned by artists.
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