Billionaire Ron Burkle gets to move forward in his lawsuit alleging being defrauded in the $289 million sale of The Weinstein Co. assets. On Thursday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge rejected a bid to nix fraud claims brought by Burkle's Yucaipa Companies. Back in July 2018, Yucaipa sued Lantern Entertainment (later becoming Spyglass Media) upon completion of the $289 million deal. Burkle once attempted to buy TWC's assets outside of bankruptcy, but certain events intervened. According to the complaint, Yupaica had taken the lead in assembling a deal that would save TWC from bankruptcy and ensure compensation for Harvey Weinstein's victims and creditors. Instead, ongoing investigations and a suit from New York's attorney general made his buyout nearly impossible. Once TWC filed for Chapter 11 in Delaware, a bankruptcy court supervised the sale of film and television assets. Lantern emerged the winner of bidding. But after Lantern was crowned the victor, Burkle's Yucaipa … [Read more...] about Judge Allows Ron Burkle to Pursue Weinstein Buyout Fraud
Most tales of business disruption these days have a decidedly corporate edge. For instance, Netflix often takes the mantle of being an usurper even if there's little chance that a company worth more than $122 billion would really do anything to make the content industry anything less than a profitable endeavor — at least for itself and partners. But what about those who lack significant financial backing but possess the technological savvy to truly move the marketplace forward? What chance do they have? A coming decision in D.C. federal court could provide a different sort of look at television's future. Meet Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has invented a device known as the NeTV2, which allows for the replacement of pixels in high-definition digital video streams. As described at various websites and in court papers, his crowd-funded device holds the potential to do everything from providing … [Read more...] about Will a Federal Judge Unleash Hackers On the TV Industry?
Jason Lust sued Animal Logic in 2016 claiming the Australian VFX house turned production company convinced him to hand over his intellectual property rights to Peter Rabbit and then shut him out of working on the project — and nearly three years later a California federal judge has tossed much of his case. Animal Logic countersued Lust, arguing their relationship was "at will" and their agreement dictated Lust would have to sign over any copyrights or other IP he owned in connection with projects he worked on for the company. It also asked the court to toss Lust's claims in a March 2018 motion for summary judgment that argued, "Only in Hollywood would someone who has received compensation and credit sue because no one asked him to do any actual work." U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt on Wednesday granted the motion in part, allowing only one of Lust's claims to survive. In a redacted order, Kronstadt finds the short-form agreement between the parties to be binding, even … [Read more...] about Animal Logic Evades Most Claims in ‘Peter Rabbit’ Fight
An anonymous massage therapist who claims to have been sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey has died, according to a notice filed in court by the actor's attorneys. The individual, suing as a "John Doe," filed claims in Sept. 2018 with the allegation of being forced to grab the actor's genitals twice during a massage two years earlier at a private residence in Malibu. In May, a federal judge in California allowed the case to move forward despite Spacey's objection that the plaintiff's identity was being shielded. Now, just a month after the parties came to a plan for proceeding in the suit that detailed prospective discovery and envisioned a 7-to-11 day trial, the plaintiff's attorney has informed Spacey that the client "recently passed." No further detail is provided, and a request to the plaintiff's attorney for further information has not been answered. Spacey recently got out of another legal situation when criminal charges against him were dropped in Nantucket, Massachusetts. In … [Read more...] about Kevin Spacey Accuser Dies in Midst of Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Mercedes Benz has convinced a Michigan federal judge that its four parallel complaints against street artists over Detroit murals that were shown in G 500 ads should move forward. The luxury carmaker in March sued James Lewis, Daniel Bombardier, Jeff Soto and Maxx Gramajo after their work was shown in the background of a series of Detroit-based ads and the artists sent cease-and-desist letters in response. Mercedes is asking the court for a declaration that its use didn't infringe their copyrights in the works. U.S. District Judge Avery Cohn on Wednesday denied the artists' motions to dismiss the complaints, which argued Mercedes couldn't sue because they hadn't yet registered copyrights in the works. "This argument is not well taken," writes Cohn. "The complaint alleges that defendants made adverse claims against Mercedes based on their claimed rights in the murals and threatened to sue Mercedes. Under the standard for declaratory relief, the complaint states a ripe claim." … [Read more...] about Mercedes Benz Graffiti Lawsuit Rolls Past Motion to Dismiss