The daughter of late screenwriter Frank Petrella is taking her Raging Bull copyright infringement case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Paula Petrella has been locked in a legal dispute with executives at MGM Holdings Inc. since the late 1990s over allegations they illegally based the 1980 Robert De Niro movie on a copyrighted script penned by her father in 1963.
Petrella claims the film bosses have continued to breach her father's copyright by continuing to market the movie for DVD sales distributed by bosses at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, who have also been named in the suit.
Her arguments have twice been rejected by judges in San Francisco, California, ruling in favour of the studio chiefs, who accused the plaintiff of forfeiting her rights by failing to sue earlier.
However, Petrella petitioned officials at the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her case, and on Tuesday (01Oct13), they agreed to take up the dispute.
Frank Petrella died in 1981 - the same year that Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring De Niro as real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, won two Oscars.
Lawyers for the estate of late soul star Nina Simone are reportedly suing a phone company for using her hit track Sinnerman without permission. A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the star's estate accusing bosses at HTC of using Simone's famous 1965 single in a commercial without obtaining the rights.
The singer's heirs are demanding $1 million (£666,666) in damages, according to editors at TMZ.com.
Simone died at her home in France in 2003 after battling breast cancer for four years.
Halle Berry is celebrating after a bill banning paparazzi harassment was signed into law in California on Tuesday (24Sep13). The Monster's Ball star and Jennifer Garner both testified last month (Aug13) in support of Senate Bill 606, which imposes tougher penalties on photographers who constantly tail public figures and their kids, and also makes it easier for parents to sue for damages over harassment.
Pregnant actress Berry, who is also mother to daughter Nahla, five, has expressed her thanks to Governor Jerry Brown for signing the law, which comes into effect on 1 January (14).
In a statement, she says, "I started this fight with a great deal of hope and a bit of uncertainty so I cannot express my immense gratitude that Governor Brown has recognised, and acted to remedy, the plight of children who are tormented because of the identity or prominence of their parents. On behalf of my children, it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end for those overly aggressive paparazzi whose outrageous conduct has caused so much trauma and emotional distress."
Berry also thanked fellow Hollywood mum Garner and British soul singer Adele for joining her in the fight to protect their kids: "I am forever in awe of the support I got within my community from the enormously talented musician Adele to fellow actor Jennifer Garner who travelled with me to Sacramento to share her children's stories, experience and her desire to give them a better life.
"I'm grateful to Nia Vardalos and the numerous parents who work as actors, musicians, as well as professionals in medicine, mental health, lawyers, judges and cops who have experienced their children being harassed, tormented or otherwise put in dangerous situations due to their parent's profession and therefore lent their support. It is for all of us that I rejoice today and hope that this fight will continue and that the proper enforcement of this law will truly make a positive impact on the daily lives of all children."
A Los Angeles judge has ruled Michael Jackson's mother Katherine can seek damages against concert promoters at AEG Live in her ongoing wrongful death lawsuit. The Jackson family matriarch and the King of Pop's three children are suing AEG Live executives over allegations they were negligent in hiring incarcerated medic Conrad Murray to care for the singer as he prepared for his This Is It comeback shows in London in 2009.
The physician is currently serving time behind bars after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol which caused the superstar's death in 2009.
The Jacksons are seeking more than $40 billion for loss of future earnings and other damages, and on Friday (20Sep13), Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos declared Katherine Jackson has grounds to sue for compensation because the Thriller hitmaker provided for "everything" for his mother, including her household expenses and food.
Ruling in the elderly Jackson's favour, the judge dismissed the defence argument suggesting Katherine had no claim to damages because she had also been receiving $10,000 (£6,670) a month from another of her famous kids, Janet Jackson, for "some period of years".
Judge Palazuelos wrote, "There is no evidence that Janet Jackson's contributions negated Katherine Jackson's reliance - to some extent - on (Michael Jackson's) contributions for the necessaries of life."
Under California law, parents cannot seek damages for wrongful death if their child had other heirs, unless they can prove they were financially dependent on their offspring.
Closing arguments and jury deliberations in the five-month trial are expected to begin this week (begs23Sep13), once the prosecution rests its case.
AEG Live bosses have denied responsibility for hiring Murray.
Motown legend Stevie Wonder has urged Marvin Gaye's family not to pursue legal action over Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines hit because the copyright lawsuit is "not worth it". Gaye's relatives and Bridgeport Music bosses, who own the rights to George Clinton's band Funkadelic's compositions, claim the summer smash bears striking similarities to Gaye's Got to Give It Up and Funkadelic's track Sexy Ways.
The plaintiffs' accusation prompted Thicke, his producer Pharrell Williams and his rap collaborator T.I. to take pre-emptive legal action to protect their song against a possible copyright claim by Gaye's heirs.
Williams recently defended his work, admitting he's a big fan of Gaye but insisting the two compositions are "completely different" and "not even in the same key".
Now Wonder, who has faced similar allegations over the years, has weighed in on the controversy and offered his thoughts to Gaye's family - and he's convinced a costly court battle will only result in a loss of funds for his pal's estate.
He tells TMZ.com, "I don't think it's a steal (sic) from Marvin Gaye... Let me say this to you... I think objectively... the groove is very similar, but you gotta remember he (Williams) is a big fan of Marvin Gaye, so that's OK. But the song is not the same song, so if the family should hear this, don't let your lawyer, whomever, get you into losing money on something that's not worth it (sic)."
Rocker Roger Waters regrets taking legal action against his former Pink Floyd bandmates, insisting he was wrong to fight Nick Mason and David Gilmore over the rights to band's name in the mid-1980s. Waters quit the band in 1985 and subsequently pursued Mason and Gilmour for their continued use of the Pink Floyd name and material.
In a new BBC interview, Waters says, "I did think that was wrong, and I was wrong!
"It was a commercial decision and in fact it's one of the few times that the legal profession has taught me something. Because when I went to these chaps and said, 'Listen, we're broke, this isn't Pink Floyd anymore', they went, 'What do you mean? That's irrelevant, it is a label and it has commercial value... It's not about what you think, it's about... it's what it is'.
"The law is everything what we have, that's what (Pink Floyd album) The Wall is about."
Rocker Courtney Love is planning to countersue her former lawyer in a bitter defamation battle. Rhonda Holmes launched the legal spat, claiming her ex-client defamed her in tweets and press interviews and Love was charged with damaging the attorney's reputation.
But now the Hole star is fighting back, and has filed papers in Los Angeles asking a judge for permission to file counterclaims against Holmes for allegedly making "shockingly false and misleading representations" to her daughter Frances Bean Cobain in a 2009 letter.
Love has accused Holmes of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and interference, claiming her former lawyer was partly responsible for the deterioration of her relationship with the trustees of her late husband Kurt Cobain's estate, which prompted her daughter to file a temporary restraining order against her.
Holmes' lawyer claims the letter Love is referring to was actually written by the rock star.
The two parties are scheduled to meet in court in January (14) when the defamation trial gets underway.
Holmes' attorney tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We view this as an act of desperation."
Record label executives representing artists including The Rolling Stones and The Beatles are suing a U.S. radio giant in a battle over royalty payments. Representatives for Sony, Universal, Warner and independent label ABKCO, which controls much of the Rolling Stones' early music, have filed a lawsuit targeting American subscription station Sirius XM over allegations they are owed millions of dollars.
In the lawsuit, the record label bosses claim the radio station has been airing music dating from before 1972 without permission - U.S. copyright regulations do not apply to songs recorded before that date, but the executives allege the tracks are protected by state law, according to the New York Times.
The publication reports the legal paperwork was filed at Los Angeles Superior Court in California on Wednesday (11Sep13) and names the Beatles and The Rolling Stones as artists whose music has allegedly been used improperly without compensation, as well as the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and the Supremes.
The record companies are seeking unspecified damages and a judgement about the licensing of recordings made before 1972.
A number of stars have released statements backing the action, including Dionne Warwick, who says, "Classic tracks recorded before 1972 are an important part of American culture and an important (part) of Sirius XM's programming. The great artists played on the '40s, '50s and '60s stations should be treated with respect and properly compensated as Sirius XM is required to do, so I am asking Sirius XM not to Walk On By and do the right thing!"
Judy Collins adds, "It is disgraceful, unfair, and probably criminal that Sirius XM is stealing monies due to me and other performing artists. Performers should be paid their fair share of the royalties from their songs."
British singer-turned-TV personality Kerry Katona is pregnant with her fifth child. The Atomic Kitten star is expecting her first child with her fiance George Kay, who she became engaged to in April (13).
Katona shared her happy news with U.K. talk show host Alan Titchmarsh in an interview due to air on Thursday (12Sep13).
She announced, "We're just found out we're having a baby - I'm three months pregnant. I have food and a baby in my belly, the best friends in the world, a great job and I'm a very lucky girl. I'm very grateful."
The 33 year old is already mum to daughters Molly, 11, and 10-year-old Lilly-Sue with her first husband, singer Brian McFadden, as well as a Heidi, six, and Max, five, with her second husband, Mark Croft.
The new arrival will be personal trainer Kay's first child.
Sharon Osbourne has talked her daughter Kelly out of plans to sue a U.S. magazine following new reports suggesting they have fallen out over the singer-turned-TV personality's upcoming wedding plans. Sources tell the new issue of Star magazine that Sharon has turned into a bride-to-be's worst nightmare after taking over planning for Kelly's big day, adding she is refusing to accommodate her daughter's requests as she prepares to wed vegan chef Matthew Mosshart at the family's U.K. home next summer (14).
The insiders claim the mother and daughter duo have been fighting over everything from the location of the wedding to the food served at the reception, with a source telling the publication, "Kelly is at her wit's end with her mother. She's feuding with Sharon over the tiniest details of her wedding!"
Kelly Osbourne was quick to blast the allegations on her Twitter.com blog on Wednesday morning (11Sep13), writing, "WTF (what the f**k) is wrong with people why would I ever been at war with my own mother? Some publications really must be having a slow week!!!!"
Sharon also addressed the claims on her U.S. daytime show The Talk on Wednesday (11Sep13), dismissing the story as "ridiculous".
The rock matriarch also revealed that her daughter was eager to take legal action against Star, but she advised her otherwise.
She said, "(The story) is that much rubbish I can use it to pick up the dog crap... Kelly's getting married exactly where she wants to get married, and the food is the food that Kelly wants and that's it. Just because I'm arranging it, she has an even busier life than I do, so I can work with the caterer, I can work with the party planner, it cuts that away from her.
"It's just ridiculous. And Kelly called me this morning, she's in New York, and she said, 'Mummy, I'm suing!' I'm like, 'Oh, don't waste you're time or your money, forget it!'"