Dance DJ Kaskade has distanced himself from label bosses' decision to sue YouTube.com sensation Michelle Phan over accusations she illegally used the star's music in her popular make-up videos. Ultra Records executives launched legal action against Phan in a Los Angeles court last Wednesday (16Jul14), claiming she breached copyright laws by using their clients' songs in her viral clips, which have racked up more than 150 million views online.
They are demanding all profits from her YouTube channel, which has been running since 2007.
However, Kaskade has since spoken out via Twitter.com to insist he is not personally involved in the suit.
On Saturday (19Jul14), he shared a link to a blog post he had written a month ago insisting copyright law was outdated in today's tech-driven world, and he reiterated his sentiments again over the weekend by posting, "Copyright law is a dinosaur, ill-suited for the landscape of today's media."
He then made it clear he had no issues with Phan, stating, "I'm not suing @MichellePhan + @ultrarecords isn't my lapdog. I can't do much about the lawsuit except voice support for her."
He also quipped, "I find that @MichellePhan has great taste in music... and knows secrets on how to make my eyes really POP. What's not to like?"
Meanwhile, Phan's lawyers are preparing to fight the allegations, insisting Ultra chiefs allowed her to feature tracks by artists like Kaskade and Deadmau5 as they believed her videos "showcased (them) to an international audience". They are now planning to countersue, reports TMZ.com.
Ultra Records is also home to artists including Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi, Calvin Harris and David Guetta.
Indie rocker Conor Oberst has dropped his libel lawsuit against a fan who accused him of sexually assaulting her. Joanie Faircloth issued a statement last week (beg14Jul14), confessing she made up lies about an encounter with the Bright Eyes star to get attention.
She made the remarks anonymously in a comment section on XOJane in December (13), prompting Oberst to identify her and then sue her for libel.
On Friday (18Jul14), he dismissed his suit without prejudice.
In a statement released the day after Faircloth confessed to making up the story, Oberst wrote, "This has been extremely difficult and stressful for me personally and for those I love. I'm appreciative of the family, friends, fans and business partners who supported me throughout this and look forward to happier times as we all move forward with our lives."
Label bosses behind dance DJs Kaskade and Deadmau5 have launched legal action against online sensation Michelle Phan over copyright issues relating to the music she uses in her popular YouTube.com videos. Phan has been dishing out make-up tips to fans via her own YouTube channel since 2007, but Ultra Records executives claim her viral videos, which have racked up more than 150 million views, feature hits she does not own the rights to.
They filed suit in a Los Angeles court on Wednesday (16Jul14) and are demanding all profits from her YouTube venture.
Phan's Internet success led to endorsement deals with soda brand Dr. Pepper and cosmetics giant Lancome, in addition to landing the 27 year old her own make-up line.
Ultra Records is also home to artists including Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi, Calvin Harris and David Guetta.
It’s been a big week for Marvel fans. First, the company unveiled the new Thor, a woman who takes over the title and responsibilities of the God of Thunder after the current Thor is deemed unworthy to wield Mjolnir, and then the first look at the villains of The Avengers: Age of Ultron was revealed along with their new, Iron Man-centric backstories. But Marvel wasn’t quite done yet, and on Wednesday night, they turned to The Colbert Show to reveal that Sam Wilson, better known as Falcon, would be carrying the shield as the new Captain America.
The shift-in-power comes after Steve Rogers’ body has been drained of the super serum that turned him into Cap in the first place, which resulted in him rapidly ageing to better reflect his 95 years of age. Since he’s no longer to be the hero that America deserves, the mantle falls to his good buddy Sam, who will officially make his debut in the stars and stripes in All New Captain America #1. Iron Man will also be getting a makeover alongside Thor and Cap, and in the Superior Iron Man #1, fans will see Tony Stark move to San Francisco in his new, shiny silver suit, in order to make some changes that not all of the Bay Area’s residents take to, resulting in a darker, more temperamental hero. Of course, all of these changes lead to one big question: how will this affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thus far, the two have operated as separate continuities, but both the solo and Avengers films take their cues from the comics. But while it’s likely that Tony’s new attitude might bleed over into his movie counterpart, the real thing that fans are wondering is whether or not Anthony Mackie will get to inherit the shield from Chris Evans. And it’s a possibility we’ve been thinking a lot about as well.
Why We Might See Mackie as Captain America: Though it’s the first time that Falcon has inherited the title of Captain America, he has a long history of carrying the shield whenever Steve is hurt or otherwise incapacitated, and has temporarily filled in for Cap multiple times over his fifty year run in the comics. Although Bucky Barnes’ stint as Cap is better known, Sam actually has a bigger history in the stars and stripes to draw from. Picking Sam as the new Cap would open up a lot more possibilities for the writers in terms of the stories they could tell and the comic books they could draw from.
Depending on how many movies Evans has left in his contract, it could also allow them to switch to a new Cap sooner than they could with Bucky, who at the end of The Winter Soldier still doesn’t remember anything about his life before becoming a HYDRA super-assassin. Passing the mantle to Falcon would allow them more time with Bucky’s story, and they wouldn’t need to rush through his discovery and recovery process in order to get him into Cap’s uniform quickly. Bucky’s story is a complex, compelling one, and it would be a shame to see the films bypass a lot of what makes it so interesting simply to rush him into a new uniform. The recent films’ focus on the psychological consequences of being a superhero has been one of the most engaging and entertaining parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Bucky is a prime candidate to explore more of those issues, and to add new layers to the story.
At this point in the films, Sam is in a better position to take over for Cap. His dedication to helping Steve, no questions asked, and to supporting him on his quest to repair the damage that HYDRA has done to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the American people is very reminiscent of Steve’s willingness to do anything to protect America, its ideals, and its people. Like Steve, he is a good guy through and through, the kind of person who would protect, inspire and encourage the American people, which is exactly what Captain America is supposed to do. Sam already embodies much of what makes Captain America the hero he is, just a little flashier and a little louder. Mackie is also in a slightly better position to inherit the franchise than Sebastian Stan is. Though both are talented actors who have been working for a long time, and are just starting to break through to the mainstream, Mackie is a bit more well-known and dynamic than Stan, which will no doubt come in handy with all of the press and fan attention that the actor who plays Captain America will have to deal with. And like both Evans and Stan, Mackie is a fan favorite, having won over everyone with his enthusiasm for his character. Nobody loves Falcon more than Mackie, and nobody would love being Cap more than Mackie would.
Why We Probably Won’t See Mackie As Captain America: Unfortunately, it seems seriously unlikely that we will ever see Sam inherit the title of Captain America on the big screen. Since Marvel plans out every part of their Cinematic Universe well in advance of the films’ release, they have been laying the seeds for Bucky to take over for Cap for some time now, dropping hints in both Captain America films that foreshadow his eventual ascent to the title. It seems unlikely that they would abandon the foundations that they have been laying for years now in order to give Sam the shield, even if it would be a smart decision.
Making Falcon the new Captain America would also risk angering the very vocal subset of fans who are reluctant to see any drastic changes made to the characters that they have become so comfortable with. Any time a character’s race gets changed – like when Miles Morales became Spider Man or Michael B. Jordan was cast as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four or Samuel L. Jackson was picked to play Nick Fury – some fans get upset about it, and because their negative outlook gets attention from both press and other fans, the studios become convinced that their position is the one that the entire fandom holds. Studios aren’t going to want to risk alienating a major part of their audience, and so they continue to make the safest choices imaginable. Why else do you think it’s taken so long for us to get a female-fronted superhero film?
Despite the quality of their films and the diversity of the heroes and comic books they have to offer, Marvel is still focused on pleasing their fans in order to make money. That means that if they think that audiences will be happier watching the white dudes they’re comfortable with save the world, that’s what they’re going to give them. It doesn’t matter how many issues Sam’s tenure as Captain America sells, or how much praise the books get, transitioning from Evans to Stan is the safer choice, and therefore the one most likely to make the most moviegoers happy. By catering to the fans who make the most noise, even if they’re the smallest subset of the fandom, Marvel will feel like it’s catering to the entire fanbase, which is why it’s so difficult to get Hollywood studios to break away from their standard formula.
On top of that, there’s no telling exactly how long Sam’s run as Cap will last. Comic books are constantly revamping and rebooting themselves, which means that plots are constantly being retconned and changed. If Sam is only going to have a short run as Cap, then the filmmakers might be hesitant to restructure the films around this new development, especially if they’re worried about how fans will react. Yes, Bucky’s time as Cap wasn’t particularly long, but the shift in power has been around long enough that they not only know how fans feel about it, but they’ve also been able to work out how best to incorporate it into the films.
We might only get to see Sam as Captain America in the comic books, but at least we have the knowledge that even that is enough to make Anthony Mackie the happiest person on earth right now. And when Mackie's happy, everyone is.
Getty Images/Kevin Mazur
Hip-hop superstar Jay Z returned home on Saturday (12Jul14) to make a surprise appearance at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival in New York. The music icon joined his rapper pal Jay Electronica on stage at the annual event and played Young, Gifted & Black, We Made It, Shiny Suit Theory and PSA, much to the delight of the audience. Electronica also introduced another Brooklyn native, Talib Kweli, to perform Just Begun with him, as well as Mac Miller and J. Cole. Jay Z followed up the guest appearance by racing to the MetLife Stadium in nearby New Jersey, where he later hit the stage with his wife Beyonce for their second consecutive night at the venue, as part of their joint On The Run tour.
Getty Images/Slaven Vlasic
Comedian Tracy Morgan has spoken out for the first time after he was seriously injured in a multi-car pile up in New Jersey to assure fans he is feeling "strong".
The 30 Rock star was hospitalised in a critical condition on 7 June (14) when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limousine he was travelling in, killing his mentor and colleague James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair. Morgan, 45, was released from a rehabilitation centre last week (ends11Jul14) and has since returned to his New Jersey home, where he will continue his recovery for injuries including a broken leg, a broken nose and several broken ribs.
On Monday (14Jul14), he was pictured back on his feet with the help of a walker as he was helped into a waiting car outside his house. Asked how he was feeling, he told photographers, "I'm OK. I feel strong. Love you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it."
Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper stands accused causing the multi-vehicle accident after allegedly falling asleep at the wheel of his truck. Morgan, his assistant Jeffrey Millea and comedian Ardie Fuqua, who were also injured in the crash, filed suit against bosses at the U.S. superstore on Thursday (10Jul14), accusing them of negligence, alleging company executives should have known Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours and that his drive from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was "unreasonable". Roper denies charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
Filmmakers behind a new Michael Jackson documentary have stepped up their legal battle against the King of Pop's estate executors in a bid to clear the way for the movie's release. Director Craig Williams was recently slapped with a cease-and-desist notice over the rights to footage in Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot, which features clips he shot of the superstar at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City for Ebony magazine in 2007, two years before his death.
His film also includes interviews with Jackson's friends, photographers and stylists as the superstar prepared for the photo session.
Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Michael Jackson estate, claims the singer never agreed to have his "private moments... publicly and commercially exploited", but Williams hit back with his own lawsuit, insisting he and producers at Noval Williams Films legally obtained the rights after the Jackson family passed on the opportunity in 2011.
Williams and his fellow producers have now filed an injunction against estate bosses in New York's Manhattan Supreme Court, compelling them to respond to the suit within 21 days to speed up the process, according to the New York Post.
Williams is seeking declaratory relief that his film isn't infringing copyrights so they can press ahead with the film's sale and release.
Relatives of movie icon John Wayne have filed suit against officials at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina as part of a trademark battle over the actor's nickname 'The Duke'. The two parties have been locked in a branding feud for almost a decade, but the legal fight heated up last year (13), when school bosses objected to Wayne's family applying to register 'Duke' for use in the liquor industry to produce a bourbon in the late actor's name.
University executives claimed the use of the name for booze may cause confusion among consumers and tarnish the school's brand, which is already established in the food and beverage markets.
Chiefs at John Wayne Enterprises have now taken the case to federal court, asking for a declaratory judgement giving them permission to use the Duke branding for bourbon, arguing, "Duke University is not and never has been in the business of producing, marketing, distributing, or selling alcohol.
"On information and belief, the actual and potential customer base of Duke University is vastly different from the customer base of JWE."
The complaint, obtained by editors at The Hollywood Reporter, continues, "Duke University does not own the word 'Duke' in all contexts for all purposes. Duke is a common word that has been in use for centuries in a wide array of commercial and other applications wholly independent of Duke University. Yet by the actions alleged herein, Duke University seems to think it owns the word 'Duke' for all purposes and applications."
Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst is requesting a summary judgement in his defamation lawsuit against a woman who accused him of rape in 2003 after the defendant failed to respond to the legal action. The singer/songwriter is demanding $1.2 million (£705,882) from Joanie Faircloth amid claims she is the anonymous individual who named him in a series of messages in the comment section of an article about abusive rock stars on XOJane.com in December (13).
The author of the posts accused Oberst of raping her after a show in North Carolina in 2003, when she was 16.
The star insists the encounter is made up as he has never even met her, and he filed suit against Faircloth in February (14), alleging her lies damaged his reputation and cost him a record contract worth at least $200,000 (£117,650).
Faircloth has not responded to the lawsuit or shown up for hearings in the case, so now the singer is asking a judge to rule in his favour and award him damages, according to TMZ.com.
A decision on the request has yet to be made.
Superstar Madonna was dismissed from jury duty at a New York court on Monday (07Jul14), just two hours after her arrival. The Material Girl hitmaker was originally scheduled to fulfil her civic duty in May (14), but postponed the date due to illness.
On Monday, the singer, wearing black suit, black sunglasses and platform sandals, showed up at the 60 Centre Street venue accompanied by two court officers, three policemen, two bodyguards and an assistant, and was ushered upstairs to a private office for a meeting with the head clerk.
She was subsequently released without being interviewed for the panel.
Court spokesman David Bookstaver reveals Madonna was allowed to go free as officials already had plenty of prospective jurors for the day's cases and didn't want the Queen of Pop to create a distraction during the selection process.
However, he insisted her court appearance alone "really goes to show that everyone gets called".
Jim Dunnigan is a renowned crisis manager who takes the helm of the scandal-soaked athletic department at Glory University. He soon finds himself tasked with rescuing the school's pristine image, while managing scheming boosters, dysfunctional recruits and a meddling lawyer who won't go away. With a multimillion dollar television contract at stake, not to mention his career, Jim must find a way to save the school.