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1. Lil' Wayne's Co-Author Sues
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Banner, David
Royalty Collector(s)
Defendants Film Distributor(s)
Film Studio(s)
Video/DVD Distributor(s)
Other Lil' Wayne
Short Description Plaintiffs include two hip-hop songwriters and producers, David Banner and Deezle, both of whom have worked, at various times, with Dwayne Carter, better known as Lil' Wayne. This lawsuit stemmed from a concert Lil' performed to be released as a film and DVD, called "The Carter." Lil' granted to Defendants the rights to use various songs he co-authored with Plaintiffs, for reproduction in the film and associated merchandise. Plaintiffs sued, alleging Lil's company, Young Money Entertainment, had no power to grant the licenses to the songs, because it was a not a copyright co-owner; the company listed on the copyright registration was Young Money Publishing. If Young Money did not have the ability to grant a license, Defendants' film infringed Plaintiffs' rights. However, held the court, the different Young Money entities were all companies through which Lil' Wayne himself acted, and Wayne could validly grant a license if he saw fit. Thus, Defendants had valid license. While Plaintiffs were most likely owed royalties from the production, this was a not an issue in the instant suit, which alleged infringement, not royalty nonpayment. Based on the facts before the court, Defendants' summary judgment was granted. - LSW

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2. Streisand in Cahoots with Blockbuster?
Highest Court Superior Court of Rhode Island
Year Ended 1997
Plaintiffs DVD/Video Rental Establishment(s)
Defendants Blockbuster Video
Sony Music
Streisand, Barbra
Video/DVD Distributor(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff owns a small, individually-run video store, and sued Barbra Streisand, her record label, and numerous others for general anticompetitive behavior, after Blockbuster Video received an exclusive license to distribute a special videotape entitled "Barbra-The Concert." The court dismissed the anti-competition claim, whether stated as federal or state, as well as the assorted commercial wrongs Plaintiff initially alleged. - LSW

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