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1. JT and Britney Infringe Patents?
Highest Court E.D. Texas
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Concert Promoter(s)
L.A. Lakers
Spears, Britney
Timberlake, Justin
Tour Manager(s)
Tour Promoter(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Patent litigation is not uncommon with music-related lawsuits. Since the earliest years of the Phonograph and Graphophone, technology has been central to the money-making aspects of music. However, very rarely (if ever) did these lawsuits involve actual musicians. This case, however, does. In an interesting patent infringement lawsuit brought against performers, Plaintiff, a patentee, sued Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and their assorted tour-related entities, for infringing his patented "entertainment technologies for projecting images into cylindrical screens for very large audiences, such as at sporting events or musical concerts held in large venues." However, the suit was brought in the Eastern District of Texas, which had little if no connection to anything relevant to the suit, including Plaintiff's own activities. Because, among other reasons, all parties and witnesses were based in the Central District of California, which is also where much of the alleged infringement occurred, the court granted Defendants' motion to transfer the suit to California. - LSW

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2. A Perfect Negligence Case
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Aramark
Clear Channel
Concert Promoter(s)
Hyatt, Corp.
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other A Perfect Circle
Icarus Line
Short Description Injured audience members can be quite a liability. However, there are certain legal protections that prevent them from extorting Defendants for ludicrous reasons. Plaintiff was injured at a concert by A Perfect Circle, during the opening act, a lesser-known L.A. band called The Icarus Line. After the audience purportedly booed the band, its singer launched water bottles into the crowd, one of which hit Plaintiff, who was injured and supposedly became disabled. Plaintiff did not sue the band, however, but numerous entities related to the show's organization, alleging negligence, gross negligence, and improper security or preparation given the circumstances of the concert. However, well-established tort principles prevent Plaintiffs from sustaining negligence actions against Defendants for the tortious or criminal conduct of third parties, unless certain specifications are met, such as the third-party conduct being unreasonable and foreseeable or the Defendant having actual knowledge of the conduct. In this case, the venue proprietor's motion for summary judgment was granted by the trial court and Plaintiff appealed. The appellate court affirmed, finding that the show's proprietor had no reason to foresee the band's behavior; the security service was an independent contractor hired by the proprietor, not an employee or agent; and the proprietor did not know and did not have reason to know of the actions that injured Plaintiff. Furthermore, Plaintiff's motion for a continuance was also denied. - LSW

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3. Temerarios Management Battle
Highest Court S.D. Iowa
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Concert Promoter(s)
Radio Station(s)
Defendants Temerarios (Los)
Tour Promoter(s)
William Morris Agency
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Los Temerarios, while not well-known to the average American Discography reader, are an immensely popular Mexican band who has drawn large audiences to and headlined gigs at Radio City Music Hall, LA's Sports Arena (which they sold out), and Auditorio Nacional of Mexico City. Plaintiffs, a radio station and concert promoter, contracted with the band and their booking agent, William Morris Agency, to bring the band to Iowa for a performance. After organizing the event, advertising for it, and paying the band an initial $25,000, the band cancelled the event. Plaintiffs sued for breach of contract and interference with contract in Iowa, where the concert was scheduled to occur. However, the contract contained a forum selection clause, which determined Los Angeles to be the proper forum, whether state of federal. Plaintiffs tried invalidated the clause, but the court was unsympathetic. Forum selection was mandatory and unambiguous in the contract and a later addendum, and the terms were not unreasonable. Simply because a contract is given on a "take it or leave it" basis does not invalidate forum selection provisions within it; the parties had relatively equal bargaining power and Plaintiffs' decision not to seek counsel to review the contract is their own fault. The court transferred the case to Los Angeles. - LSW

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4. Old Timer Sues for Loud Rock Show
Highest Court New York Supreme Court
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Concert Promoter(s)
Fogerty, John
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Here's one for record books. Plainitff is 50-year-old attorney who allegedly attended his fair share of rock concerts back in the day. However, he swears, none of them were ever as loud as was the John Fogerty show he'd recently attended at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. After asking numerous concert employees to turn the loud concert down, Plaintiff left the gig and sued the concert promoter, proprietor, and John Fogerty himself for permanent hearing damage. Noting this to be the only case of its kind in the history of rock n' roll, the court tried to feign sympathy, but found Plaintiff's complaint absurd. Not only did Defendants have no duty to observe specific volume levels, they had no notice of which volumes would be considered too loud. (The amps go to 11 for a reason, after all). Furthermore, by attending and staying through much of the concert, Plaintiff clearly assumed the risk, even if he left early. Nothing in the complaint states anything valid. It's a pretty great case though. - LSW

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5. Dirty Southern Rock Enjoined
Highest Court Supreme Court of Oklahoma
Year Ended 1978
Plaintiffs Concert Promoter(s)
Defendants State Entity and/or Official(s)
State Judge(s)
Other Black Oak Arkansas
Coe, David Allan
Short Description The trial court enjoined a concert scheduled to take place on camp grounds in Oklahoma, featuring southern dirty rockers Black Oak Arkansas and outlaw country artist David Allan Coe. The state Supreme Court reversed, finding the trial court's analysis of irreparable harm to be insufficient. Injunction modified. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]

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