Pay or Play Blog

Conrad is a regular contributor for Fox's entertainment blog, Pay or Play, where he discusses current events and legal issues impacting the entertainment industry.

Recent Blog Posts

  • “The Cosby Show” Producer Demands BBC Foot the Bill for Using Show Clips in Documentary Exposé 44883775 – scyther5 Former American icon Bill Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting at least sixty women over five decades, according to Time Magazine.  But the Carsey-Werner Company, which produced Cosby’s hit sitcom “The Cosby Show”, claims the program still has “inherent entertainment value” that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wrongfully capitalized when it used eight clips and music from the show in its documentary “Bill Cosby – Fall of an American Icon.”  Carsey-Werner filed for copyright infringement in the... More
  • Court Pens New Chapter in Milo Yiannopoulos’ Suit Against Simon & Schuster 46927072 – Aleksandr Smaglov After the outspoken conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos sued Simon & Schuster this summer for allegedly breaching their contract to publish his autobiography Dangerous, Simon & Schuster threw the book at Yiannopoulos with a motion to dismiss.  But New York Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager was not convinced Yiannopoulos’ suit is ready for its final chapter.  Last week, the Court denied the motion and opened the door to discovery of evidence Yiannopoulos vows will show the publishing company... More
  • Dr. Phil Serves Bitter Pill to Woman Who Stole Nine Seconds of Footage 37541052 – belchonock Television host and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw got just what the doctor ordered when a district court in Texas awarded summary judgment on Dr. Phil’s copyright claim against the woman who sued him in 2015 for alleged false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress. Leah Rothman, a segment director for the Dr. Phil Show from 2003 to 2015, claimed she suffered emotional distress when Dr. Phil allegedly locked her and approximately three hundred other show employees in a room, demanded... More
  • Creator of NBA 2K16 Warns Tattoo Lawsuit Could Leave Lasting Impression 84053215 – lightfieldstudios A multi-million dollar lawsuit for copyright infringement against Take Two Software, the creators of NBA 2K16 has proved to be anything but a slam dunk.  The alleged infringement concerns player avatars displaying tattoos worn by several NBA stars including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.  Last week, Take-Two filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings arguing its display of the tattoos is de minimis and qualifies as fair use. The plaintiff, Solid Oak Sketches, purchased the tattoos from the original... More
  • Upon Further Review – Nationals Get Second Swing at Orioles Over TV Dispute Copyright: ericbvd / 123RF Stock Photo A New York court of appeals last week declared the Orioles and Nationals will play extra innings in the teams’ longstanding dispute over fees the Orioles’ Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) owes the Nationals for broadcasting their games. The teams have shared the network since the Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos) arrived in Washington D.C. for the 2005 season.  The Orioles, incensed that the Nationals were consuming about a third of their market, broadcast Washington’s games at... More
  • Food Network’s Holiday Treat Sours Amidst Copyright Infringement Suit SugarHero Video Screenshot The Food Network is snowed in controversy after popular food blogger, baker and CSO (“Chief Sugar Officer”) of the recipe site Elizabeth LaBau filed for copyright infringement this month alleging the network copied her video tutorial on how to create “snow globe cupcakes.” LaBau first published the recipe in 2014 and experienced so much acclaim that she posted a one-minute video tutorial to her site last December, which accumulated approximately 5.7 million views on Facebook to date.  The... More
  • Disney Seeks to Cage “Zootopia” Copyright Infringement Suit Copyright: jagcz / 123RF Stock Photo The Walt Disney Company claims there was no monkey business in creating the Oscar-winning animation film Zootopia and has moved to dismiss writer Gary L. Goldman’s lawsuit for copyright infringement.  Goldman, an author whose credits include Total Recall, Next and Minority Report, filed suit in March and alleges that Disney copied the themes, settings, plot, characters and dialogue of Goldman’s live action film and television series titled Looney which Goldman pitched to Disney in 2009. ... More
  • No Laughing Matter – O’Brien Forced to Stand Trial in Stolen Jokes Lawsuit Copyright: buzzfuss / 123RF Stock Photo TBS comedian and late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien was given good reason to frown Monday when a federal judge denied summary judgment as to three of the five jokes comedy writer Alex Kaseberg claims O’Brien and his writing team stole from Kaseberg’s Twitter feed between December 2014 and June 2015. The three jokes left standing: a gag about New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady giving Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll the new car Brady... More
  • The Eagles Say Suite Dreams to Hotel California in Trademark Infringement Suit 43756518 – hotel. The iconic American rock band The Eagles released its platinum album “Hotel California” in December of 1976.  It sold more than 32 million copies worldwide and its title track “Hotel California” achieved legendary status.  Over four decades later, it appears the “lovely place” on a “dark desert highway” might actually exist, but not how the band envisioned. The Eagles launched a trademark infringement action last Monday against a small hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico with a familiar name – Hotel California.  Described... More
  • MLB All-Stars Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman Cry Foul at Al Jazeera’s Documentary on Sports Dopers Copyright: americanspirit / 123RF Stock Photo The defamation lawsuit by retired three-time All-Star Philadelphia Phillies first-baseman Ryan Howard and All-Star Washington Nationals first-baseman Ryan Zimmerman against Al Jazeera over the controversial documentary The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers survived a motion to dismiss Friday.  The 49-minute undercover exposé aired in late December 2015 and featured surreptitious recordings of Charles Sly, a former pharmacy intern at The Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine in Indianapolis, who claimed he supplied Howard and Zimmerman... More