On this day in 1982, the California Labor Commission awarded Richard Pryor more than $3 million in a dispute with his former manager. In Pryor v. Franklin, TAC 17 MP 114, Pryor claimed that his former manager, David McCoy Franklin, acted as both an unlicensed talent agent and a personal manager. Under California’s Talent Agencies Act (Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1700-1700.47), an agent — a person who seeks employment for his or her client — must be licensed by the state. Managers need not be licensed, but generally cannot seek employment for their clients. The Labor Commission found that Franklin obtained employment for Pryor in many areas of the business, that Franklin referred to himself as Pryor’s agent, and that he was often the only one who negotiated contracts on Pryor’s behalf. The Commission said it was irrelevant that the initial contact was made by the interested parties rather than Franklin. Regardless of who makes the initial contact, a talent agent’s license is required in order to negotiate an artist’s employment agreement. The Commission also found that Franklin misappropriated money that should have been paid to Pryor.
- Time Warp: October 3, 2007 (Family Guy)
- Blawgertainment Is on Hiatus
- Makers of The Oregon Trail Video Game Sue Zynga for Trademark Infringement
- NYT Claims That Twitter Account Linking to Every Story on Website is Trademark Infringement
- Time Warp: March 11, 1997 (Fair Use in News Reporting)
- Godzilla Sues Honda for Trademark Infringement
- Time Warp: February 7, 2005 (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame v. Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
- Time Warp: December 4, 2008 (Joe Satriani v. Coldplay)
- Time Warp: November 15, 2007 (Barry Bonds)
- Time Warp: October 16, 2007 (Fantasy Sports)
- Time Warp: October 6, 1983
- Time Warp: October 1, 2009
Time Warp: October 3, 2007 (Family Guy)
On this day in 2007, the copyright owner of the song “When You Wish Upon A Star” sued the makers of Family Guy for copyright infringement.
Time Warp: March 11, 1997 (Fair Use in News Reporting)
On this day in 1997, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a television station’s unauthorized broadcast of footage from the Rodney King riots was not fair use.
Time Warp: December 4, 2008 (Joe Satriani v. Coldplay)
On this day in 2008, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani sued Coldplay for copyright infringement.
Time Warp: November 15, 2007 (Barry Bonds)
On this day in 2007, Barry Bonds was indicted for making false statements to a grand jury regarding his use of steroids.
Time Warp: October 16, 2007 (Fantasy Sports)
On this day in 2007, a federal court held that the First Amendment protects the right of fantasy sports leagues to use statistics and players’ names without permission.
Time Warp: October 6, 1983
On this day in 1983, a federal court held that the television show “The Greatest American Hero” did not infringe the rights to Superman.
Time Warp: October 1, 2009
On this day in 2009, David Letterman announced on air that he was a victim of an extortion attempt.
Time Warp: September 17, 1787
On this day in 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution.
Time Warp: September 6, 1985 (John McEnroe)
On this day in 1985, the New York Supreme Court held that John McEnroe was not liable for threatening, and then taking a swing towards, a fan at the U.S. Open.
Time Warp: August 25, 1997 (Eastwood v. National Enquirer)
On this day in 1997, the Ninth Circuit held that the National Enquirer violated the Lanham Act and the California right of publicity by publishing an “exclusive interview” with Clint Eastwood that never actually occurred.