All Articles Tagged "intellectual property"

‘I Read About It On The Blogs Just Like Everyone Else:’ Mona Scott-Young Responds To ‘Love & Hip Hop’ Lawsuit

March 13th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Mona Scott-Young


Earlier this week news leaked that Mona Scott-Young, VH1, Viacom and a host of others were named in a $50 million copyright infringement lawsuit over the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise. According to the filed lawsuit, production company 8th Wonder Entertainment insist that the wildly popular franchise was initially their idea and that they submitted a script for an eerily similar show starring Chrissy Lampkin, Tashera Simmons and Mashonda Tifere.

“Love & Hip Hop” visionary Mona Scott-Young has since responded to the lawsuit and interestingly, she’s saying that she hasn’t actually been served with any legal documents regarding the complaint as of yet.

“Well, the one thing that I will say is that I read about it on the blogs just like everyone else did,” Mona told Sway Calloway during a recent chat with “RapFixLive.” “So it seems like the only people they’ve served are TMZ and Bossip. I haven’t been served anything!”

She did however, express that she does believe that the lawsuit is legit, as the paperwork that has been floating around the Internet looks pretty official.

“I have to assume there’s some basis to this because these are all very legal-looking documents,” she continued.

As for the actual complaints made in the lawsuit, Mona thinks the plaintiffs claims are a bit questionable.

“Listen, the show’s been on for six years. And I just have to wonder did you just wake up one morning and say, ‘Hey, I just remembered, I did that show and she stole it from me!’ The beauty about the United States of America, the country we live in, is that anyone can sue for anything.”

The music industry vet doesn’t seem to be too worried about the lawsuit though, as she jokes that the suit must be a sign that she’s reached a certain level of success.

“From what I hear, you’re nobody until somebody sues you. I don’t know, I guess I’ve made it. The truth will prevail. That’s all I have to say.”

While she doesn’t doubt that 8th Wonder Entertainment may have very well been working on a similar show, she argues that this doesn’t actually mean that she swiped it from them.

“So many times there are paralleled shows being developed within a network—and then, may the best cast prevail. But the thing is, it’s a reality show. I didn’t create these people because I didn’t give birth to them. All I did was shine a camera on a segment of the population that I knew well, that I come from. I have 20+ years in hip hop. You know what I’m saying? You can’t create a reality show. It’s reality!”

Due to legal reasons, Mona says she can’t really discuss the lawsuit the way she would like to, but she promised to explain it all once everything gets squared away.

Well, I suppose we’ll have to stay tuned until then.

Watch Mona’s interview on the next page. Were you surprised by the lawsuit?

A Little Help For Hollywood: Obama Unveils New Anti-Piracy Plan In Annual Report

June 23rd, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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President Obama walking to the White House this week. via Facebook

President Obama walking to the White House this week. via Facebook

Here’s a move by the Obama administration that has Hollywood pleased. Obama has introduced a new anti-piracy plan and updated its statistics on investigations and arrests in its annual IP (intellectual property) enforcement report. But most important, the government speaks about its priorities including transparency, communication and education.

The administration says there are several issues it wants to tackle this year, such as transparency in IP policymaking and international negotiations, improving law enforcement communication with IP stakeholders and educating authors on “fair use.” In other words, anyone who will be stepping into the media arena — as a filmmaker, blogger, freelancer, and more — should be aware of what they can and can’t use, and the repercussions for breaking the rules.

“The past year was also one in which Hollywood studios and ISPs enacted voluntary initiatives to discourage piracy,” reports The Hollywood Reporter. Obama has said he is looking to generate more cooperation with IP protocol. And he also wants to examine the effectiveness of these voluntary programs.

All of this is included in the report, stressing the need for transparency with the promise of maintaining an “open door policy” and regularly publishing the group’s efforts through Federal Register notices and other bulletins.

But when it comes to enforcing the anti-piracy policy, the administration hasn’t issued clear directives. The report talks about the need for federal law enforcement to continue to regularly engage rights-holders. And it reported to Obama’s successes on this front: customs seizures and criminal actions are up slightly since President Barack Obama took office. Since 2009, the US Attorney’s Offices has filed 178 intellectual property cases against 254 defendants, marking a two percent increase in cases filed and a 14 percent increase in defendants charged compared to the previous year. On top of this, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Homeland Security initiated 1,251 IP investigations and had 691 arrests last year compared to just 730 investigations and 266 arrests in 2009.

According to the administration, “authors (including visual artists, songwriters, filmmakers, and writers) would benefit from more guidance on the fair use doctrine.”

Look for the Copyright Office to soon publish additional “major fair use decisions, including a summary of the holdings and some general questions and observations that may in turn guide those seeking to apply the decisions to their own situations,” reports THR.

World’s Most Expensive Computer? Ryan Leslie Ordered To Pay $1 Million Reward For Lost Laptop

November 30th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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Maybe singer/producer Ryan Leslie was distraught when he offered a $1 million reward to whoever found his stolen laptop. Out of his mind or not, he’s now been ordered by a jury to pay up.

The laptop contained unfinished music, including songs Leslie was working on for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” album (though Leslie’s work never made the album cut). Also on the laptop, which was stolen when Leslie was in Germany, were tracks from his own CD,  Les Is More. Leslie is currently promoting the album.

An auto shop owner named Armin Augstein found the computer and gave it to German police in November 2010. Initially Leslie refused to pay the reward. Then he suggested that Augstein was somehow responsible for the computer’s theft. So Augstein sued. “Ryan refused to pay up claiming that the hard drive was corrupted and he never actually retrieved his intellectual properties,” reports MTV News.

But the judge in the case stated that because of Leslie´s  actions after receiving the laptop back, led him to believe the music files were indeed intact. Reported the New York Post,  “Judge Harold Baer Jr. told jurors that because Leslie returned the hard drive to the manufacturer after getting it back from Augstein (instead of immediately turning it in as evidence), they could assume that the missing files were there when Augstein returned the laptop.”

“No one forced him to make an offer of so much money for a finder’s fee,” Augstein told the newspaper. He believes Leslie should be held accountable to his word.

Leslie seems to have accepted the verdict. He tweeted soon after the verdict: “Ain’t no way to get around ups & downs. Jury of my peers rules for the plaintiff.”

Do you think $1 million is too much for Leslie to pay?

Do I Really Need a Patent?

February 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — As part of the Startup America initiative, the Commerce Department announced this week a way for entrepreneurs to fast-track the patent process by throwing a little money ($4,000, plus some other fees) the U.S.P.T.O.’s way.  Patents, of course, are a great way for entrepreneurs to protect their brilliant ideas – and for any business owner seeking venture capital or other significant financing, ownership of intellectual property is often a must.  That said, not everyone needs to scurry to get a patent – and not every idea is patentable.

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