Sunday, May 11, 2014

Three Legal Liabilities in the Entertainment Industry

1 Madonna Vs Marlon Brando estate – Likeliness and use of images of an Artist
            This is an example of a litigation that impact my industry and in my opinion demonstrate how hard is to use the likeliness of a person just for a short amount of seconds.  In this article, Madonna has been in a legal battle of about 300,000 dollars for the use of the name Marlon Brandon in her song Vogue.  CMG is a company that owns the Intellectual Property rights for the artist and now is asking that Madonna pay them a fee of $5,000 but now they are demanding a fee of $20,000.  Another problem added to this issue is that in case that Madonna loses the litigation she will have to pay $20,000 for each of the other names she mentioned in the song because the agreement estate that everyone must receive the same amount.  CMG also own the rights of the other artist involved.

2 Apple’s iWatch Vs Swatch – Trademarks Problems

            This example is related to my industry because rumors are that Apple will integrate music service as part of the device in question.

            This article present a problem of similarities in a trademark.  Apple has filed for the name iWatch in multiples countries but Swatch, a famous watch company has the trademark of iSwatch which they are challenging the similarities in sound.  At this point there is no lawsuit, just an argument between Swatch and the USPTO. 

I believe that the similarities are close for not saying the sound the same, therefore, in my opinion the USPTO should allow Apple Inc to register the name.  Swatch can get to a financial deal but the situation is just in its first stages.

            As an event planner and producer I found that the lack of protection in the fashion industry is something will have to be addressed soon.  Is hard to walk around and see someone in a gallery or store wearing a dress that is very similar to a costume you create for one of your live shows.

In this video presentation, Johanna Blakey explain to us how little protection the fashion industry have.  The reason that the fashion industry doesn't have any copyright protection is because the courts decided long ago that apparel is too utilitarian to qualify for copyright protection (2010, Blakey).


Madonna locked in legal battle with Marlon Brando's estate. (n.d.). NME.COM. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from

Worstall, T. (2014, May 5). Apple's iWatch Has Trademark Problems With Swatch and the iSwatch And Might Not Be Called iWatch. Forbes. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from

Blakley, J. (n.d.). Transcript of "Lessons from fashion's free culture". Johanna Blakley: Lessons from fashion's free culture. Retrieved May 11, 2014, from