CFIF has long championed greater fairness for recording artists and protection of intellectual property…
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CFIF Strongly Opposes Senator Ron Wyden's "ACCESS to Sound Recordings" Act

CFIF has long championed greater fairness for recording artists and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights in the music industry.   Among other problems, current law generally protects recording artists' rights for post-1972 songs, but not pre-1972 classics:

. Under byzantine laws, artists receive just compensation whenever their post-1972 recordings are played, but in many cases not for their pre-1972 recordings.  That's an indefensible and arbitrary artifact that has persisted far too long.  Why should Neil Diamond receive payment whenever 'America' is played, but not classics like 'Solitary Man?'

Fortunately, the opportunity to correct that unfairness has arrived.  Even better, legislation to correct the existing flawed system arrives alongside other music legislation…[more]

June 18, 2018 • 11:43 pm

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
Way More Than a Penny For Your Thoughts
Wednesday, June 13 2018

A New York doctor is suing a woman for $1 million after she posted a negative review about him on multiple internet sites.

Dr. Joon Song, a gynecologist, is accusing his former patient Michelle Levine of defamation, libel and causing emotional distress following Levine's negative comments posted on sites like Yelp, Zocdoc and Healthgrades. According to news reports, Levine visited Dr. Song for a routine annual exam, but received a bill for an ultrasound and a new patient visit, not an annual exam. When her complaints to the physician's office went unanswered, she took to the review sites. The lengthy critical review said, "very poor and crooked business practice," among other things.

"And I gave them one star on Facebook, which they also put in their complaint," Levine said.

Levine, who has since taken down all of her reviews, claims she has spent close to $20,000 fighting the lawsuit.

In a statement to the media, Dr. Song's attorney said, "While everyone is entitled to their opinion, outright lies masquerading as reviews can inflict serious damage to a medical practice or small business."

Levine said that she doesn't regret writing her review and will continue to fight to the end.


Not Your Typical Cup of 'Jo
Wednesday, June 06 2018

A California couple is suing Starbucks, claiming their toddler drank a beverage that contained a barista's blood.

According to news reports, after the Vice family visited a Starbucks in San Bernardino, California, they noticed a red streak on the side of one of the cups. Upon further investigation, they detected a "strong metallic smell" coming from the cup that their young daughter had been drinking from.

"Once we drank it, then we could see on the inside of the rim that there was blood," Amanda Vice said, adding that her daughter was licking the lid, and eating whipped cream from the cup.

After reporting the incident to the store, it was discovered that an employee had been bleeding and was removed from the floor.

"My wife and my baby just drank someone’s blood," Louis Vice said. "It was bad."

The family requested to have the employee undergo a blood test to determine if he/she was HIV positive or if the employee had any other communicable diseases. Although the manager agreed to the testing, the employee could not be "forced" to get the blood test. Ultimately, the family underwent testing, with the blood tests reportedly coming back negative. A second round of tests was repeated.

"This caused the family stress, nervousness, fright, anguish, grief, anxiety, worry and shock for several months while awaiting the second round of test results,” officials said in the news release.

Starbucks initially offered the family free drinks for a week, followed by $1,000 to each family member. Stan Pekler, the family's attorney, said that "does not begin to compensate the family for the suffered injuries and damages for which Starbucks is liable."

"They endured additional distress because Starbucks seemed to not care about their well-being and refused to direct the employee to undergo a blood test to ensure the family's safety," Pekler said.

The lawsuit against Starbucks Coffee Company seeks damages because of a failure to warn the family, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault, negligent hiring, and negligent training and supervision.


A Sucker Punch
Thursday, May 31 2018

The makers of Dum Dums suckers are suing the makers of Tootsie Roll, claiming their new packaging is causing confusion among sucker lovers.

According to news reports, Spangler Candy Company, the makers of Dum Dums, alleges in its recent lawsuit that Tootsie Roll Industries, the makers of Charms Mini Pops, intentionally confuses consumers with its new packaging that is similar in color and style to that of Dum Dums. Long sold in a yellow bag, Charms now come packaged in a red bag similar to Dum Dums, with a quantity “300” stamped in the same location.

Spangler maintains this repackaging amounts to trade dress infringement and unfair competition, adding that “customers are likely to confuse the products and their source of origin."

The question remains whether consumers are the real dum dums or whether they can distinguish between the suckers.


Say "No Cheese"
Wednesday, May 23 2018

McDonald's is facing a class-action lawsuit over cheese on its Quarter-Pound burgers.

Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner are suing the burger giant, claiming they were forced to pay for cheese they did not want on their Quarter-Pounders. In a class-action lawsuit filed in Florida, the plaintiffs contend that they paid on average 30 to 90 cents more for the burgers than they would or should have if no cheese had been an option on the menu in the stores or at drive-thru windows, as it is on the McDonald's app or through delivery service. The plaintiffs further allege that, in addition to having to pay for the unwanted cheese, they were forced to remove it themselves from the burgers.

According to news reports, McDonald's noted that franchisees decide on menu prices to be competitive in their markets. Moreover, McDonald's responded in an email by saying, "We do not believe the claims in this lawsuit have legal merit. The advertised Quarter Pounder burger comes with cheese. We try to accommodate our customers' requests by allowing them to customize their orders, such as a Quarter Pounder with no cheese."


Music to No One's Ears
Thursday, May 17 2018

A family is suing a New York parking garage company after a beloved (and expensive) violin was run over.

According to news reports, Beth Bergman and her daughter were visiting New York from California. While unloading the trunk of the car, Bergman placed the violin, in its protective case, on the ground. Bergman claims it was out of the way and not in the drivable path. Yet, the violin was run over by a garage employee. Bergman is suing for $85,000 in damages.

"If you have something very special, you don’t put it on the floor," defendant Victor Asitimbay argued. "Her daughter was crying like somebody died. It’s not our fault, because they leave it on the floor. It [was] scary because they screamed like the guy run over a baby or something."


Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was NOT a pen name used by Benjamin Franklin?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were right to withdraw U.S. membership from the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday.While that council purports to defend human rights, it actually focuses on far less noble objectives. Namely, attacking Israel, challenging Western liberal values of free speech, and lending moral credibility to the world's most…[more]
—Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
— Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
Liberty Poll   

Recognizing that there will be more DOJ IG reports on DOJ/FBI issues, what level of trust do you have in the accuracy, fairness and conclusions of the just-issued report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation?