Starting the week off right, with some news and notes on items of interest to the games industry:
- HBO has fired back in the suit brought by a former MTV reality personage over use of the phrase "Johnny's Bananas," asking a New York state judge to dismiss the suit in its entirety. Reasons: 1) no publicity rights in a nickname; 2) the show made no references to the individual, but rather used the phrase in a different way, unaffiliated with the plaintiff; and 3) time-barred by New York's applicable statute of limitations. Previous coverage of this suit.
- Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. - a California Supreme Court case that explores the differences between an employee and an independent contract. Particularly useful for games companies as many game development services are performed by independent contractors (especially if you're a small/indy/emerging growth company). Note the checklist of factors the court provides.
- Psystar has filed a petition for cert with the US Supreme Court in its long-running dispute with Apple over Psystar's distribution of "mac clones." At the same time, Apple lost its bid to keep certain documents related to the litigation sealed, meaning that some information submitted in briefs and contained within decisions will now become part of the public record. All those interested in copyright protection and software (so, pretty much everyone who reads this blog) should follow this case closely.
- Ninjavideo co-founder sentenced to 22 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. Perhaps Ninjavideo's motto should be changed from "this sh*t is ninja" to "copyright law is no joke."
This development will be particularly interesting to keep in mind as the ongoing debates over SOPA/Protect IP Acts continue. More on SOPA/Protect IP coming, so stay tuned.