Top News: Alexander Wang Wades Deeper in Sweatshop Lawsuit, Pitbull Hides From Lindsay Lohan Via First Amendment & More!

Folks, my sleeves are rolled and I am back in the game ready to enjoy and share with you all, as much as I can, all things  Fashion and Entertainment Law on To that end, I introduce the newswire. It is a collection of some of the most interesting news in the aforementioned areas with references from the law library.  Enjoy my first installment.

FASHION LAW Designers Jump on the news by Kenya Wiley of FashionCloture below, will ya?!

Fashion Imports: USTR Requests Public Comments on Duty-Free Articles From Developing Countries

“The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently requested comments on competitive need limitations (CNL) under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The USTR’s request is particularly important for fashion companies that import apparel, textiles, jewelry, and leather. The GSP program provides for duty-free treatment of certain articles from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs), and the program has been extended through July 31, 2013. “ has the full story.

FASHIONENTLAW.COM: How Not to Get in Trouble With the Law i.e. Do the Opposite of Everything Alexander Wang is accused of Doing! 

Things are getting complicated, y’all.

After filing a $50 million suit in Queens Supreme Court about two weeks ago, former Alexander Wang employee Wenyu Lu has filed a motion to discontinue the case so it can be refiled in federal court.

The original lawsuit, reported by the New York Postalleged that Wang and his brother, Dennis, maintained sweatshop-like conditions in their New York factory, with employees such as Lu working for shifts of 16 hours or more in a windowless office and contracting illness due to the poor environment.

Just days later, a second employee added her name to the civil action suit, claiming that she was forced to work 90 hours a week in Wang’s factory and that she and Lu were both fired after filing for worker’s comp due to work-sustained injuries.” – Huffington Post has the Full Story.

ENTERTAINMENT LAW Lots at stake for Google. Of course they would oppose the movie industry’s copyright fight.

Google Again Opposes Movie Industry in a Copyright Fight

Google is getting pretty aggressive in sticking its head in the entertainment industry’s court battles on the copyright front.

Last week, the search giant filed an amicus brief in the MPAA’s lawsuit against Hotfile, a cyberlocker that the studios recently labeled “more egregious” than Napster and “indistinguishable” from Megaupload.

A judge will soon decide whether Hotfile is liable for inducing its users to infringe billions of copyrighted works, and in anticipation of that ruling, Google wants the judge to be careful about accepting Hollywood’s interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, specifically the provisions relating to when ISPs enjoy safe harbor from liability. – The Hollywood Reporter I discussed the tension between the First Amendment and the Right of Publicity when this case first broke out. Aha! Pitbull now makes his move. He now wants the case dismissed relying on the First Amendment argument. It will be interesting to see how Lohan responds.

Pitbull Responds to Lindsay Lohan Lawsuit with First Amendment Defense

Attorneys for hip-hop artist Pitbull have asked a federal judge in New York to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Lindsay Lohan over a song that mentioned her by name. The actress is suing over an alleged infringement of her publicity rights, but the defendant warns of the consequences if a judge agrees to allow her claims to get to trial.

The song, “Give Me Everything,” included this line: “So, I’m toptoein’, to keep flowin’, I got it locked up, like Lindsay Lohan.”
A healthy dose of sensitivity caused Lohan to sue Pitbull (real name: Armando Christian Perez), Sony Music, RCA Music, and others last year for causing her “tremendous emotional distress” with words that were allegedly “destined to do irreparable harm” to her image as “a professional actor of good repute.”

Last week, the rapper responded in court by saying that the song is protected by the First Amendment. The musician cites a number of other artists, from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to Eminem, who have mentioned celebrities in songs, and tells the judge to be wary of putting publicity rights above free speech rights.

“Sustaining Ms. Lohan’s allegations would lead to absurd results: the use of a celebrity’s name in any work of art — such as a song, poem or painting — would trigger liability,” says the defendant in court papers. “Indeed, if Ms. Lohan is allowed to proceed with her claim, every recording artist could be gagged and prevented from expressing his or her thoughts in songs, including the other recording artists who have referred to Ms. Lohan in their songs . . .” – THR, Esq.  has the full story. Innocent until proven guilty. Nevertheless, be warned. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. 

Young Vito, the rapper who police say shot and killed Waka Flocka associate Slim Dunkin in an Atlanta recording studio in December 2011, was indicted by a grand jury in Georgia on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Vito, born Vinson Hardimon, was indicted on charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. Initially it was reported that Slim Dunkin was murdered in an argument that started over a piece of candy. Now it is being reported that Hardimon and Dunkin, born Mario Hamilton, fought over recording time. After a scuffle, Hamilton was shot in the chest and was transported to Grady Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. – has the full story. I would have been surprised if Jay-Z and Kanye did not settle this dispute that I discussed a while back here. It makes  sense to do so if you are either one of them, at this time and given the facts. 

Jay-Z and Kanye West have settled a federal lawsuit by soul singer Syl Johnson, who claimed that the duo used an unauthorized sample of his song “Different Strokes” on “The Joy,” a track on the deluxe version of their album Watch the Throne.

According to Johnson, West had attempted to clear the sample for his 2010 record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but could not get the deal ready in time for its release and ended up putting the track on Throne without his permission, proper credit or payment. The details of West and Jay-Z’s settlement with Johnson have not been made public, though legal papers filed in Illinois last week indicate that the suit has been dismissed.

Johnson has pursued previous legal action against rappers. His $29 million lawsuit against Cypress Hill was dismissed in 2008 on the technicality that sound recordings made before February 15, 1972 are not subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act. The singer later sued his legal team for malpractice after the ruling was upheld by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.” – Rolling Stone has the full Story.