Legal news, some illegal. All of it interesting
1. Kat Von Denied: Miles Davis Tat Not Infringement
Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D isn’t singing the blues. The ink’s barely dry on her victory in an infringement trial. A photographer sued her for $200K, claiming that in using his 1989 photo of jazz legend Miles Davis for a tattoo, she spread her chest wings into infringement. But jurors in the 323 took just a few hours to wrap that notion in barbed wire. They concluded the tattoo wasn’t substantially similar to the original pic and any social media posts of Van D working on it – represented a dreamcatcher of fair use. However, the photog says “this too shall pass” because he’s appealing.
2. Don’t Blame AI – Humans Altered Lawmaker’s Pic
Celebrities have long decried the use of Photoshop on their magazine covers, but now, a fresh take from Down Under. Australia’s youngest legislator accuses a Melbourne news channel of doctoring her image. Nine News reported on her support of a duck-hunting ban. But the accompanying picture showed to be much larger on top and sporting a bare midriff. Station execs apologized blaming “automation by Photoshop.” And it might’ve faded to black, except Adobe – Photoshop’s maker – insisted they quit blurring responsibility. Any changes to that image required human intervention and approval. High-resolution outrage over what the lawmaker calls the “constant sexualization” of women in Australian politics, came into focus.
3. AI George Carlin? Suit Alleges Infringement
AI’s becoming the eighth dirty word these days. George Carlin’s estate is suing comedy podcast Dudesy over the special “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead.” Producers promoted it saying AI, trained on decades of Carlin’s material, created posthumous AI George. The estate says that alone involved making unauthorized copies of Carlin’s copyrighted routines. But a rep for one of the producers says despite the way they promoted the special, humans, not AI, created a fictional character. So, no infringement. Plaintiffs call that argument napalm and silly because they invoked Carlin’s name and image to promote the special and, no joke, AI George is harmful to the late Carlin’s reputation and legacy.
4. Dunkin’ Accused of Milkin’ Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerant intolerance. Some customers of a Massachusetts-based Dunkin say it’s a thing. Their $5M lawsuit claims the Massachusetts-based chain discriminates against lactose-intolerant customers and those with milk allergies by charging extra for non-dairy milk. Soy rude. Substitutions such as almond or oat milk cost as much as $2.15 extra. The class action insists the surcharges on substitutions violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because there’s not a big price difference between milk products and non-dairy alternatives. Plaintiffs say Dunkin’s earned substantial profits from a separate but unequal, higher-priced menu aimed at those who can’t ingest milk.
5. Another Thing Ruined by IG – Chicago’s Rat Hole
The rat-shaped hole in a sidewalk – an urban monument to an unlucky rodent – has been a much-loved Chicago neighborhood quirk for 20 years. But someone posted the hole on X in early January and it went viral. Since then, thousands have made a rat race for the hole, including the Chicago Bulls’ mascot and news anchors. One couple got engaged there. Neighbors say the rat hole’s become a squeak easy with revelers drinking, yelling, playing music and taking selfies. City workers filled it in only to have onlookers dig it right back out. The hype’s gnawing at residents who don’t want it removed, but fear that’s happening next. Sigh.