Dallas/Fort Worth Texas

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Episode 66 - Live from Dallas

entertainment law podcast live dallas tamera bennett gordon firemark september 2015 episode 66

Dallas trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett and Los Angeles film lawyer Gordon Firemark presented the Entertainment Law Update Podcast before a live studio audience at the Dallas Bar Association on September 23, 2015.

With a full house of sports and entertainment lawyers, Gordon and Tamera chatted in detail about the "Happy Birthday" copyright decision, the DMCA dancing baby decision, and other cases of interest. There's also bonus material revealing "behind the scenes of podcasting for lawyers."

Click the arrow below to listen to Episode 66.

Tamera was also interviewed on KRLD radio about the "Happy Birthday" decision. Click here to listen.

Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Attribution: Drumguy880.


Making Money In A Digital Age: Bootcamp On Digital Royalty Strategies

Making Money in a Digital Age:   Maximizing your client's film and music revenues with various digital options available at our fingertips.  Join the Sports & Entertainment Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association for a Boot Camp all about digital distribution for film, music, & television. Learn how to maximize you or your client's film, music, or tv revenues with various digital options available at our fingertips.When: Friday, 18 OCT 2013 at 1:00pm Where: Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208,  214-948-1546$25 for lawyers (MCLE Pending) $20 for non-lawyers

To purchase tickets, please go to: http://www.prekindle.com/promo/id/22815447475413408

Music PanelistsSteven Corn - Los Angeles, California Co-owner with BFM Digital

Andy R. Jordan - Dallas, Texas Music producer for interactive media and documentary films

Lee Mezistrano - Seattle, Washington Lawyer with Starbucks - Digital Ventures

Evan Stone - Dallas, Texas Lawyer with FUNimation Entertainment and Partner at Stone and Vaughn PLLC

Film Panelists

Steven Masur - New York, New York Lawyer, Venture Law Group Cowan Debaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

Ken Topolsky - Dallas, Texas Producer, Dallas TV Show

Lise Romanoff - Los Angeles, California Managing Director/CEO , Vision Films

Drybar vs Blow Dry Bar - Trademark for Blow Drying Hair

While in LA  I marveled at all the hair salons for blow drying hair.  Who knew these salons were all over Texas.  And, as much as we Texas gals like our hair fixed, it does seem like a natural fit.

Houston, Texas-based Blow Dry Bar, LLC seeks a declaratory judgment of  non-infringement against  Dallas, Texas-based DryBar Holdings, LLC's trademark and trade dress.  DryBar sent several cease and desist letters to Blow Dry Bar after Blow Dry Bar launched their first location and announced the opening of their second store. DryBar's founder Alli Webb has been credited by many as creating the "blow dry salon" trend.

The term "blow dry bar"  is descriptive at best and is quickly becoming generic for a hair salon that provides "blow drying."  A consumer sees blow dry bar and immediately knows the service available.  Perhaps salons should start thinking less descriptive in order to develop a strong and defendable brand.  The case, filed in 2012, is still active with a hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment scheduled on April 25, 2013.

Blow Dry Bar, LLC v. Drybar Holdings LLC, 4:12-cv-02425 (S.D. Tex - Houston, filed Aug. 8, 2012).

JCP Seeks Dec Action of Trademark Non-Infringement

Plano, Texas-based retailer, JC Penney Corporation, Inc., asked a judge in Texas federal court to find JCP's use of the name Aspen to describe a pair of winter boots is not infringing of Aspen Licensing International, Inc's "Aspen" trademark for footwear. By filing a declaratory judgment action, JCP kept the case in the Eastern District of Texas requiring Aspen Licensing, a Florida entity, to come to JCP's home court.  According to court documents, Aspen sent several demand letters to JCP and made phone calls threatening litigation if JCP did not make a monetary settlement.

J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. v. Aspen Licensing International Inc., 4:13-cv-00066-RAS-DDB (E.D. Tex. filed Feb. 8, 2013).

"When The Band Gets Divorced - Mediating The Band Partnership Dispute"

"When The Band Gets Divorced - Mediating The Band Partnership Dispute"1 hr CLE pending

Join attorney/mediator Tamera Bennett at the Belo Mansion at Noon on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 for a discussion on common issues band members mediate when a member departs and/or the band dissolves.

We'll be taking a look at the "Sugarland" partnership dispute, the recent "En Vogue" dispute, as well as the "J Geils Band" dispute and applying those fact patterns to structuring a successful mediation for your client.

Dallas Bar Association Belo Mansion 2101 Ross Avenue Dallas, Texas 75201 214-220-7400

Will Play for Tips: Legal Tips for Musicians/Artists/Songwriters at 35 Denton


SATURDAY, MARCH 9TH at 35 Denton3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (UNT on the Square)

Will Play for Tips: 5 Legal Tips for Musicians/Artists/Songwriters

Join the Dallas Bar Association Sports & Entertainment Law Section for a panel presentation on March 9 from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM at UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St. Denton, TX 76201.This introduction to legal issues in the music business panel will help you answer questions such as Who owns my song? Do I need a lawyer? How do I protect my brand? That's "fair use," right? and Can't we all just get along? Join us for a discussion covering copyright law, trademark law, business structure for the band and other music business legal basics.Participants in the panel include:

Tamera H. Bennett

, Bennett Law Office, PC/Farm to Market Music, LLC; 

Catherine Hough

, Ferguson Law Group;

Evan Stone

, Law Offices of Evan Stone;

Kevin Harrison

, Kevin Harrison Law.

Free and open to the public. 1.5 hour MCLE pending.

In the Mix Denton Networking Event March 8, 2013

In the Mix Denton

Kick off 35 Denton 2013 networking with the people who make music happen in Denton and the DFW area. In The Mix Denton is a networking opportunity for artists, producers, engineers, songwriters, attorneys, accountants, managers, booking agents and members of The Recording Academy® (the "Grammy®" folks).

Join your hosts, Recording Academy Texas Chapter Board Members, and learn how you can be involved in The Recording Academy.To RSVP, click here.

I Can't Remember The Alamo Trademark Dispute

Qwerky, Ltd., the owner of Swig Martini Bar in San Antonio, Texas is facing the big guns of Texas in a dispute over the trademark "I Can't Remember The Alamo" for drinking glasses, t-shirts and restaurant/bar services. The State of Texas, by the General Land Office, owns several registrations for "The Alamo" for museum services and gift shop services.   The Great State of Texas also claims common law trademark rights in the phrase "Remember The Alamo."  The State of Texas filed an opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board to block the federal registration of "I Can't Remember The Alamo" claiming  the restaurant's use of the mark conveys a false suggestion or connection with The Alamo and is likely to confuse consumers.

Qwerky's response to the Opposition is due September 25, 2012.

This isn't the first trademark battle fought by "The Almo" -- read more here.

Qwerky/Swig has had a little experience with trademark battles, too -- read more here.



Fight Over Light: Museum and Condo Complex Seek Mediation

Lighting is key in museum exhibits. So important to the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas, that early in its design, covenants were agreed to with surrounding land owners to limit how light would reflect or be directed into the museum space. The Nasher's new neighbor, the 42 story Museum Condo complex, is throwing a lot more light on the museum (pun intended).  The reflective glass on the exterior of the condo complex is directing sunlight into the Nasher which not only changes the way Nasher displays the art from a design element, but also can damage any artwork displayed in the spaces impacted.

While the dispute has been ongoing for sometime, the two parties are acting like good neighbors in jointly retaining Dallas attorney and civic leader Tom Luce to mediate the dispute and develop a resolution to this matter.

Dig deeper into the research behind light damage and museums by clicking this link.

Texas No Longer Regulates Talent Agencies

Effective September 1, 2011, the Texas Legislature repealed Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2105, and removed registration requirements for, and the authority to regulate talent agencies. The supporters of repealing the code section made the following comments in legislative hearings:

It is inefficient and unnecessary to continue the state licensing of talent agencies ..... The number of licensees ... is so small that there is no benefit to the consumer to continue regulation by TDLR. The Deceptive Trade Practices Act would provide sufficient protections to consumers who could be harmed ....

Talent agencies originally were regulated to protect actors from fraudulent agents. However, there is widespread activity by unregulated parties that offer similar services, and the regulations are easily circumvented, rendering them ineffective.

Those that wished to keep the regulation in place stated:

Regulation of talent agencies originally was enacted to ensure that actors were not swindled by talent agents who would take money in exchange for future services and then disappear and also to protect legitimate talent agencies. If there is widespread activity by unregulated parties, the bill should address better regulation, instead of removing it completely.

The Texas Talent Agencies Act only regulated securing business for models and actors.  It did not regulate the securing of gigs for musicians.

Music Business Panel at Denton -- 35 Conferette

Updated: March 14, 2011: The Dallas Observer Blog has an interesting article on the "Music Business Legal Checklist" panel that was presented as part of the 2011 35 Conferette.

Dallas and Fort Worth music lawyers team up for a "basics" music business legal issues panel on March 10, 2011 at Denton Banter as part of the Day Events for the 35 Conferette music conference.

Music Business Legal Check List: Five Things You Better Think About and DoSponsored by the Dallas Bar Sports and Entertainment Law Section Thursday, March 10th from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM at Banter, 219 West Oak Street, Denton, TX 76201

This free and open to the public presentation will assist the new or established musician/artist/music business professional in navigating the ins-and-outs of legal issues involved in the music business. The panel will address 1) when key team members such as a manager, attorney or booking agent should become involved in an artist’s career; 2) who owns the content – songs, sound recordings, trademarks; 3) do you need a written agreement or is a hand-shake between the band members enough; 4) how do you raise money for the next record; and 5) what revenue streams are out there.

ModeratorTamera H. Bennett: Attorney, Bennett Law Office, PC; President, Farm To Market Music, LLC, Lewisville, TX

PanelistsMegan M. Carpenter: Associate Professor & Director, Center for Law & Intellectual Property, Texas Wesleyan School of Law, Fort Worth, TX Craig C. Crafton: Attorney, Cozen O’Conner, Dallas, TX Catherine Hough: Attorney, Ferguson Law Group, PC, Plano, TX Decker Sachse: Attorney, Sachse Law Group; Business Affairs, Kirtland Records, Dallas, TX

Stick around after the panel presentation for the 2nd Annual Music Mixer hosted by the Texas Board members of the Recording Academy (the Grammy folks).  Cash Bar.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast: Beauty Pageants and Super Bowls


Film attorney Gordon P. Firemark and music lawyer Tamera H. Bennett have put Episode 18 of the Entertainment Law Update "in the can." Catch up on Sheppard Fairey, Jimi Hendrix, and Hurt Locker litigation matters.  New hot topics include litigation over the "Super Bowl" temporary seating, a Texas beauty queen dethroned, and Lady Gaga vs. Madonna.