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Hollywood Docket: Apple’s Monitor; ‘American Psycho’ Lawsuit; Opera Singer’s Flatulence

Prying eyes will have to wait. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Apple an administrative stay from an external monitor tasked with looking after the company in the wake of an e-books antitrust lawsuit.

Last July, the government won its case alleging that Apple had colluded with major book publishers to inflate the price of e-books. As part of the remedy, the Justice Department demanded Apple hire a full-time Antitrust Compliance Officer. Over Apple’s objection that such a measure would be “draconian,” the judge agreed to appoint attorney Michael Bromwich. 

Apple didn’t like the idea it would be paying a $1,100 hourly fee for such meddlesomeness.

The computer giant has gotten a temporary reprieve while it seeks an appeal. Apple will need to seek the 2nd Circuit’s permission for a longer stay.

Meanwhile, in other publishing news, Pearson Education, Cengage Learning, John Wiley and Sons, Elsevier and McGraw-Hill have filed a copyright lawsuit against Hotfile. They allege the file-hosting company should be held liable for vicarious infringement of its textbooks. The lawsuit follows the MPAA’s own lawsuit against Hotfile, which resulted in an $80 million settlement.

In other entertainment law news:


  •   A dispute has broken out over a musical based upon Bret Easton Ellis’ novel American Psycho. Nate Bolotin is suing The Johnson-Roessler Company and ACT 4 Entertainment, claiming he came up with the idea and had worked with Collective Management Group to develop the musical in exchange for a cut of the revenue. Collective reportedly had a deal with Johnson-Roessler, but a spokesperson for the defendants says that agreement was “terminated by the terms of the contract, by the passage of time and by the mutual consent.”


  • Downton Abbey might be sparking nobility reform in the United Kingdom. The TV drama has showcased issues of inheritance, from the first season where the heir to the title of Earl of Grantham died on the Titanic to this latest season examining the ramifications of Matthew Crawley’s death. Unfortunately, Lady Mary couldn’t be a rightful heir because she is a woman. Now, however, parliament is considering the “Downton Abbey Law,” which would allow daughters to inherit their noble fathers’ titles.


  • The United States of America is facing a rather bizarre lawsuit. It comes from Amy Herbst, an opera singer whose husband is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army at a Kentucky military base. During the birth of Herbst’s first child, she delivered at an Army medical center and had to undergo an episiotomy. She says she didn’t consent. Now, she’s dealing with side-effects from the procedure. According to the $2.5 million malpractice lawsuit, “As a result of her incontinence and excessive flatulence, Plaintiff Amy Herbst has been unable to work as a professional opera singer.” Here’s the full complaint.


  • Some moves and honors: Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers is joining forces with Donaldson + Callif. The first firm has done work for films including Black Swan, Precious and Beasts of the Southern Wild. The second firm has worked on films for Oliver Stone, Davis Guggenheim and Lawrence Bender. Collectively, the two firms have 25 films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; Richard Charnley is joining Arent Fox as a partner in the firm’s media & entertainment practice. He was named by THR as a “Power Lawyer” for work on behalf of clients like Chris Rock. He’s also represented a number of insurance carriers; SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White has been named as “Attorney of the Year” by The John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles, the largest African-American bar association in California. He will receive his award at a gala on Feb. 8 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

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