Welcome back and please come on in, lest you catch a cold. This past Sunday’s Grammy Awards dialed up the heat, taking place in the Las Vegas desert, having been bumped from its usual Los Angeles stage due to COVID restrictions. To the relief of many, no cringeworthy, front-and-center battery took place at this awards show (evidently the Nevada Gaming Commission put the kibosh on that). Indeed, the show seemingly went on without a ‘hitch’ — though I would have liked to have seen our ridiculously talented, Grammy-nominated clients leave with trophies. Another uber-talented nominee, singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran (sadly, not a client) is celebrating a big victory this week but it was not at the Grammys. Rather, he prevailed in his defense in his court case alleging that his hit song, “Shape of You” had infringed upon another musician’s copyrights. The “Bad Habits” singer went on the offensive, blasting baseless copyright infringement claims such as the one he faced as being, well…bad habits.
Elsewhere this week, March Madness gave way to April Adulation as two new NCAA Division I College Basketball champions were crowned, with the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and University of Kansas Jayhawks taking home the women’s and men’s top prizes (respectively). Notably, Kansas overcame a substantial deficit and was the beneficiary of a late injury to University of North Carolina star forward Armando Bacot caused by what many have theorized was a loose floorboard in the basketball court. For its part, the court’s manufacturer denied there being any issues with the court (which is incidentally what I would have advised it to do had I been its lawyer…). In any event, I hope that the winners from the past week enjoy their time in the spotlight as you enjoy this week’s Spotlight.
- Having nearly a one-year sample size that includes the NCAA’s most marketable event (March Madness), one encouraging development in the name, image and likeness era is that female athletes have largely been outpacing their male counterparts on endorsements. Meanwhile, it is clear that NCAA and Commissioner Mark Emmert are no closer in efforts to have Congress establish uniformity in NIL rules, but having let Pandora out of the box without any meaningful guidance, should we even be surprised?
- Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford, California girl and ex-wife of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson sues Wilson over his $50 million song catalog sale. This should be an interesting case to watch — if for nothing else, to see whether Wilson is represented by counsel named “Rhonda” or “Barbara Ann,” or whether Wilson updates the famous Beach Boys chorus to “I wish they all could be California (other than the ones that sue me for millions) Girls.”
- Riding intrigue fueled by the popularity of Netflix docuseries (but regrettably, non-renewable resources), Formula 1: Drive to Survive is making U.S. media rights a hot commodity.
- For those, like me, who have felt at times powerless to help the Ukrainian people, Ukraine’s government has created a website through which users can donate cryptocurrency and fiat directly to the government to aid in its war effort and provide humanitarian aid. Soon, the website will be set up with an NFT marketplace to raise additional funds from the sale of hundreds of donated NFTs. So you’ll be able to buy a CryptoPunk from Kyiv while sticking it to a real punk in Moscow.