Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | Back issues
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TikTok Free Speech

BOSTON -- A federal judge found a school district did not violate a school board member's rights by firing her after discovering her history of creating and promoting homophobic, transphobic and anti-critical race theory content on TikTok. Supervisors’ comments that they found her content “disgusting” and “a ball of hate” does not show that her firing was motivated by mere disagreement with her posts, but were explicitly connected to the posts’ impact on student learning.

Ginuwine copyright

NEW YORK — A federal judge dismissed copyright claims against the rapper Ginuwine brought by the co-author of a soul single, "Help Me Put Out The Flame (In My Heart)," alleging that the rapper used the introduction to his song in two songs — "Paper Chase," and "Toe 2 Toe." The three-bar guitar riff is substantially similar to prior works in the public domain, and subtle rhythmic differences are not enough to merit copyright protection.

Better Call Saul

NEW YORK — A federal judge dismissed a trademark suit against AMC over the network's depiction in its show "Better Call Saul" of a crooked tax preparation service called "Sweet Liberty Tax Services,” filed by the real Liberty Tax Service. To the extent the TV show used the tax service's marks, they were used in furtherance of the show's plot, highlighting the use of patriotic imagery to hide the characters' tawdry crimes.

Second Amendment

Yakima, Wash. -- A federal judge declined to issue a preliminary injunction that would enjoin the State of Washington from enforcing its 2022 law banning the sale of gun magazines with the capacity to hold more than 10 rounds. The gun owners failed to show that they are likely to prove that the Second Amendment covers large capacity magazines.

‘Secret panel’ suit

MADISON, Wis. — The government transparency watchdog group American Oversight is suing a “secret panel” formed by Wisconsin House speaker Robin Vos to investigate the possibility of impeaching state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz if she refuses to recuse herself from lawsuits seeking to toss voting maps drawn by the Republican legislature.

REI cleared

BROOKLYN — A federal court in New York dismissed, for lack of personal jurisdiction, a customer’s product liability claims against REI’s CEO and a member of its board of directors after his trekking poles bent and gave way while he was hiking in the Catskills, causing him to break several bones. He could not show how supposedly unlawful actions were attributable to senior management.