In an Order yesterday, Chief Judge McMahon, going beyond last week’s order, limited courthouse access to, essentially, those that have a concrete reason to be there in person.  Specifically, the Order allows only for the following groups to enter the courthouse:

  • Persons who have been ordered to appear by any judge of the Southern

A mentally disabled man named Karl Taylor died in prison, and his estate has sued, accusing prison guards of beating and choking him to death.  In defending the case, New York State proposed to offer expert testimony “that in the time leading up to and at the time of his death, Mr. Taylor was experiencing acute symptoms of his psychotic illness.”

In an order today, Chief Judge McMahon granted a motion in limine to exclude the testimony, and, in doing so, warned the defendants about trying to devalue the life of Mr. Taylor:
Continue Reading In Case Over Inmate Death, Judge McMahon Tells NY: Good Luck Arguing that Mental Disabilities Reduced the Value of the Inmate’s Life

Today, the New York Court of Appeals, in response to a question certified from the Second Circuit (after being certified for interlocutory review by Judge McMahon), held that New York common-law copyright law does not recognize a right of public performance for creators of sound recordings predating the 1972 federal Copyright Act.  The question was certified as part of a putative class action of artists of pre-1972 sound recordings (led by The Turtles, who wrote “Happy Together”) seeking royalties from Sirius XM Radio for allegedly playing recordings without permission.
Continue Reading New York Court of Appeals Answers Question First Raised by Judge McMahon: No Common Law Right of Public Performance For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

This week, Mondelez Global moved to dismiss a putative class action led by a consumer who allegedly bought an under-filled container of Sour Patch Kids candy from a movie theater in Manhattan.  The complaint alleges that the candy’s labeling is misleading, as consumers purchased far less candy than they believed due to large amounts of empty space in the packaging known as “slack-fill”:

16 Civ. 04697 MTD Pic 1


Continue Reading Makers of Sour Patch Kids Move to Dismiss Case Over Allegedly Under-Filled Boxes

The New York Court of Appeals has accepted a certified question from the Second Circuit regarding whether New York copyright holders for pre-1972 recordings (governed by state copyright law, and not the federal Copyright Act) have a right to exclusive public performance of those recordings.  The case, initially before Judge McMahon, arose after Sirius XM 

In a decision today, Judge McMahon granted a preliminary injunction allowing subway ads about a humorous documentary called “The Muslims Are Coming!”  The ads included statements such as: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes,” and “Muslims invented Justin Timberlake.”  One reason the film producer (a company referred to as VQP) chose to advertise in the subway was to respond to certain pro-Israel ads that a group called “ADFI” had also run in the subway system — ads that were subject to their own litigation issues (see our prior post here).

Judge McMahon rejected the MTA’s argument that it neutrally applied its policy against advertising that is “political in nature,” and emphasized that the ads were not “political” merely because the subject matter was Islam:
Continue Reading Judge McMahon Issues Injunction Allowing Subway Ads About Muslim Documentary

In an opinion today, Judge McMahon granted an interlocutory appeal on the following question:

Under New York law, do the holders of common law copyrights in pre-1972 sound recordings have, as part of the bundle of rights attendant to their copyright, the right to exclusive public performance of those sound recordings?

She concluded, under the standards for interlocutory appeal, that there were substantial grounds for a difference of opinion on the issue:
Continue Reading Judge McMahon Grants Interlocutory Appeal of Case Challenging Sirius Radio’s Right to Broadcast Songs Predating 1972 Copyright Act