New York Passes “Freelance Isn’t Free Act”

Two weeks ago on October 27, 2016, New York City passed the “Freelance Isn’t Free Act,” (the “Act”) which provides legal protections for freelancers. The Act will go into effect 180 days after it is signed by Mayor de Blasio.  Prior to this Act, a freelancer’s sole remedy for nonpayment claims was to assert a breach of contract claim in court. Once the Act goes into effect, freelancers will benefit…

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RPL’s Ethan Krasnoo on New California Law to Prevent Age Discrimination in Casting Actors

Recently, California state enacted a new law that allows actors and other entertainment industry professionals to require removal of their ages posted on certain websites. Specifically, A.B. 1687 requires commercial entertainment employment providers like the Internet Movie Database (“IMDb”), that offer paid subscription services for actors and other professionals to post profiles, to remove an actor’s date of birth or age within five days of a subscriber’s request.  The law…

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Would the Second Circuit Have Ruled Differently in the Maltz Canadian Copyright Case? Insights from Reavis Parent Lehrer Associate Allison “Ally” M. Grein

After discovering her grandfather’s diary, written in the Holocaust-era village of Sokal (formerly in Poland, now considered part of Ukraine), Israeli-American documentarian Judy Maltz traveled to an address recorded in the diary—the home of Francizska Halamajowa, a woman who offered safe haven to Maltz’ grandfather, three Jewish families and a German soldier who defected.  Maltz interviewed living survivors and their descendants, conducting a great deal of original research to learn more about…

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Insights on Massachusetts Landmark Equal-Pay Legislation from RPL Associate Ethan Krasnoo

This month, the Massachusetts legislature passed landmark equal-pay legislation, making it the first state to ban the common practice of employers asking job applicants for their salary histories. Bill S.2119 189th, also known as “An Act to establish pay equity,” is being hailed as “the most robust equal pay law in the country,”* and requires employers to pay workers of different genders the same wages, including benefits and other compensation,…

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RPL Partner Larry Brocchini Provides Overview of Landmark Federal Trade Secrets Act

Recently, Congress enacted, and President Obama signed, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), the first comprehensive federal trade secrets legislation.  This landmark legislation provides a federal civil remedy for the misappropriation of trade secrets, thereby allowing trade secret owners to protect their innovations and seek redress in federal court—as owners of copyrights, patents and trademarks have already been able to—when violations of their rights occur. Unlike other types…

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Morgan Stanley Motion to Dismiss Denied in Whistleblower Suit

For immediate release: Morgan Stanley Motion to Dismiss Denied in Whistleblower Suit Bank Must Face Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Claims for Firing Brokers in 2011 July 14, 2016, New York, NY – Yesterday, a judge in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York denied Morgan Stanley’s Motion to Dismiss a $20 million suit brought by two former employees, Jamie Feldman-Boland and James Boland.  The Plaintiffs, a…

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Recent Ruling Extending DMCA Safe Harbor Protections to Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently handed down a critical copyright decision for online service providers such as defendant, Vimeo LLC, that operate websites on which members can post videos of their own creation, which are then accessible to the public at large.  That ruling extends a safe harbor protection of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”) to pre-1972 sound recordings posted on sites…

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Will You Be Prepared In Time for the New Overtime Rules?

By Deena R. Merlen The United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued an updated rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) that will have a tremendous impact on employers and employees across the country.  For information on which employers and employees are covered by the FLSA, click here. The FLSA generally obligates employers to pay their employees at least minimum wage, and, with respect to employees who…

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RPL Partner Larry Brocchini Discusses Recent Ruling for Madonna on “De Minimis” Copyright Sampling in “Vogue”

Recently, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a copyright decision in favor of the pop star Madonna.  The plaintiff, VMG Salsoul, LLC, alleged that Madonna and producer Shep Pettibone improperly copied a 0.23 second segment of horn hits from Salsoul’s song Love Break and used a modified version of that snippet when recording their 1990s hit song Vogue. The Court found that Vogue’s use of…

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RPL Partner Alice K. Jump Offers Insights on New DOL Fiduciary Standard for Retirement Advisors

Recently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (DOL) released a new rule assigning a fiduciary standard to retirement advisors. The rule heightens the duty of care for financial advisors who deal with retirement accounts, imposing a standard which expressly requires that the advisor acts in the client’s best interest.* This is a departure from the prior standard which required only that a broker’s recommendations to a client be…

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