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Video Game Tattoos Land WWE In Court

“Randy Orton’s tattoo artist sued the WWE for copying her work.”

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The WWE may own their wrestlers’ likenesses to produce toys and video games, but when individual elements of those likenesses inspire new products, a federal judge says the water is a little more murky.

Randy Orton’s tattoo artist sued the WWE for copying her work. The company, along with video game developer Take Two Interactive sold downloadable versions of wrestlers’ body art to be used to customize created characters in the game. A federal court in Illinois ruled that the case could proceed to trial.

Catherine Alexander, the tattoo artist, says that initially a WWE lawyer laughed at her request to negotiate for compensation. The company’s position was that there was no legal basis for Alexander’s demands.

Judge Staci Yandle dismissed the WWE’s request for a summary judgement. She believes that there are certain parts of this case that should be heard at trial. It will be the first ever copyright trial centered on the unauthorized reproduction of tattoos.

The implications for sports, players associations, and the video game industry could be huge. Take Two Interactive, who produces the WWE 2K video game series, has been through a version of this trial before though.

In March of 2019, a ruled against a company claiming to own the designs of tattoos on LeBron James, Kenyon Martin and Eric Bledsoe. It sued Take Two Interactive for copyright infringement for using the designs in the studio’s NBA 2K series. A judge ruled in favor of Take Two, saying that on the video game, the designs were too small to bare a reasonable likeness to the ones the plaintiff owned.

What exactly is different in the WWE case is unclear. Is it because the tattoos are being sold as their own products? Is it that WWE 2K offers more high definition graphics and the tattoos more clearly resemble Alexander’s artwork?

For the record, Randy Orton was taken aback by Catherine Alexander’s lawsuit. In a declaration presented to the court, he said that he believed that once the designs were on his body, they were part of his image. He was not aware that he or anyone else would need permission to reproduce them.

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Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network

“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”

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Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.

“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”

Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.

“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”

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Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’

“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.

In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.

The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”

He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO

“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

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Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).

DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.

Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

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