In the cloud-based age where numerous tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Apple have launched cloud music services, many kept abreast of ongoing legal battles over online service providers’ liability for users’ music copyright infringement offenses using their platforms and what internet service providers must do to avoid contributory infringement liability.  Case in point – MP3tunes.  Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3tunes LLC, operated two websites: MP3tunes.com (“MP3tunes”) and Sideload.com (“Sideload”). MP3tunes enabled users to store music on a cloud-based server and Sideload enabled users to search for free music online and directly upload the songs to MP3tunes’ digital storage lockers. The songs stored on MP3tunes were then added to Sideload’s index of searchable songs, which were made available to other users. Due to infringed material, various record label publishing houses (EMI Music Group and fourteen other record companies, collectively, “EMI”) sued Robertson and his website MP3tunes for copyright infringement. See Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3tunes, LLC, 821 F. Supp. 2d 627 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).

Continue Reading Road to Safe Harbor: Implementation of Repeat Infringer Policy Necessary for DMCA Safe Harbor Protection from Copyright Infringement Liability

Louboutin v. YSL

Christian Louboutin (“Louboutin”), the designer of the famous red bottom shoes, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against fashion house Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) claiming YSL infringed on its red sole trademark (the “Red Sole Mark”) by selling a monochrome dress shoe that was entirely red, including a red insole, heel, upper, and outsole. YSL counterclaimed seeking to invalidate Louboutin’s Red Sole Mark arguing it was ornamental and not distinctive and purely functional.

Continue Reading The Fight for Red: Fashion Statement or Protected Trademark?

If your conditional, conversion, microbusiness, or annual application has been approved by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, congratulations! You have cleared the first major hurdle in obtaining a cannabis license in New Jersey.  As advisors and legal counsel to a handful of successful applicants who have obtained conditional and annual approvals in each available class of licenses, Stark & Stark is keenly aware of the challenges facing prospective operators and industry entrants.

Continue Reading High Stakes: What to do Now That Your New Jersey Cannabis Business Application Has Been Approved by the CRC

Welcome to 2023! The new year holds much anticipation. The Fed rate hikes have slowly started to reduce inflation, yet prices remain high. Unemployment figures persist at record lows, despite many large employers cutting back. Continuing supply chain issues persist as China reopens in the face of its COVID crisis. And consumer spending is tightening in preparation for bumps in the year ahead. This volatile mix of economic data may lead several retailers to use the bankruptcy process to stay viable.

Continue Reading 10 Retailers to Watch for a Bankruptcy Filing in 2023

After a Family matter is started, and the parties have children under the age of 18, they will be ordered to attend the Parent Education Program. This takes place either at the Courthouse, or via a remote session, depending on the county in which the divorce is taking place. Attorneys do not attend this session. The parents are not scheduled for the same session, so they do not have to be there together, causing tension.

Continue Reading The Acronyms of Divorce Part III – PEP (Parent Education Program)

When it comes to pay practices, employers are accustomed to being told by federal, state, and local legislators what to do. DON’T engage in discriminatory pay practices. DO pay overtime when required. DO pay minimum wage. DON’T pay under the table. DO pay employees equally for equal work. DON’T ask applicants or employees their salary history when offering or negotiating pay. DON’T request a potential employee’s criminal history on a job application. The list goes on.

Continue Reading Equal Pay, Pay Transparency, and Job Postings: What Employers Need to Know Now

In rare instances, during the administration of an estate, there might arise an ambiguity within the language of the decedent’s Last Will and Testament as to how the decedent wished to dispose of his property pursuant to his Will. Continue Reading Ambiguities in a Will – The Doctrine of Probable Intent

Former President Trump’s lawyers filed a motion in federal Court seeking the appointment of a “special master” to inspect the records seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI on August 8, 2022. This blog will address what a special master is, the legal standard for the appointment, and the likelihood that a special master will be appointed by the federal Judge deciding former President Trump’s motion.

Continue Reading What Is A Special Master? Former President Trump Filed Motion Seeking the Appointment of a Special Discovery Master

Shortly after a divorce complaint has been responded to by the other party to the case, the case will be scheduled for an initial Case Management Conference (CMC) with the judge who has been assigned to the case. The purpose of the CMC is twofold. First, the Court will assign the case to one of three tracks- expedited, regular, or complex. The vast majority of cases are on the regular track. Cases in which there are no children, or children who are all emancipated, no spousal support issues, and have minimal assets and debts may be assigned to the expedited track. On the other end of the spectrum, cases in which there are complicated business issues, complex financial issues or any other circumstance in which experts may be needed, will likely be placed on the complex track. The designation of the track governs the management of the case by the Court.

Continue Reading The Acronyms of Divorce Part II – CMC (Case Management Conference) and CMO (Case Management Order)

Effective July 1, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court has increased the jurisdictional limits in civil courts. The New Jersey Special Civil Part jurisdictional limit has increased from $15,000 to $20,000. The jurisdictional limit for New Jersey Small Claims Court has also increased from $3,000 to $5,000.

This increase will prove extremely beneficial to Community Associations whose collection cases are preferably brought in the Special Civil Part. Although it is preferred to bring these cases in Special Civil Part, with the old $15,000 jurisdictional limit, Association cases seeking judgments for $17,000 or $18,000 had to be filed in the Law Division. The Law Division has higher filing fees, requires personal service, has longer discovery schedules, and can often take a year or more to conclude. Conversely, the Special Civil Part has lower filing fees, requires service by mail, and can often conclude with a trial scheduled within approximately four (4) months. Increasing the jurisdictional limit in the Special Civil Part now allows Associations to file cases there, rather than in Law Division, for amounts up to $20,000.

For more information on this, or on other collection matters, contact Melissa A. Volet, Esq.