Last July, a jury ruled that Katy Perry and her co-writers had plagiarized the Christian rap song Joyful Noise by Marcus “Flame” Gray in Perry’s creation of the 2013 hit Dark Horse; Perry was ordered to pay a $2.8 million penalty. The jury verdict was met with wide criticism; one songwriter emphasized that despite the similarities, no one person should be able to own the musical elements as they represent “fundamental aspects of pop music”.[1] The New York Times framed the debate centered around verdicts like the one reached as a “penalty for making use of generic musical elements, like a song’s beats and feel”.[2] Perry and the Dark Horse creative team appealed the ruling, and on March 17, 2020, the Central District of California overturned the jury verdict, relying on the Ninth Circuit’s en banc Led Zeppelin decision.

Continue Reading Good News for Pop Singers Katy Perry & Ed Sheeran: Copyright Does Not Protect Musical Building Blocks

As previously posted in our May 16th alert, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) announced an additional $50 million from the federal government to replenish the New Jersey Small Business Assistance Grant program that was established to help those small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

On May 22, the NJEDA board voted to expand the program to provide grants up to $10,000 to qualified businesses and expand eligibility requirements. Additionally, the NJEDA voted to reserve $15 million for businesses in Opportunity Zones.

Continue Reading Second Update: New Jersey Small Business Assistance Grant

Effective May 18, 2020, proposed regulations to PREDFDA were adopted and published by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards (DCA).

A Brief History

In July 2017, several amendments to PREDFDA (N.J.S.A.45:22A-43) were signed into law becoming known as the “Radburn Election Law” (P.L.2017, c. 106). These amendments broadly focus on membership voting rights, elections, and by-law amendments. In June 2019, proposed regulations to the Radburn Law were introduced and the public was given a period of time to comment on the proposed regulations. While comments were mixed, there was strong opposition to many of the provisions. The regulations have now been approved and published.

How This Impacts Associations

While the provisions of the Radburn Regulations are substantial, following are the provisions which are most significant and/or most relevant to the majority of community associations:

Continue Reading <i>Radburn Law</i> Regulations

Even though the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has come out against the sale of CBD-infused foods and dietary supplements, a cursory search for “CBD” on Amazon reveals a plethora of hemp extract and hemp oil products, including gummies, tinctures, creams, and capsules. Because of the FDA’s prohibition on the sale of CBD-infused foods and beverages and the recent shift in federal law to legalize hemp and hemp products, manufacturers and marketers alike have latched on to the buzzwords “hemp” and “hemp extract” to sell CBD products. But, from a consumer’s perspective, what is the difference between a 1000mg, 50,000mg, and a 400,000mg product? Most likely, not a whole lot.

Continue Reading The Labeling Paradox: Navigating Between Hemp, Hemp Extract, and CBD Products

In a recent opinion, the Third Circuit ruled that an arbitrator, not a state or federal judge, should decide claims raised by workers alleging that they were mischaracterized as “independent contractors” in violation of the New Jersey Wage Payment Law (“WPL”), N.J.S.A. § 34:11-4.1 et seq.

Continue Reading Third Circuit Rules Class Action Wage Claim Should be Arbitrated Under Franchise Agreement

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently published the borrower application to request loan forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program loan (PPP Loan). The form and instructions inform Borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP Loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Borrowers can apply for forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight-week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans. Borrowers can find the PPP loan forgiveness application here and submit it to their Lender.

Continue Reading PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Released

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) launched the New Jersey Small Business Assistance Grant program wherein the NJEDA allocated $5 million to the program to provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services — such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services — and nonprofits to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can see our original post regarding the program here.

Continue Reading Update: New Jersey Small Business Assistance Grant

On April 23, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) posted FAQ #31 concerning the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), stating in relevant part that borrowers should review their application to assess their economic need for a PPP loan. Specifically, borrowers should determine if in good faith they can make the certification that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.”

Continue Reading New Guidance Posted Regarding PPP Loan Certification

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a troubling decision last week, in which it ruled that an order preventing a parent from posting about his children on social media violated the father’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. Even if the court entered the order in question to protect the child, this decision will no doubt reverberate throughout the country, and be the subject of similar cases in which parents in the midst of nasty custody battles seek to wage their wars publicly.

Continue Reading Parents: Is Your Freedom of Speech Worth the Welfare of Your Child?