9.13.2016

The Week in Review

Some recent developments in the world of sports, fashion, music, startups, tech and small business:

The continued rise of eSport – Efforts to combat match fixing and improve integrity

This extract examines the phenomenal growth of the eSports market. It will begin with a general overview of eSports for uninitiated, before focusing in on two specific issues relevant to this Chapter – eDoping and betting/match fixing. These issues will be examined within the context of the governance and integrity of eSports; each significant growing pains that the fledgling industry is currently grappling with.

SEC Comment Letters on SEC Rules for Small Companies Call for More Nuance
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to ease the burden of financial reporting on smaller companies should go further, according to comment letters filed in recent months.

Four Growing Trends Regarding Concussions and Youth Sports

As it turned out, the Erie County, New York, Legislature didn’t soften an already enacted youth sports concussion law quite as much as some opponents had hoped. The law, passed in June, requires all youth leagues involved in “contact” and “collision” sports to require their coaches to undergo mandated concussion safety training, or else face a $100 fine, or $200 for repeated violations.

Meet the startup that wants to help sublet your apartment — and is totally legal in New York
Flip is a platform that allows tenants to list available space and find subletters. In a similar vein as Airbnb, hosts create a listing, add photos and information like how long the place is available. Flip then takes over, sending out a notice to the landlord, which protects tenants in case the process gets contentious later on. If a user matches with a subletter, Flip will perform a credit check and make a recommendation as to whether that subletter is the right fit. Essentially, Flip is an advocate, assistant, and housing expert all rolled into one.

Unusual provisions in Missouri coach Barry Odom’s contract

The contract between the University of Missouri and its new football head coach, Barry Odom, includes a pair of unusually specific job requirements that seem aimed at recent controversies involving coaches at Missouri and elsewhere.

Forbes Week in Sports Law: Golden State Surveillance, JPP Precedent, NFL Concussion Case
  • The NBA’s Golden State Warriors organization has been sued in a class action based on the use of “beacon” technology within the franchise’s official mobile application. The issue focuses on whether Golden State improperly recorded audio from users’ phones without users’ knowledge and even when the mobile application was in the background.
  • The lawsuit that NFL lineman Jason Pierre-Paul filed against ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter has become a constantly discussed story in this weekly column. Last week, I noted that the judge handed Pierre-Paul an early win in the litigation by denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss invasion of privacy claims. This week, the judge released an actual order on the issue.
  • Over three years have passed since former NFL players and the league settled a major class action lawsuit over long-term effects related to sustaining concussions, and the players still have not received payment related to same. The payment may be delayed a bit longer based on further efforts to appeal the agreement.

Can Transaction Parties Rely On The Common Interest Privilege?
Alison Nadel and Erika Pont wrote this bylined article on whether parties to a transaction should share legal advice among themselves to save money and time.

New York Federal Court Refuses To Enforce Arbitration Clause In Internet Contract

This case involves a putative class action filed in federal court in New York in 2015 by Spencer Meyer against Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber Technologies, Inc., alleging that Kalanick "orchestrated and participated in an antitrust conspiracy arising from the algorithm that [Uber] uses to set prices." Kalanick did not move to compel arbitration at the outset based on Uber's arbitration clause, but instead filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied, as well as a motion to reconsider the court's determination that plaintiff could seek to proceed via class action, which was also denied. Uber then moved successfully to intervene, and moved to compel arbitration, to which Kalanick joined. The New York federal court denied the motion to compel arbitration, finding that during Uber's registration/contract formation process, the parties had not actually formed an enforceable agreement, and thus the plaintiff did not agree to arbitrate his claims.

Own A Stake in a Million-Dollar Residence? The IRS's New Policy May Benefit You!

While it is common knowledge that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows a deduction for mortgage interest, many are unaware of the limits on the amount of the tax deduction. A taxpayer may deduct interest on up to only $1 million of acquisition indebtedness, plus interest on up to $100,000 of home equity debt. For married taxpayers filing separately, the limit is $500,000 and $50,000, respectively. Acquisition indebtedness is debt incurred to acquire, construct or substantially improve a taxpayer's main or second home. While the debt limitations are well-defined for married filers, the debt limitations were not always clear for unmarried taxpayers owning property together. However, a recent IRS announcement has settled the uncertainty.

Owners Of Family Controlled Entities Must Act Quickly In Light Of New IRS Regulations Attacking Valuation Planning
Chapter 14 of the Internal Revenue Code consists of four Code Sections (Sections 2701 – 2704) designed to close valuation loopholes. Prior to Congress's enactment of Chapter 14 in 1990, estate planners had a host of tools available to discount the values of assets their clients transferred during life and at death. Chapter 14 closed most of those loopholes, but many opportunities for discounts remained, particularly when clients created family limited partnerships or other similar entities. Treasury released Proposed Regulations on August 4, 2016, that threaten to eliminate those discounts as well.

Lending To Cayman Islands Entities
Cayman's modern legal framework and tax neutral regime are attractive to professionals structuring transactions for their clients. As a consequence, lending institutions are frequently requested to put in place credit arrangements that involve Cayman Islands entities. This client briefing is intended to highlight the issues that may be relevant when lending to a Cayman Islands entity. This client briefing is intended to provide a general summary of the position in law as at the date shown above, and is not to be taken as specific legal advice applicable to particular issues or circumstances. If such advice is required, please contact your usual Ogier contact or one of our partners listed here.

U.S. Department Of Justice Rejects Modification Of Music Licensing Consent Decrees
After a two-year investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to seek modification of longstanding music licensing consent decrees with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI). Moreover, the proceeding that followed the request to modify gave DOJ the opportunity to clarify a long-debated issue regarding the type of license ASCAP and BMI offered, potentially changing the future business practices of these organizations. The decision is a blow for music publishers like Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing and a win for music service providers like Pandora and Spotify.

Double-Check The Math: Advisers Should Not Provide Clients With Performance Data Created By Other Investment Managers Without Verifying The Information

In a series of enforcement actions this week, the SEC made it clear that investment advisers need to substantiate the performance records of investment management firms they recommend to their clients. In these cases, failure to do so resulted in charges of spreading "false and misleading information" in violation of Section 206 of the Advisers Act.

When your kid needs a tutor pronto, this startup has a lesson plan

When Scott Lee arrived in the United States as a child from Seoul, South Korea to attend a Connecticut boarding school, he didn't speak a word of English. Navigating his way around, let alone getting the extra help he needed to succeed in his studies, was challenging to say the least. The ordeal, Lee tells us in our latest podcast (link above), inspired him to create GooRoo, an on-demand app that can send academic assistance to your door at the touch of a button.

Forever 21 Sues Brandy Melville for Copyright Infringement
In the world of copyright lawsuits, the tables have turned with Forever 21 stepping up to sue a fellow teen retailer for allegedly knocking off a fabric print that Forever 21 said it copyrighted nearly two years ago.

Jiminian Law PLLC is devoted to helping clients in all areas of business, copyrights, trademark, sports and entertainment law.  Providing knowledgeable and effective representation are the keys to my success.  Danny Jiminian, Esq. is available for a free consultation if you call him at 917.388.3574 or 929.322.3546 or email him at danny@djimlaw.com.

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