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Legal News Roundup: December 11, 2015

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by Greg Hamblin

on 11 December, 2015

Let’s take a look at this week in legal news.


Always read the TOS.

The Wu-Tang Clan made news twice this week when it was revealed that the only copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin? had been sold for $2 million to Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old pharmaceutical executive who triggered outrage worldwide earlier this year when his company increased the price of a drug used to treat some AIDS sufferers by 5000 percent—from $13.50 to $750 a tablet. He recently said he wished he’d raised it more.

Shortly later, an Twitter user Rob Wesley posted what seemed like a hilarious clause in the contract.

“The buying party also agrees that, at any time during the stipulated 88 year period, the seller may legally plan and attempt to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which, if successful, would return all ownership rights to the seller,” the alleged clause reads. “Said heist or caper can only be undertaken by currently active members of the Wu-Tang Clan and/or actor Bill Murray, with no legal repercussions.”

All reports on this clause eventually point back to that single tweet, though, so it’s most likely a creation of Photoshop. We hold out hope, however, for news of a daring heist by the esteemed Mr. Murray.

And Many Moooorrrre…

Legal disputes over copyright fees to the song “Happy Birthday to You” have been settled out of court, marking the end to an era.

Earlier this year a judge ruled that the lyrics to the ubiquitous birthday celebration tune could be used without royalty. This ruling sparked a flurry of lawsuits from filmmakers and artists to try and claim back money paid out in lawsuits filed by the copyright holder since 1988.

The Biggest Legal Stories of 2016

The New Yorker has run a story about the biggest legal stories of 2016. The big surprise?  It’s all old news.  NSA, Bill Cosby, and Black Lives Matter cases continue on… and that’s about it.

They do make a couple predictions about upcoming supreme court cases, suggesting a more conservative swing in the upcoming year.  What do you think?

You can read the story here

We’re Not Not Left Behind.

President Obama signed the Every Child Succeeds Act on the tenth. This act undoes much of the No Child Left Behind act that was largely unpopular.  While testing requirements remain in place, the controversial consequences of poor performance are either undone or left to individual states to mandate.

Deck the halls with braaaaiiins

For the second year in a row, an Ohio homeowner has erected a “zombie nativity” in his yard. Last year the township required him to take it down because he didn’t have a permit. This year he applied for a permit and was denied.

Convinced that the display is a matter of free speech, he has put up the zombie nativity again, and now faces daily fines of $500.

What did we miss? Any stories worth telling this week that we failed to hear about? Comment below.