Nirvana Infringement Lawsuit Over Happy Face Logo Can Proceed

 

A federal court judge has that an infringement lawsuit that Nirvana LLC filed against clothing designer Marc Jacobs as well as against department stores Saks Incorporated and Neiman Marcus can proceed.

Nirvana the suit in December of last year, claiming that the design was infringing on both their copyright and trademark by being similar to their iconic happy face logo. Mark Jacobs used this design in its “Bootleg Redux Grunge” clothing line, which they began selling last November at Saks and Neiman Marcus.

In addition to copyright and trademark infringement, Nirvana accused the defendants of false designation of origin and unfair competition.

The defendants in the suit sought to get it dismissed on a number of grounds. First, they insist that Nirvana LLC has failed to demonstrate that it was the legal owner of the happy face logo. They also insisted that the company had not demonstrated that there was a substantial similarity between the two designs. Finally, they claimed that Nirvana’s original copyright was only valid in combination with other design elements and not by itself.

But U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt did not concur with any of the defendants’ arguments.

One-by-one, the judge shot down their claims. First, he said that Nirvana did in fact sufficiently establish that it owned the copyright to the happy face logo. He further said that a casual visual review of the two logos clearly demonstrates that there is sufficient similarity between them (the only discernible difference are the letters “M” and “J” in place of the two X’s used as eyes), and he indicated that Nirvana’s happy face logo can in fact be considered protectable under copyright law even when separated from other design elements.

So far, none of the representatives of Marc Jacobs or the two stores have issued statements or comments in response to the judge’s decision.

LeBron James Pays Tribute To His Queen With "Relationship Goals" Post

LeBron James has been able to go through his whole career without any personal scandals and when you’re a big star like him, that’s almost next to impossible. James has been a role model for kids and aspiring athletes around the world and much it is because he has such a sturdy head on his shoulders. While LeBron deserves a ton credit for what he has accomplished, he would probably be quick to tell you that he couldn’t do it without his wife, Savannah Brinson.

In a recent IG post, LeBron gave a cute little shout out to his high school sweetheart that will be keeping “Relationship Goals” accounts in business for the next few months. You can’t help but feel LeBron’s love for his wife pop out the screen.

“The only reason why I can do what I do at the highest level both on and f the floor is my because my best friend got my back regardless the outcome! I’m just the car, she’s the engine! Appreciate you Wonder Woman aka Queen,” James wrote.

Being the wife an NBA star can’t be easy so it’s awesome to see Brinson stick by LeBron through thick and thin. It’s clear that these two have each other’s back no matter what.

Cuban Doll Shares ‘Savage Life’ EP

Cuban Doll a.k.a. Cuban Da Savage has dropped a new EP titled Savage Life. The nine-track project features collaborations with Yella Beezy, Trippie Redd, Lil Yachty, Molly Brazy and Lil Duke.

“I’m still giving them ‘the old Cuban tha Savage’ but also trying new things creatively,” she tells HipHopDX. “It’s fun and edgy but still true to my classic hard-hitting anthems for the ladies.”

View Cuban’s Savage Life stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Cuban Doll Shares 'Savage Life' EP

1. Cupac
2. Money Talk
3. Amazin f. Lil Duke, Lil Yachty & Yella Beezy
4. Moves
5. On Gang f. Molly Brazy
6. Ohchee Walla
7. My Ex
8. Oh Wow f. Trippie Redd
9. A. G. F.

Spotify, Proctor & Gamble Address Racism with 'Harmonize' Podcast

Spotify and Proctor & Gamble are partnering in the launch of a new podcast series called Harmonize, which will discuss racism in America and how music has had a positive impact on it.

The series includes four episodes, all of which are now available exclusively on Spotify. Hosted by communications consultant and writer Jamilah Lemieux, the episodes feature singer and actor John Legend along with rapper and music executive Pusha T as well as music expert Cory Townes.

While the podcast in the future will address all kinds of biases, such as gender, LGBTQ and identity bias, the first episodes are focused on bias against African Americans. In these episodes, artists and cultural commentators share stories of how racism has affected both their personal and professional lives.

Legend is very supportive of the project.

He says, “It is so important to have an open, honest dialogue around difficult topics like race, gender and bias.” Because of this, he adds, “I have huge respect for companies like Spotify and P&G that are creating spaces for artists like myself to have these conversations, which are long overdue.”

Damon Jones, who is the vice president of global communications & advocacy at Proctor & Gamble, also commented on the series. He said, “Together with Spotify, we’re deepening this conversation, illustrating how race intersects music and culture and bringing together a variety of perspectives and experiences we believe will inspire people to take action to address these all too common instances of individual and institutional bias.”

Finally, Danielle Lee, who is global vice president of partner solutions at Spotify, said, “We are proud to amplify the conversation that P&G has so thoughtfully sparked with the launch of Harmonize. Consumers expect brands to take a stand on issues they care about and contribute to society in a meaningful way. Our hope is that Harmonize will expand the conversation around bias in America in an effort to build empathy.”

Deezer Inks Deal With Emirates Airline For Seat-back Playlists

Deezer has signed a deal with Emirates airline to give passengers access to exclusive in-flight playlists. 

Deezer launched in the Middle East and North Africa last year in October. The French music streaming company ⁠— the Arab world’s largest record label. 

It has since gained a pretty large following in the region. Available in 22 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco ⁠— as well as 180 countries worldwide. 

The deal comes as a surprise as many American airlines are abandoning seat-back entertainment.

A report from October 2019 says American Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Air are removing in-flight entertainment options. American and United will keep seat-back screens on a select handful of cross-country flights, though. 

Most passengers carry a smartphone or a tablet with them for in-flight entertainment. But Patrick Brannelly, Division VP of Customer Experience for Emirates, says Deezer’s music playlists will fit right in. 

“Emirates has supported the industry for many years by working with artists and record labels. Now we are pleased to be building relationships with music streaming services. Deezer offers us a new take on music curation with playlists featuring pop, rock, dance, Arabic Chillout, Khaliji Romance, Arabic EDM, and many more.”

Deezer’s playlists will be included in the Emirates’ ICE entertainment system. The ICE system offers passengers films, TV, games, flight tracking, and now exclusive playlists. Back in 2015, Emirates revamped its fleet to include new, larger seat-back screens for its passengers. 

Deezer CEO for MENA and Turkey ⁠— Tarek Mounir, says the partnership is an important one. 

 “It’s great to work closely with Emirates, one of, if not the best airline in the world, to take our expertly-curated playlists to the skies. Music has the power to transport us, and our curated music selection aims to get listeners to feel the thrill of discovery that comes from visiting new destinations and new experiences.”

Chamillionaire and E-40 To Invest $100,000 in a Minority-Owned Startup

Rapper Chamillionaire announced on CNBC that he and hip-hop artist E-40 are staging a contest that will provide $100,000 to a startup founded by either a woman or a minority.

This is not the first investment for Chamillionaire, whose real name is Hakeem Serik. He was an early investor in Lyft and still holds an investment in it and in many other prominent startups, such as:

  • Ring
  • Cruise
  • Maker Studio

Chamillionaire hopes to use the competition to bring awareness to minority- and women-owned startups, which he believes are currently underrepresented.

“Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy,” he told Squawk Alley, “but it’s even harder for minority and women led companies. These people are solving new and unique problems and I think the only thing in their way is capital.”

He indicated that the problem these entrepreneurs face relates to the fact that it is mostly white men doing the funding, and that they mostly fund other white men. He believes that this competition can help change this.

Those interested in entering the contest, can submit pitches through Convoz, which is a social app that Chamillionaire launched in 2016 to improve public collaboration.

Chamillionaire will actually review the entries personally, along with his team and Republic.co, which is an SEC-registered investment platform that gives startups access to non-accredited investors. That is, small investors.

The rapper has one piece of advice for those who apply. He says, “We’re not just talking about an idea. We’re talking about a real company.”

Also participating in the contest, which will run from November 11 to December 6, is Daymond John, who is a noted Shark Tank investor. He said, “I am so excited to be one of the judges in the $100,000 pitch competition. If you feel that you are ready to pitch and knock it out of the park, I can not wait.”

In 2007, Chamillionaire won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for his song “Ridin’.”

WWE’s Jordan Myles Quits, Calls Company Racist In Expletive-Laced Rant

WWE NXT superstar Jordan Myles posted an expletive-laced rant on social media this week, during which labeled the company as “racist” and announced that he will be quitting, effective immediately. That said, WWE Insider Brad Shepard reports that Myles was actually fired.

Myles, who has since deactivated his twitter account, says in the video:

As today, I’d like to ficially announce that I quit fucking WWE. I am no longer employed. I refuse to work for racist…I fucking quit. Fuck them! I hate that fucking company and everything they fucking stand for. All they ever did was hold our fucking people back. I do this shit for the culture, I don’t need anyone’s fucking permission to do what I want to do. Screw Jordan Myles, don’t ever call me by that slave name, call me ACH and don’t forget the super bitch. I quit, fuck you!”

According to reports, Myles’ issues with the WWE started when the company created a t-shirt design for him that some believed looked like blackface. WWE released the following statement regarding the t-shirt issue (h/t Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin):

“Albert Hardie Jr. (aka Jordan Myles) approved this T-shirt for sale. As always, we work collaboratively with all our performers to develop logos and merchandise designs and get their input and approval before proceeding. This was the same process with Albert, and we responded swiftly once he later requested that the logo/T-shirt be redesigned. No t-shirts were sold.”

The 31-year-old made his television debut with NXT back in July during the NXT Breakout Tournament and he went on to win the whole thing, which led to a title shot against NXT Champion Adam Cole in early September. 

Check out what WWE Hall Famer Booker T has to say about the matter in the video embedded below.

Tierra Whack Reveals André 3000 Gave Her ‘The Best Advice’ Ever

Tierra Whack recently sat down with Spotify for the company’s video series, The Best Advice. During the segment, the creative powerhouse revealed her best advice came from the one and only 3 Stacks or, as he’s also known, the illustrious André 3000. 

Essentially, the Outkast legend told her to recruit solid people and form a team.

“He told me that it’s very very important to have, build and form a strong team — people just like my mentor, Kenete,” she said. “I would just overthink the littlest things, just like … you know? But he will just be right there, ‘Keep going. Don’t worry. You got it. Don’t overthink.’

“I was just scatterbrained with so many random, crazy ideas. It wasn’t coming together to me, but he was like, ‘No, that is you. You’re crazy. You have so many different moods and expressions.’”

Whack noted it was important to have a support network but nobody who will blindly agree to anything — “a yes-man,” as they are commonly known.

“I just have so much to offer and he was like, ‘Yo, we’re gonna find a way to put this together to make it make sense for the world,’” she continued. “So much is going on and I’m the center of the attention, but you know how I just looked for my team? I’m like, ‘Team, am I good?’

“You gotta have that support but no ‘yes-men.’ As you get bigger, you just have people they just want to tell you ‘yes’ and whatever you say they’re going to agree with and I never want that. If something’s wrong, tell me. I want to be able to talk it out, figure it out. If you don’t have a solid support system, nothing is gonna go right.”

The Philly-bred artist released her innovate audiovisual album Whack World in 2018. In April, she dropped a new video for “Unemployed,” but it’s unclear if that’s attached to a an upcoming project.

Watch the clip above.

Desiigner Says He's No Longer on Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Label

During an Instagram live stream, the rapper Desiigner announced that he has obtained his release from Kayne West’s G.O.O.D. Music label and has once again become an independent artist.

In the video, Desiigner — whose real name is Sidney Royel Selby III — said, “I’m on my own vibe. I couldn’t have nobody holding me up. That’s why I had to get off that label, man. Ain’t no funny shit. Ain’t nobody dropped me. I asked for the release.”

The rapper also discussed his future in the video. He said, “The only label I’m on right now is L.O.D. I can drop whenever, however, how high, how low. I can drop to the left, to the right, to the front, to the back! I can drop anywhere, any second. This is the dream of every artist!”

In 2016, Desiigner signed with G.O.O.D. Music, but he has since never released a studio album with the label.

At the same time, the rapper has often expressed frustration with the label on social media. Earlier last month in a Twitter post he hollered, “FREE ME FROM THIS LABLE [sic].”

He also has not shied away from criticizing Kayne West. In another Instagram video that he shot earlier this year he said, “Nobody is doing this shit for me. I had signed to Kanye West, the biggest nigga. Y’all niggas think he’s the genius. Y’all think all that nigga’s shit. But to me that nigga’s crazy. To me, I’ve been doing this shit myself. To me, I brought G.O.O.D. Music back.”

Prior to signing with G.O.O.D. Music, Desiigner released his debut single in 2015 on SoundCloud. Entitled “Panda,” it shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Interestingly, he is the grandson of the legendary blues singer and guitarist Sidney “Guitar Crusher” Selby, who is also known as “The Big Voice from New York.”

Meek Mill Hits The Woah To Lil Baby’s "Woah" In His Foray Into The Triller App

Triller became the new app to preview new music but you can ten find these videos on Instagram or Twitter. Rappers have shared snippets their new tracks while using the DIY music video making app. Artists like Chance The Rapper, Queen Key, and many more began using it earlier in the year but more and more rappers are catching on. Lil Baby, for instance, teased his single, “Woah” on the Triller app and now, it looks like he has inspired a few his fellow rappers to do the same.

Meek Mill is now on the Triller app where you can catch him doing some rich sh*t. The rapper, draped in a fur coat, announced that he’d join the app while hitting a few dance moves to Lil Baby’s new song, although he adamantly denied that he did it at the Atlanta rapper’s request. “I’m learning this shit no bap,” he said, adding, “and no @lilbaby_1 did not ask me to post this.” Meek did admit that his dance moves did need a bit work, writing, ” I gotta get my moves back.”

“Woah” is presumably the first single f Lil Baby’s highly anticipated forthcoming project. The rapper has been relatively quiet this year with the exception a few features and his appearance on the Quality Control compilation. 

Jess Hilarious Says Apology To Apryl Jones Was Fake: "I Was Lying Through My Teeth"

Jess Hilarious recently made her unexpected debut on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood when she got interjected into the drama between Moniece Slaughter, Lil Fizz and Apryl Jones. Jess was busted for trashing talking Apryl to Moniece and calling her a gold digger. In a clip from the show, we saw Jess apologize to Apryl and the duo seemed to be on good terms but now Jess has come through to claim it was all scripted. 

 Jess Hilarious Says Apology To Apryl Jones Was Fake: "I Was Lying Through My Teeth"
Jesse Grant/Getty s

Jess made her statement on Instagram in a series posts to her story. “I do not have a problem with Moniece! We’re actually cool,” she wrote. “The #LHHH scene was very stage and somewhat scripted, but ya’ll knew that already.” Apparently Apryl and Jess had a conversation about what they were going to say before the cameras turned on and although Jess didn’t want to do it, she felt bad about the whole situation. 

“Because my fans know who I am in and out they knew that I was lying through my teeth and they also could see that I was not excited to do th scene, she explained. 

As the status their friendship now, Jess added: “Me and Apryl are no longer friends and I’m OK with that.”

Halle Berry Describes Sex Life & Accuses Gabriel Aubry Of Incest & Racism: Report

In a shocking twist, actress Halle Berry has reportedly thrown her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry under the bus, accusing him all sorts damaging things in their heated custody battle. The former couple are currently hashing out the details regarding custody their daughter Nahla and, in new legal documents, Berry alleges that several experiences that her ex-partner lived through were enough to derail their entire relationship and life.

Halle Berry Describes Sex Life & Accuses Gabriel Aubry Of Incest & Racism: Report
Evan Agostini/Getty s

According to RadarOnline, Halle Berry is making some serious claims about her ex-boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubry. During their relationship, Aubry reportedly used racist terms and refused to recognize their daughter as biracial. Even more shocking was the mention an alleged incestuous relationship with one his family members. She notes that the emotional damage caused by his former relationship was enough to ruin their own life. “After the first six months our relationship, our life diminished and after one year we had less than three times per year,” said the actress in a reported testimony. She also notes how Aubry did not accept responsibility for this.

Berry says that her former partner’s ual relationship with a family member lasted “for years,” also noting that the man’s mental health issues lead him to not be stable as Nahla’s primary parental figure. 

What do you make these serious claims?

Halle Berry Describes Sex Life & Accuses Gabriel Aubry Of Incest & Racism: Report
John Shearer/Getty s

Carmelo Anthony Confirms He’ll Be Back In The NBA This Year: Watch

Carmelo Anthony has been a curious case in the NBA over the last two seasons as he has pretty well been shunned from the entire league. Once upon a time, Melo was one the best players in the league and was considered to be an efficient and prolific scorer. Now, teams see Melo as a representation what the NBA was prior to this decade, which has led to many teams discarding him completely. Melo has been struggling to get a contract and fans are wondering why he can’t seem to catch a break

During a recent interview with TMZ, Anthony was asked about getting back into the league and despite all the rejections, he appears to be optimistic about his at getting back into the league.  “We’re figuring it out,” he said. When asked about his chances, Melo said there is a “2000%” chance he’s back this year.

Melo went on to say that he would be interested in playing for the New York Knicks if they came calling his phone. The former NBA star also shot some bail for Knicks head coach David Fizdale who has been catching flack for the Knicks’ awful start to the season.

Where would you like to see Carmelo land this season?

Black Thought To School Carnegie Hall With FREE MC Classes

Legendary Hip Hop artist and The Roots member Black Thought has been tapped to teach rapping lessons at New York’s Carnegie Hall — and they’re free.

Carnegie Hall announced the master classes are set for February 3-5, 2020 with a focus on rising and professional rappers between ages 18-35. Throughout the multi-day master class, 10 rappers will be taught by The Roots frontman to focus on lyricism, flow, style and delivery.

Along with honing their Hip Hop skills, the participants will be schooled in Hip Hop’s long and evolving history.

The master classes, entitled “School of Thought: A Hip-Hop Master Class Featuring Black Thought,” are set to culminate in a final showcase for the participants hosted by Black Thought. The performance will take place on February 5, 2020 at Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing.

Tickets for the showcase will go on sale on December 11, while applicants can apply for the workshop online through December 6.

Since releasing his last solo album Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation last year, Black Thought has been busy with the rest of The Roots as the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Recently, Black Thought confirmed with HipHopDX the group’s first two albums — Do You Want More?!!!??! and Illadelph Halflife  — were lost in the 2008 Universal Studio fire.

50 Cent Wants In On Paid Chinese Troll Group "50 Cent Army"

50 Centisn’t on Instagram anymore and we can’t help but assume that it wasn’t done by choice. There’s no doubt his page has sparked controversy that has even led him to court in the past. However, that just means he’s taking his business elsewhere. The rapper has been actively tweeting all day. Fif is arguably hip-hop’s first troll and he embraces it in full.

50 Cent Wants In On Paid Chinese Troll Group "50 Cent Army"
Paul Morigi/Getty s

Earlier today, the rapper shared a screenshot a Bloomberg article where he discovered a group in China called “50 Cent Army.” This “army” literally has nothing to do with the rapper but the name is enticing enough to draw him in. The rapper tweeted, “do I have to go to China to find my Army. I just want to be apart it. LOL.”

50 Cent Army isn’t a G-Unit fan club in China, although the title itself might seem that way. According to The Washington Post, the 50 Cent Army is a group paid trolls hired by China to use Twitter and other forms social media to sway the public’s opinion the government in a favorable way. It launched in 2004 but the public was only aware it in 2014 after it was hacked. By the time 2016 rolled around, the 50 Cent Army was already up to 500 million fake accounts. 

If Fif knew that, maybe he’d reconsider wanting to be apart it.