Class Actions Blog

Court rules Happy Birthday song copyright invalid

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by Steve Larson

copyrightWarner/Chappell Music Inc. does not own a valid copyright on “Happy Birthday To You,” a California federal judge ruled Tuesday in a class action decision.  This assures that the world’s most recognizable English language song is in the public domain.

U.S. District Judge George H. King found that Warner had never acquired the rights to the song’s lyrics.  In copyright records, court records and several agreements over the use of the song, nowhere was there a discussion of the lyrics to “Happy Birthday,” according to the decision. Some records mention the melody or piano arrangement, but not the words to the song, the judge said. Read more…

LinkedIn settles email class action

Posted on: October 7th, 2015 by Steve Larson

LikeLinkedIn, the social networking site, agreed to pay $13 million to settle a lawsuit from members who complained that unwanted emails were sent out on their behalf.  The settlement was announced by LinkedIn when it emailed users informing them of the class action settlement.

As part of the settlement, LinkedIn agreed to tell members that two email reminders may be sent to each requested connection. By next year, users will also be able to stop reminder emails from being sent. Read more…

More auto parts manufacturers settle antitrust claims

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by Steve Larson

CarFujikura Ltd. and T.Rad Co. Ltd. have agreed to collectively pay more than $14.5 million to end-payors in the sprawling multidistrict litigation against auto parts makers, bringing total recoveries for the plaintiff group to nearly $200 million.  Under the settlements outlined in court filings Monday, T.Rad will pay $7.41 million to the end-payor plaintiffs, and Fujikura will pay $7.14 million. The end-payors include businesses and consumers who purchased or leased new automobiles. Read more…

Drivers file class actions against Volkswagen for fraudulent sales of clean diesel vehicles

Posted on: September 24th, 2015 by Steve Larson

CarVolkswagen was hit with at least nine more class actions on Monday and Tuesday by U.S. drivers seeking damages for diesel-burning autos that the manufacturer touted as environmentally friendly, but that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently revealed were designed to fool emissions tests. Read more…

Class Action certified against Uber

Posted on: September 23rd, 2015 by Steve Larson

CarUber drivers scored a major victory against the ride-hailing company Tuesday when a California federal judge agreed to certify a class of Golden State drivers who claim they were mislabeled as independent contractors and cheated out of tips.

U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen found that Uber’s claim that drivers were all properly classified as contractors conflicted with its argument that the drivers’ experiences with the company were too different to merit class certification. Read more…

Nestle sued for buying fish from slave labor

Posted on: September 17th, 2015 by Steve Larson

cat foodNestle SA was sued over claims that its Fancy Feast cat food contains fish from a Thai supplier that uses slave labor.  The complaint against the Swiss food giant follows one accusing Costco Wholesale Corp. of selling farmed shrimp from Thailand, where slave labor and human trafficking in the fishing industry are allegedly widespread. Read more…

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This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

About the author

  • Steve Larson

  • Steve Larson
  • Steve Larson has been representing investors, consumers and employees in class actions in Oregon for over 20 years. He is a shareholder at the law firm of Stoll Berne in Portland, Oregon.
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