Celebrity News for January 19th, 2017

Paul McCartney Sues Sony to Regain Rights to Beatles Songs

Paul McCartney has filed suit in New York against Sony/ATV and is looking to get a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to a treasured catalog of songs created as a member of The Beatles. In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, the iconic songwriter is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act. In 1976, Congress increased the period that works are under copyright protection, and, in recognition of authors who had signed over their rights to publishers and studios without much bargaining power, allowed such authors 35 years hence to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Prince have used the mere threat of termination to negotiate new deals and better compensation arrangements. According to McCartney’s complaint, he transferred rights to songs co-authored by him and John Lennon between 1962 and 1971 to various music publishers.

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Alanis Morissette’s manager admits to stealing $5M from her

LOS ANGELES — The former business manager for Alanis Morissette admitted embezzling more than $6.5 million from the singer and other celebrities and agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday. Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 48, of Los Angeles, was charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return for failing to report the embezzled funds, prosecutors said. Schwartz admitted stealing nearly $5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014. He used the money personally and falsely listed the cash withdrawals as “sundry/personal expenses” to cover up the crime. When confronted about the theft, Schwartz lied and said had invested the money in an illegal marijuana growing business, prosecutors said. Schwartz, who worked for GSO Business Management, also admitted to stealing $1.7 million from two other clients who were not named by the U.S. attorney’s office.

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Kesha still fighting to get her voice back

Despite all her recent setbacks, Kesha’s still fighting to get her voice back. The “TiK ToK” singer, 29, opened up about her struggles while talking to Vice’s “Noisey” about the music scene in her hometown of Nashville. “I worked my ass off for a lot of years to be able to do it,” she said. “I sang backup vocals. The first couple songs I was on, I didn’t get credited, but I didn’t give a f–k because I had this one vision. Once you earn that and make that happen, then to have it taken away from you is pretty devastating. It is definitely a mindf—k.” The experience of what she’s gone through since suing Dr. Luke in the fall of 2014 has clearly taken a lot out of Kesha and she can be seen crying in a clip from the episode.

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Leaked footage from ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ raises animal cruelty concerns

The organization that ensures animal safety in film and television productions said Wednesday it is investigating whether a frightened dog was forced into churning water during the making of “A Dog’s Purpose.” American Humane has also suspended its safety representative who worked on the film and is hiring an independent investigator to explore the matter, said Mark Stubis, a spokesman for the organization. The incident came to light when celebrity site posted a minute-long video it says was shot during production of “A Dog’s Purpose.” It shows a German shepherd apparently terrified to get into a pool and a trainer forcing the dog into the water. Universal Pictures, which is releasing “A Dog’s Purpose” on Jan. 27, has not responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a Twitter post that dog lovers should boycott the film “to send the message that dogs & other animals should be treated humanely, not as props.”

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THE ROCK LETS A FINGER SLIP …‘Saluting’ Kevin Hart

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got busted giving Kevin Hart the bird on live TV, but to be fair … Kevin kind of had it coming. Hart had just finished thanking all of his co-stars for winning favorite comedy performance in “Central Intelligence” on the People’s Choice Awards … but gave the reverse of a shout-out to The Rock. The Rock laughed it off, but then decided to pay Kevin back right before the camera cut away … a split second too late. The Rock won an award for Favorite Premium Series Actor a few minutes later for his role on “Ballers.”

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‘Will & Grace’ revival officially coming to NBC

NBC is officially reviving “Will & Grace.” After months of rumors, the network confirmed Wednesday that it’s ordered 10 new episodes of the popular sitcom to premiere during the 2017-18 season. Stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally will all return for the limited run.  The news comes after the original cast first reunited for a “Will & Grace” scene last September that urged viewers to vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. That nine-minute video has since been viewed nearly 7 million times on You Tube, and sparked talks of a revival. Since then, cast members had expressed interest in returning to their characters should a deal be worked out. “The four of us are game but it’s bigger than us,” McCormack told The Post last month.

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Jerry Seinfeld inks production deal with Netflix

Jerry Seinfeld is getting into business with Netflix. The comedian has signed a production deal with the streaming giant that will bring his new comedic projects to Netflix beginning this year. As part of the deal, new episodes of his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” will begin streaming exclusively on Netflix in installments globally later this year, with subsequent installments following in 2018 and beyond. Previous seasons of the Emmy-nominated series will also air exclusively on Netflix. The hit online series, which features Seinfeld having conversations with personalities ranging from Tina Fey and Larry David to President Barack Obama, launched in 2012 on Crackle, the modest Sony Pictures Entertainment streaming service.

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Taryn Manning didn’t quit ‘OITNB’ despite reports

Taryn Manning has no intention of leaving “Orange Is the New Black” just yet. On Wednesday morning, In Touch reported the actress had quit the hit Netflix series, but she says she’s not going anywhere. And looks as if the magazine believes her because by the afternoon the story had been deleted. Shortly after news of Manning’s departure broke, she posted an image macro to Instagram that read, “It’s always the ones with the dirty hands pointing the fingers,” along with the caption, “#quit #never ILove my squad! Silly magazines but still love ya!” When reached for comment a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to Page Six that the actress is indeed still on the show and the initial report was false. Manning, who plays Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett on the critically acclaimed dramedy, has been a part of the show’s cast since it premiered in 2013.

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‘Dance Moms’ star doesn’t think she deserves jail

Just two days before the first part of Abby Lee Miller’s sentencing in her multi-million dollar fraud and illegal currency import cases, the “Dance Moms” host is insisting that the hiding of over $800,000 was all because she became too famous too fast. Miller is also saying she never hurt anyone, she’s been humiliated publicly and she doesn’t deserve to be put behind bars –  though the feds really don’t see it that way. “Ms. Miller respectfully requests that the Court impose a non-custodial sentence after considering her acceptance of responsibility and the nature and characteristics of her conduct and her life,” say Miller’s lawyers in a sentencing memorandum submitted in federal court on Tuesday. “She presently finds herself standing before this Court having admitted to crimes that served almost no purpose but, fortunately, caused no harm,” the 22-page plus exhibits January 17 filing (read it here) adds of Miller’s  June 27, 2016 guilty plea after being indicted in October 2015 on 20 counts of fraud and a new charge from June of last year of violating currency reporting laws.

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Bobby Shmurda’s pal gets 130-year sentence, curses out judge

Rapper Bobby Shmurda’s co-defendant in a Brooklyn gang conspiracy told a Manhattan judge to “suck my d–k” Wednesday just before he was ordered jailed for more than a century. Foulmouthed Santino Boderick, 23, unleashed a volley of curses at Justice Abraham Clott, who remained calm. “F–k yourself,” Boderick said as he demanded to be removed from the courtroom before he was given a 117¹/₂- to 130-year sentence. Clott permitted the defendant’s exit then delivered the sentence in his absence. Boderick was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, possession of a weapon and 20 other felonies stemming from four gang-related shootings.

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