Multiple Lawsuits Filed Against SXSW

South By Southwest is supposed to be a time to let loose and enjoy music, films, and the interactive conferences that are held, but this year’s festivities took a turn for the worse when a drunk idiot tried to evade police at a D.U.I. checkpoint which resulted in him killing several people and injuring dozens more.

Now, almost a year after the horrific incident took place, seven lawsuit have been filed again SXSW by the families of those killed in the fatal crash that took place in the early hours of March 13, 2014 on Red River, according to the Associated Press.

The wrongful death lawsuit have been filed in both federal and Texas state court.

But, the festival and their private companies, SXSW Holdings INC. and SXSW LLC aren’t the only ones being named in the suits, the traffic consulting firm, Traffic Design Consultants, LLC and the person who headed the project, Patrick Lowe, have also been named.

One of the suits claims that the tragedy was “foreseeable and predictable” and that all those involved, especially the festival, ignored safety regulations and industry standards by not using “rigid barriers.”

“A festival organizer or traffic design consultant of ordinary intelligence would have anticipated danger” cites one of the lawsuits.

They also claim that the festival and everyone involved should have anticipated that something would happen due to all the excessive alcohol consumption that was going on. The suit even cited that Austin is the “number one for alcohol consumption in Texas.”

But, it sill does not end there. The lawsuit also says that the festival’s Right-Of-Way permit puts them in “legal possession of the street where the crash occurred.”

“The only way to force a private company like South by Southwest to take action in the future is to hold them accountable for their failures in the past,” states Scott Hendler, the attorney for one of the families.

“Otherwise, there’s no incentive for them to do anything different.”

Lizzy Plug, the wife of one of the first victim’s identified as Steven Craenmehr mirrored her attorney’s sentiment.

“South by Southwest is accountable for this tragedy, in my thoughts.”

In the response to the lawsuit SXSW have released the following statement:

“What happened on Red River was a terrible tragedy, caused by Rashad Owen’s utter disregard of human life. Our hearts continue to ache for those injured and the families of those who lost their lives. We look forward to his prosecution for his awful crimes.”

In September, a report sanctioned by SXSW done by the city of Austin revealed that crowd management issues including traffic congestion attributed to the crash.

The report also revealed that the city might also have some blame because of the overcrowding of venues and the high consumption of alcohol compromised the

Due to the report, the festival has already planned to minimize the amount of unofficial event surrounding them including the FADER Fort and the Hype Hotel. As of now, SXSW is asking for the city to limit the amount of permits distributed for events that require temporary permits.

As for the man behind all of this tragedy, Rashad Owens, he is currently in jail on capital murder charges. He is also being sued by the families.

No More Moshing at Warped


We all knew that someday it would come down to this, but it looks like now due to insurance reasons, bands have been told to refrain from encouraging concertgoers to mosh.

The story broke when Oli Skyes from Bring Me the Horizon tweeted that by law he was, not allowed to say the terms “mosh pit” or “wall of death” during his performances on this year’s Vans Warped Tour. The initial reaction was that Warped Tour was becoming those old men that tell you to turn down your music because it’s too loud, but really, there was much more to it than that.

The law that Skyes had made reference to is part of the insurance policy that the festival has depending on each individual festival stop and its venue. In it, the policy states that bands must refrain from using any of those terms that way it makes it easier for the insurance companies to cover those that were injured during the show.

While this looks like it might have just happened, it was also said that the bands on tour sign a legally binding contract in which they agree to the policies set by cities, venues as well as the insurance companies.

Guess it’s time to start reading the fine lines, huh?

Frank Ocean Sued Over Song

Frank Ocean

Another day, another lawsuit.

This time the lawsuit is against Frank Ocean and no, there is no Chris Brown to be seen in this one.

The singer is being sued by producer, Micah Otano who claims he was deprived of any credits on Ocean’s song, “Lost.” The producer filed papers on March 6 at the U.S. District Court of California where he cited the following in his suit against Ocean: breach of contract, fraud in the inducement, rescission and restitution, copyright infringement and declaratory relief.

He claims that he “co-created” the song, “Daylight” with fellow producers, Malay and Paul Shelton which eventually became the track known as “Lost.”  He also claims that he “solely performed the lead synthesizer parts on ‘Daylight’ as well as piano and other parts” for the song.

Otano also says that he and Malay had joint ownership of the “Daylight”, but they promised that they would not shop the song around as their own, but rather shop it around as if they were co-producers, but Malay did just the opposite and sold the track to Frank Ocean as his own.

Not only are Ocean and Malay named in the suit, but Def Jams and Universal Music Group have also been listed. Otano is looking for damages, but how much will be determined if or when they go to trial.

No comment has been made by any of those named in the suit.

Hawaii Passes Steven Tyler Law

Steven Tyler Act

AP Photo/Oskar Garcia

A month after Steven Tyler proposed a bill to help protect celebrities from the paparazzi in Hawaii, the senate have voted to pass the law. Since Tyler was the one to propose such a law, it has officially been named the “Steven Tyler Act.”

The Steven Tyler Act, or SB465, officially creates a civil cause for action for the “constructive invasion of privacy,” making it possible to sue a paparazzo or other like-minded offender “if the person captures or intends to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, through any means a visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person while that person is engaging in a personal or familial activity with a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Twenty-three out of 25 of the senate members voted for the bill which will soon be heading to the House for its next step. Last month, while at the hearing testimony before the Hawaii’s State Senate Judiciary Committee, Tyler told them that paparazzi come with the property of being a star, but when they use huge lenses to take pictures of personal time which then in turn goes into magazines and other publications, it feels like a serious invasion of privacy.