Archive for July, 2010
Via Hiphopwired.com Damon Dash’s Tribeca Loft is going to foreclosure.
Damon Dash has had a lot of trouble ever since his split with Jay-Z, and things don’t appear to be getting better anytime soon for the once Hip-Hop Mogul. Damon has stopped paying his ridiculous $78,504.20-per-month mortgage payment, and is now abut to go through foreclosure on the loft.
Bought for around 3 million, Dash a few years back tried to sell it for 7 million, hoping to sell the loft while also to pay back some of his debt. The auction will take place tomorrow at 1:00 P.M. as one lucky buyer will become the owner to the Dash estate.
The listing for the loft states:
“This stunning 5,200 SF duplex loft boasts 20 foot ceilings in the living room, 4 bedrooms and 4 baths on TriBeCas best block. Add huge windows facing north and south, a mint kitchen and luxurious bathrooms, it leaves nothing to be desired. Located in the preeminent full service doorman building, the Atalanta, Must be seen!!”
I don’t know how this is possible, Dame has plenty paper, so don’t believe everything you read!
A federal judge ruled this week that Vitaminwater will not, as its labels promise, keep you “healthy as a horse.” Nor will it bring about a “healthy state of physical or mental being”. Instead, Vitaminwater is really just a sugary snack food; non-carbonated fruit coke disguised as a sports drink. Because it’s composed mostly of sugar and not vitamin-laden water, judge John Gleeson held that Vitaminwater’s absurd marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers.
Coke tried to explain away claims like “vitamins + water = all you need” as “only puffery.” The judge disagreed.
By including the suggestion that the product will “keep you healthy” or “help bring about a healthy state of physical and mental being” alongside such statements, the quoted language implies that the nutrient content of vitaminwater may help consumers maintain healthy dietary practices. I conclude, therefore, in light of the language and context in which they are used, that the statements on the “defense” and “B- Relaxed” labels constitute implied nutrient content claims which use the word “healthy.” Such claims are in violation of violation of FDA regulations because . . . vitaminwater achieves its nutritional content solely through fortification that violates FDA policy.”
The ruling rejected Coca Cola’s motion to dismiss a class action suit brought by the scrappy do-gooders at the Center for Science in the Interest. The case should now be clear for trial, although it could settle if Coke is willing to change Vitaminwater’s name to something less misleading. Cake in a Can, perhaps? Lawsuit Over Deceptive Vitaminwater Claims to Proceed [CSPI] (Press Release)
Order on Motion to Dismiss [U.S. District Court] (pdf)
The U.S. Copyright Office and the Library Congress gave the OK to iPhone jailbreaking, ruling against Apple. In the past Apple has claimed jailbreaking violated the terms of fair use and jeopardized security.
Apple lost a bid to have jailbreaking the iPhone declared a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In a decision today, the U.S. Copyright Office and the Library of Congress sided with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s contention that jailbreaking the iPhone was not prohibited by the act.
The decision comes (PDF) as part of a regular process where the copyright office reviews exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) every three years. Through jailbreaking, users can unlock a device and enable third-party unsigned code to run.
Citing security and privacy concerns, Apple has called jailbreaking illegal and fought to keep today’s decision from becoming a reality.
In his decision, Librarian of Congress James Billington wrote that Apple called jailbreaking a “violation of the prohibition against circumvention of access controls. It stated that its validation system is necessary to protect consumers and Apple from harm. Apple further contended that modifying Apple’s operating system constituted the creation of an infringing derivative work.”
On the other side of the issue was the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which heralded the copyright office’s decision earlier today.
“Copyright law has long held that making programs interoperable is fair use,” said Corynne McSherry, EFF senior staff attorney, in a statement. “It’s gratifying that the Copyright Office acknowledges this right and agrees that the anticircumvention laws should not interfere with interoperability.”
The EFF also applauded a decision it says “holds that amateur creators do not violate the DMCA when they use short excerpts from DVDs in order to create new, noncommercial works for purposes of criticism or comment if they believe that circumvention is necessary to fulfill that purpose.”
Who’s to blame?
City officials say at least some of the heat is on music mogul Sean (Diddy) Combs, hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh, Mickey Rourke’s plastic surgeon and Remy Ma’s defense lawyer.
They’re among thousands of people and companies that collectively owe $1.9 billion, the city says.
Also on the list: A pay phone company with reputed mob ties, an insurance company busted in a fraud ring and the governments of Hungary, Bulgaria and Libya.
While some of the boldface names deny that they’re in hock, the shocking tally is a sizable chunk of the $4.9 billion shortfall that just forced the city to cut funding to schools, day care centers and other treasured services. And that’s just delinquent taxes, fines and parking tickets – it doesn’t even include the $313 million that deadbeats owe for unpaid water bills.
“We are going to find these people,” vowed Finance Commissioner David Frankel. “We’re going to turn them upside down by their ankles and we’re going to shake them until the money comes out of their pockets.”
Frankel is leading a new effort to go after scofflaws – and make crucial improvements to the city’s collection system that critics say is long overdue.
Mayor Bloomberg announced a similar crackdown last year, saying the city would take steps like sharpening rules so people with outstanding bills can’t receive new permits. That effort yielded an extra $28 million for the city, but the program fell short of its goals.
This time, Frankel says scofflaws should watch out. “If you owe [the city] money,” he said, “you shouldn’t be able to get a tennis permit.”
The latest effort aims to expedite hearings and streamline collections with an eye toward reaping as much as $183 million by 2013.
Among those at the top of the city’s scofflaw lists are many who dispute their debts, including Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment, which faces a $996,000 bill for illegally plastering posters around the city.
A spokesman described the bill as a “bureaucratic error,” saying it was paid by a partner company three years ago but the city hasn’t updated the record. A city spokesman said lawyers are reviewing the issue.
Ronald Massie, who owned a pay phone company called Global Network Communications, called the city’s claim that he owes $1.8 million in business taxes “a little offensive,” saying the city “basically destroyed my company.”
Court records show Global Network sued the city after losing its phone franchise. The city cut off the company after Massie was arrested by the FBI for illegal activities with the Bonanno crime family. He later pleaded guilty to some charges.
John Figliolia pinned at least part of the blame on the city for the $2 million his brother’s company, Alex Figliolia Contracting, faces for fines related to digging up streets. He says the city delivers citations to bad addresses, fails to notify companies of hearings and, until recently, required companies to show up in person to dispute bogus fines. “Many companies have gone out of business over this,” he said.
Other debtors say they’re making good on their debts and plan to pay up.
“We are in the process of working out a payment agreement,” said Ivan Fisher, a prominent criminal defense lawyer who has represented mobsters, murderers and rapper Remy Ma.
Fisher racked up a $421,000 bill with the city during an extended illness, he said. “I was really unable to make much money, like close to none.”
Douglas Davis – better known as Doug E. Fresh – did not return calls about the $191,000 in business taxes. Neither did plastic surgeon Robert Vitolo, whose clients have included actor Mickey Rourke. Vitolo owes $169,000.
The city’s top 10 property tax debtors are all countries that own property in New York and claim they don’t have to pay taxes
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/07/25/2010-07-25_they_pass_the_bucks_celebs_nations__biz_firms_owe_billions_as_city_suffers.html#ixzz0utQfrBgA