Lawsuit to proceed over NBA stars' tattoos

A federal judge on Friday rejected a request by the maker of the popular NBA 2K video game series to dismiss a lawsuit over its depiction in the game of tattoos belonging to LeBron James and other NBA stars.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan said she needed a better understanding of how Take-Two Interactive Software’s flagship game is “generally played,” before deciding whether its “realistic” depiction of tattoos licensed by Solid Oak Sketches amounted to fair use.

Solid Oak is seeking damages for the depiction of tattoos belonging to James, Eric Bledsoe and Kenyon Martin, for which it owns copyright registrations.

Take-Two argues that gamers see the tattoos only “fleetingly” and that it was fair to depict NBA stars as they are in real life.

Swain said that before deciding whether Take-Two committed copyright infringement, she wanted to know how the “average lay observer” would see the tattoos while playing the game, and how prominent the tattoos were.

— Reuters

HSBC settles antitrust case for $100 million

London bank HSBC agreed to pay $100 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit by investors, including Baltimore City and Yale University, who claimed they were harmed when they bought securities tied to the rigged Libor.

The proposed settlement by the bank follows agreements the investor group reached with Barclays, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank over similar allegations. The settlement will need to be approved by a federal judge.

The investors said in their request for preliminary approval Thursday that the deal is substantially fair given the hurdles they would face to get a favorable jury verdict in the six-year-old case that is now before an appeals court.

About a dozen firms have paid almost $9 billion in fines to resolve government probes around the world into the rigging of the key global benchmark. Libor is used to set interest rates every business day for myriad financial instruments.

— Bloomberg News

Scientist sentenced
for illegal trading

A research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was sentenced on Friday to 15 months in prison after admitting to insider trading on a mining company merger that his wife, a corporate lawyer, had been working on.

Fei Yan, 31, of Nanjing, China, and a postdoctoral associate at MIT, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan and ordered to forfeit $119,429 in proceeds from suspicious trading.

Yan’s guilty plea stemmed from his purchase of stock options of Stillwater Mining in the three weeks before South Africa’s Sibanye Gold announced a $2.2 billion takeover of the U.S. company on Dec. 9, 2016.

Prosecutors said Yan used a brokerage account set up in his mother’s name before making his illegal trades. They said the forfeiture included $10,000 from trades in Mattress Firm that Yan made after learning that South Africa’s Steinhoff International planned to buy the chain, in a merger his wife also worked on.

Yan’s wife, Rongxia Wu, has not been criminally charged.

— Reuters

Also in Business

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a rocket carrying 10 Iridium Communications satellites to orbit early Friday, its fifth of eight launches contracted for the company as it builds its NEXT constellation network. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at about 7:13 a.m. Pacific time. SpaceX has signed on to deliver a total of 75 Iridium satellites to orbit. Friday's launch used the same first-stage rocket from Iridium's similar mission in October. SpaceX said it will not attempt to recover the rocket for reuse but would try to recover part of the fairing, or nose cone.

China's Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone maker, posted a 28 percent rise in 2017 net profit Friday, driven by cost controls and a solid performance in its home market. The outlook for Huawei, which trails Samsung and Apple in smartphones, is clouded by competition in the domestic market and declining sales in the United States, which is planning higher import tariffs on China's tech products. Huawei saw net profit rise to $7.3 billion in 2017, sharply up from a 0.4 percent increase in 2016. Its consumer business, which includes smartphone operations, grew at a slower 31.9 percent to $37.85 billion after shipping 153 million smartphones last year.

— From news reports