TIME Music

Lil Wayne Is Suing His Record Label Cash Money for $51 Million

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game
Noel Vasquez—GC Images/Getty Images Lil Wayne attends a basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Dec. 17, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif.

The 32-year-old New Orleans native says he has not been paid for his upcoming album and wants out of his contract

Rapper Lil Wayne has filed a lawsuit against his record label Cash Money, alleging that he is owed $51 million.

According to the suit, Lil Wayne, 32, says Cash Money and its CEO Bryan “Birdman” Williams has withheld millions of dollars for his upcoming unreleased album The Carter V, TMZ reports.

Lil Wayne says the label was supposed to pay him an $8 million advance on his album, plus $2 million once it was delivered. The album was completed in December but Lil Wayne says he has not seen any of the money.

The New Orleans native claims he should be allowed to end his contract with the label and receive payment of $51 million instead.

In addition to his artistic freedom, the Lollipop rapper has asked a judge to declare him joint copyright holder of all Young Money recordings, currently an imprint of Cash Money, including collaborations with Drake and Niki Minaj.

[TMZ]

MONEY Insurance

The $300,000 Reason You Should Shovel Your Walkway ASAP

Shalonda Earvin clears the sidewalk in front of her Union St. home in Norwich, Conn., Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Earvin said this was her fourth time out shoveling since it started snowing.
Sean D. Elliot—AP Shalonda Earvin clears the sidewalk in front of her Union St. home in Norwich, Conn., Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Earvin said this was her fourth time out shoveling since it started snowing.

Your municipality may have laws on snow removal, but you'll pay an even bigger price if somebody slips and falls on your property.

Find that shovel, snow blower or your neighbor’s kid if you’re in the Northeast. Thanks to winter storm Juno, your driveway and walkway are likely topped with a lovely coat of white snow that could cost you a pretty penny if you don’t clear it quickly.

“Property owners face legal obligations to keep their property clean, safe, and ice-free,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for the Insurance Information Institute. “If you fail to shovel your sidewalk or other public walkway, and someone slips and falls, you could potentially face a lawsuit. In some states, you may have broken the law, too.”

You’re responsible not just for snow and ice on private walkways but also public ones that abut your land. If you fail to keep your premises safe, those who are injured on your property could sue you, says Worters. “If someone slips on ice because of a poorly positioned downspout, it is considered negligence,” she adds.

Some places like New York City and Bridgeport, Conn. have also enacted laws that make landowners responsible for keeping public sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Those who fail to follow the law can be fined. In New York, you could have to pay up to $150 and be subject to up to 10 days of imprisonment.

Often, places that have snow clean up laws will also have a time limit for when pathways need be cleared. “Some jurisdictions say that a property owner can wait a ‘reasonable amount of time’ before clearing, which is nebulous,” says Worters. “But in Boston, property owners have three hours after the snow falls to shovel.”

While it is a good idea to check directly with your local municipality to find out if snow clearance laws apply for your town and state, the safest route is to simply shovel your area within a few hours of the snowfall’s end so you can avoid both fines and litigation. After all, even in places that do not legally require you to clear the snow, such as Ohio, you can still face a lawsuit.

Since even the most vigilant shoveler may miss a spot, Worters also recommends having liability insurance coverage to pay the cost of your legal defense and any court awards (up to the limit of your policy) should someone slip on your property and sue you. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, but the Insurance Information Institute advises that you purchase at least $300,000 worth of protection.

TIME Companies

Everything You Need to Know About the Very Ugly Monster-Beats Lawsuit

Apple Said To Be In Talks To Purchase Beats Headphones Company
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Beats headphones are sold in an Apple store on May 9, 2014 in New York City.

Monster is suing because it says Beats duped it out of its fair share of the headphone empire

A former partner of Beats Electronics is suing the company and phone manufacturer HTC for “deliberate acts of corporate betrayal.” Monster, which was involved in the design and development of the original Beats headphones, is alleging that Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre conned Monster out of its stake in the headphone empire through a series of unscrupulous business maneuvers. Now Monster is seeking punitive damages from Beats, which Apple bought last spring for $3 billion.

In its 64-page complaint, Monster unloads a barrage of allegations against Beats, particularly against Iovine. (Beats did not respond to an email seeking comment). Here are the key points you need to understand about the contentious relationship between the two companies that helped grow luxury headphones into a billion-dollar market.

Monster Prototyped and Manufactured the Original Beats

According to Monster’s complaint, Monster CEO Noel Lee and his son Kevin originally pitched the idea of high-end headphones to Iovine and Dr. Dre, who had been considering launching a speaker line, in late 2005. Eventually, Beats and Monster entered into a licensing agreement in early 2008—Monster would handle the engineering, production and distribution of the headphones, and Beats would offer the “Beats by Dre” branding and leverage the clout of Iovine and Dr. Dre to market them to sports and hip-hop fans. Monster says it financed the engineering of the original headphone line and developed at least 30 protoptypes. The combo of headphones of at least decent quality with extremely slick marketing and packaging was an immediate smash hit. Between 2008 and 2012, Beats by Dre products generated $1.5 billion in revenue, according to Monster.

Monster and Beats Cozy Up

As the premium headphones began to gain traction, Monster took a few actions to strengthen its relationship with Beats that the company now says led to its “betrayal.” In August 2009, Noel Lee bought a 5% stake in Beats (at the time, Iovine and Dr. Dre each had a 15% stake, according to Monster). That same year, Monster amended its licensing agreement to stipulate that Beats could terminate its licensing agreement with Monster if there was a transaction that resulted in a “bona fide change in control,” such as someone buying a majority stake in Beats.

An HTC Investment Ends Monster-Beats Partnership

In August 2011, phone manufacturer HTC bought a 51% controlling stake in Beats Electronics. According to Monster, this sale was the “bona fide change in control” that Beats needed to terminate its licensing agreement with Monster. The end of the Monster-Beats partnership was formally announced in January 2012, and Monster says it was “strong-armed” into providing information about its retailer and logistics networks to Beats quickly in exchange for getting to sell Beats-branded products for a slightly longer period.

Iovine and Dr. Dre Buy Beats Right Back

Less than a year after the HTC investment, Beats Electronics bought back half of HTC’s shares in the company, granting Iovine and Dr. Dre a 75% controlling stake in Beats. HTC had also provided Beats with a $225 million loan before the Beats founders bought back a portion of the company. At the time, HTC said the financial decisions were meant to give Beats “more flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC’s major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile.” Monster, meanwhile, believes the entire HTC investment was a “sham” aimed at giving complete control of Beats to Dr. Dre and Iovine. “If the contractual arrangements between Beats and Monster terminated without a change of control, Beats would not have gained control of Monster’s pioneering engineering efforts, as well as Monster’s distribution and sales networks,” Monster wrote in its complaint. Beats bought out the rest of HTC’s stake in the company in 2013.

Monster Misses the Apple Payday

Monster’s Lee had reduced his stake in Beats from 5% to 1.25% following the end of the Monster-Beats partnership. As he was deciding whether to offload his Beats stake entirely in September 2013, Lee claims that he talked to multiple Beats officials who told him that Beats had no liquidity event coming “in the next year or two.” Lee sold his stake back to Beats at a price of $5.5 million. Eight months later, Apple bought Beats for $3 billion. Lee’s stake would have been worth about $100 million.

TIME Smartphones

Apple Is Being Sued For Misrepresenting Storage After an iOS 8 Upgrade

iPhone 6 Becomes Available In Hong Kong
Lam Yik Fei—Getty Images A customer looks at the new iPhones on display at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iphone 6 plus at the Apple IFC store on September 19, 2014 in Hong Kong, China.

Installing the new operating system takes away up to 23.1 percent of an iPhone's storage capacity, complainants allege

Two iPhone users have initiated a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company misrepresented the phone’s storage capacity after users upgrade to the new iOS 8 operating system on iPhone 5S, 6 and 6+ devices.

The users, Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara, filed a complaint in a California court on Tuesday, Apple Insider reported. The complaint alleges that Apple failed to inform its users that installing iOS 8 would take up as much as 23.1 percent of the phone’s storage capacity.

Orshan and Endara further accuse the company of using the limits in storage capacity to force consumers to pay for upgrades to their iCloud storage capacities.

The lawsuit states that Apple is using “sharp business tactics” to cash in on a “desperate moment” for users, like “trying to record or take photos at a child or grandchild’s recital, basketball game or wedding.”

MORE: This Easy iPhone Trick Will Save You Tons Of Photo Space

[Apple Insider]

MONEY Travel

United Airlines, Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Airfare Website Founder

United Airlines and Orbitz are teaming up to sue the founder of Skiplagged.com, a site that displays "hidden city" travel destinations for cheap fare.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Judge Okays Condé Nast Payout of $5.85 Million to Former Interns

Conde Nast employees work in the lobby of the One World Trade Center tower in New York
Mike Segar—Reuters Condé Nast employees work in the lobby of the One World Trade Center tower in New York City on Nov. 3, 2014

Onetime interns will each get payouts of up to about $1,900 for their time with the publisher

Condé Nast appears likely to pay $5.85 million to thousands of former interns who have accused the magazine publisher of underpaying them for their work.

The publisher on Monday received a federal judge’s preliminary approval for the settlement, the result of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of about 7,500 interns who had worked at Condé Nast magazines, including Vogue and the New Yorker, Reuters reports.

Interns who worked at Condé Nast publications from June 2007 to the present are expected to each get payments of about $700 to $1,900. Final approval of the settlement, first made public in November, is scheduled for June.

Condé Nast tabled its internship program shortly after it was sued for wage violations in June 2013. Other major media houses, including NBCUniversal and Hearst, have similarly gotten into hot water for allegedly treating interns as exempt from relevant regulations on working hours and wage rights.

[Reuters]

MONEY Debt

Should Debt Collectors Be Able to Use Government Letterhead?

A debt collection company allegedly used government letterhead to contact debtors, which may be illegal.

Debt collectors are legally prohibited from misrepresenting themselves as police or lawyers when communicating with consumers. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some collectors from breaking the rules, and there are plenty of debtors who can tell stories of precisely that.

The question of what exactly qualifies as misrepresentation is at the center of a lawsuit filed Dec. 1 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The suit alleges that debt collection company CorrectiveSolutions violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) after using letterhead of various prosecutors’ offices when contacting debtors. The complaint calls into question the process surrounding CorrectiveSolutions’ alleged practice of representing themselves as law enforcement to consumers and threatening legal action for failing to pay the debt. The tricky part of this case, however, lies in the fact that CorrectiveSolutions is under contract with several California’s district attorney offices for the expressed purposes of interceding on the government agency’s behalf. The legal dispute focuses on the way they intervened.

It’s all tied to California’s Bad Check Restitution Program. The program allows people who bounce checks and the businesses who received the checks to settle the case out of court through what’s known as a diversion program. In this diversion program, an offender can avoid prosecution by paying the amount the bad check was written for, plus fees, in addition to taking an 8-hour bad-check-offender class at the offender’s own expense. Through this program, people and businesses who receive bad checks can submit a complaint, along with evidence, to the mailing address listed on the DA’s website.

Under California Penal Code 1001.60, the DA is permitted to contract private companies, like CorrectiveSolutions, to help execute this program. However, district attorneys may refer cases to the program only if the check writer is believed to have violated state laws, like intentionally defrauding the recipient. A lawyer with the DA’s office is required to review the cases to ensure they meet various criteria. For example, if a business wants a bad-check writer pursued for violating the law, they must first make attempts to contact the debtor three times before the case qualifies for the program, according to Teresa Drenick, assistant district attorney in Alameda County.

The lawsuit contends that prosecutors have allowed debt collectors to use DA letterhead without first vetting the claim that the debtor violated the law. The American Bar Association recently condemned the general practice of allowing debt collectors to use prosecutors’ letterhead, as it makes the prosecutor “party to deception” and violates Bar Association rules, the association’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility wrote in an opinion issued Nov. 12. The opinion does not specifically reference California or the district attorneys’ offices mentioned in the lawsuit.

Credit.com reached out to the district attorneys’ offices in the five counties mentioned in the lawsuit (Alameda, Calaveras, El Dorado, Glenn and Orange counties), but only two responded. Joe D’Agostino, assistant district attorney in Orange County, said they’re studying the Bar Association’s opinion.

“The program is run in a method that matches what the statute is,” D’Agostino said, referencing California Penal Code Section 1001.60, which describes the district attorney’s ability to contract the bad check diversion program to a private party. “The Bar Association’s opinion came down fairly recently, so we’re studying it. We always want to follow the rules and follow the procedure.”

Drenick, the assistant DA in Alameda County, wrote in a email statement to Credit.com that CorrectiveSolutions sends the DA’s office a list of cases each month, which is reviewed by the office to ensure the debt is legitimate and would meet legal requirements for pursuing a criminal case. Then, CorrectiveSolutions is given approval to contact the debtor using the DA’s letterhead. She did not specify whether or not an attorney reviews the bad check diversion cases, as the statute requires, and she did not respond to a request for clarification.

“If we agree to allow the case to go by way of diversion, we authorize CorrectiveSolutions to send the check writer a letter on behalf of our DA Bad Check program advising that their check was returned for insufficient funds and offering them the option of participating in the diversion program to avoid criminal prosecution,” Drenick wrote. “It is a well thought-out diversion program. Last year (2013) our program returned $69,132.01 to local businesses as payment on dishonored checks through the Bad Check program. … There is no ‘rental’ of our letterhead; rather, a statutorily-authorized diversion program that helps local businesses collect on bad checks while giving the check writers an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction/record.”

The future of this practice seems to depend on prosecutors’ reactions to the Bar Association’s opinion and the outcome of this litigation in California. Meanwhile, consumers may remain subject to the debt-collection tactic that the lawsuit is calling into question. CorrectiveSolutions did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Credit.com.

If your state doesn’t have a diversion program like California’s, writing a bad check can still come back to haunt you. If you bounce a check, the recipient may sue you over the unpaid sum, which may result in a judgment on your credit report — a credit score killer. (You’re entitled to free credit reports once a year under federal law). Debt collection can be confusing and intimidating for consumers, even when collectors follow the guidelines in the FDCPA. If you’re dealing with a debt collector, make sure you know your consumer debt collection rights, and form an action plan for paying off your debt.

More from Credit.com:

MONEY College

A New Jersey Woman Sued Her Parents for College Tuition – and Won

The parents of a 21-year-old New Jersey woman have been ordered to pay $16,000 a year in college fees for her, even though they haven’t had a relationship with her in two years.

But don’t expect them to pay up anytime soon.

“They can hold me in contempt of court. They can do whatever they want. I’m not going to pay,” Caitlyn Ricci’s father, Michael Ricci, tells WPVI-TV. “I’m not going to give them any money until my daughter has a relationship with me and we start to heal our family.”

The standoff – which recalls a similar New Jersey case earlier this year, in which 18-year-old Rachel Canning sued her parents – came to a head in November, when a judge ruled for Caitlyn and told her parents to help fund her out-of-state tuition at Temple University.

The family was back in court this week, with Caitlyn filing a motion to hold her parents in contempt of court after refusing to pay.

“It is nice to see that she is alive and doing well, but it is hurtful because she wouldn’t look at us,” Caitlyn’s mother, Maura McGarvey, says. “When I got emotional in the courtroom and when Michael got emotional in the courtoom, she doesn’t have any emotion.”

Caitlyn has been estranged from her divorced parents for almost two years. They claim she moved out voluntarily after they clashed when she refused to follow the rules. Caitlyn has been living with her grandmother, who funded the lawsuit.

“A lot of people call her a spoiled brat because she wants her parents to pay 100 percent of her college. And in fact, she is not asking for that, never has been,” Caitlyn’s attorney said.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Crime

Don’t Threaten UVA Rape Accuser, Lawyer Warns

UVa Fraternity
Steve Helber—AP The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 24, 2014

Amid online intimidation of the woman known as Jackie

A lawyer for the University of Virginia student who was quoted in a Rolling Stone story describing a gang rape at a fraternity party issued a warning Wednesday against threats and extortion attempts.

The magazine apologized last week for “discrepancies” in the account given by the woman, who was identified as Jackie. The Washington Post and other news outlets also raised questions about details of the story.

The lawyer, Palma Pustilnik of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, issued a statement thanking members of the news media who have treated the story with “tact and sensitivity.”

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Transportation

Portland Sues Uber and Orders It to Cease Local Operations

Uber At $40 Billion Valuation Would Eclipse Twitter And Hertz
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images The Uber Technologies Inc. logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle after dropping off a passenger at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.

The lawsuit came three days after the ride-sharing service's launch in the city

The city of Portland, Oregon filed a lawsuit against Uber on Monday, alleging that the ride-sharing service did not conform to its administrative regulations.

“The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief that Uber is subject to and in violation of the City of Portland’s Private for Hire Transportation Regulations and Administrative Rules,” the Portland Bureau of Transportation said in a statement on its website.

The city’s transportation head Leah Treat has reportedly issued a cease-and-desist order to the San Francisco-based company, and the lawsuit requests the court to order Uber to stop operating in Portland until it has complied with “safety, health and consumer protection rules.”

The lawsuit comes three days after Uber’s highly publicized launch in the city and a week after Nevada banned its operations across the state.

Uber was also banned in India’s capital New Delhi on Sunday, days after one of its drivers was accused of raping a passenger, and is facing legal issues in Germany and the Netherlands as well.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser