Independent Films

News & Analysis as of

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For A Little Respect From Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

On September 4, 2015, a long running legal battle over the right to use footage from a 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin took a twist right out of a Hollywood movie when the Queen of Soul sought, and was granted, a temporary...more

“Desert Warrior” Vanquished: Google Defeats Cindy Lee Garcia’s Copyright Claims

Cindy Lee Garcia thought she was playing a bit part in “Desert Warrior,” an adventure film being made by an amateur film maker. The film was never completed. Instead, Ms. Garcia’s performance was re-purposed, and her physical...more

Garcia v. Google Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, May 18, 2015

Ninth Circuit sitting en banc reverses 2-1 panel decision that required Google to remove anti-Islam video from YouTube based on actor’s claim of copyright in her five-second appearance, holding that “a weak copyright claim...more

Ninth Circuit En Banc Reverses Injunction Against YouTube Display of “Innocence of Muslims”

In Garcia v. Google, No. 12-57302 (9th Cir. May 18, 2015), the en banc Ninth Circuit reversed a prior panel decision and held that an actress was not entitled to a preliminary injunction removing all copies of a film from...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Ninth Circuit Reverses Takedown of Controversial Trailer from YouTube

After an en banc review, the Ninth Circuit reversed a preliminary injunction against YouTube requiring the takedown of the controversial trailer of the film “Innocence of Muslims.” The preliminary injunction was granted by a...more

Fatwas & the First Amendment: 9th Circuit Reverses Takedown Order of Video that Preceded Benghazi & Cairo Protests

A young actress agreed to appear in a low-budget, Middle Eastern themed action film. The producer re-cut and over-dubbed the video, which included five seconds of the actress’ performance, fashioning it into “Innocence of...more

Full Ninth Circuit Nixes Controversial Copyright Decision

On Monday, May 18, 2015, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, overturned a highly-controversial opinion in Garcia v. Google, Inc., in which a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed the trial court and held that an...more

“Hollywood Circuit” Court Issues En Banc Decision in Garcia v. Google: No Copyright Protection for Fleeting Dramatic Performance

On May 18, 2015, the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc vacated its prior decision in Garcia v. Google. The prior decision, authored by Judge Alex Kozinksi, controversially held that an actress had standing to issue a DMCA...more

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Co. - USDC, N.D. California, July 30, 2014

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Co. - USDC, N.D. California, July 30, 2014: Identifying numerous similarities, the court allowed the plaintiff filmmaker to pursue a claim that Disney’s teaser trailer for Frozen infringed on...more

Effie Film, LLC v. Murphy

Effie Film, LLC v. Murphy - USCA Second Circuit, May 7, 2014 - Second Circuit affirms grant of declaratory judgment to producer of film based on same historical facts as those underlying defendant's screenplay,...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Individual Performance in Film May Be Copyrightable

Recently in Garcia v. Google, 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an actress’ request to remove a provocative film from YouTube, because the film, in which she appeared for five seconds,...more

Socially Aware - Volume 5, Issue 2 - April 2014

In This Issue: - Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, ‘Friend’ Requests and Workplace Investigations - Driving Under the Influence (of Google Glass) - U.S. Courts’ Evolving Approaches to...more

Google Ordered to Remove All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube After Actress With Bit Part Threatened by Outraged Muslims;...

An aspiring actress moves to California and finds her life threatened. While standard fare for pulp fiction, the case of Garcia v. Google involves a twist on this well-worn plot line that not even the most imaginative...more

The Garcia v. Google Controversy and What It Means for Content Owners and Users

Copyright law generates plenty of discussion these days, but few copyright decisions have been as controversial as the Ninth Circuit's recent opinion in Garcia v. Google. The court's ruling – that a film actor owns an...more

Gold Glove Productions, LLC v. Handfield - USDC C.D. California, February 24, 2014

Gold Glove Productions, LLC v. Handfield - USDC C.D. California, February 24, 2014 - In Depth - District court grants summary judgment to defendant film company on issue of substantial similarity, finding...more

Google Must Take Down Anti-Muslim Film Over Copyright Dispute

An actress’s brief appearance in an anti-Islamic film may be copyrightable, entitling the actress to an injunction requiring Google to remove the film from YouTube, the Ninth Circuit found. Cindy Garcia was cast in a minor...more

Nine Thoughts On The Ninth Circuit’s “Innocence of Muslims” Copyright Decision

By now, you’ve probably heard the agonized shrieks of your friendly neighborhood copyright lawyer, decrying the Ninth Circuit’s opinion Garcia v. Google. If you haven’t had the time or inclination to read the opinion, here is...more

Untimely Ownership Claim Time-Bars Copyright Infringement Claim Where Basis of Dispute Is Ownership - Seven Arts Filmed...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a district court properly dismissed a copyright infringement suit as untimely where the plaintiff sought to establish its ownership in several motion pictures more...more

The Films Of Satyajit Ray And The GSK China Investigation: Both Game-Changers

If you are in London this week, I might suggest that you drop by the British Film Institute (BFI), which is celebrating the work of the Indian film maker, Satyajit Ray....more

Points & Authorities - Summer 2013: Clearance: Start Early and Avoid the Clutter

The film and television industries have expanded beyond traditional studios and locations. Independent and documentary filmmakers swell the ranks of those making large screen feature films and documentaries, while the growing...more

No Escape

This post is probably a bit dated for the readers that are on the cutting edge of developments in the film industry. But since that may only be a small subset of our readers, I thought this information was worth...more

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