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Plot Thickens for Screenplay Infringement Cases

INTRODUCTION - For more than three decades no type of lawsuit has been more likely to fail than those asserting that the latest hit movie or television series infringes the copyright in a screenplay or other literary...more

The Sum of All Parts: Second and Ninth Circuits Poised to Address Movie “Authorship”

“There are no small parts, only small actors.” So says the film and theater maxim most frequently attributed to Russian actor and director Constantin Stanislavski. But how small a contribution is enough for an actor or...more

On December 15, 2014, The Ninth Circuit En Banc Will Hear Garcia v. Google, Inc./Actors And Producers Await The Result

On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Ninth Circuit en banc will hear argument in Garcia v. Google, Inc. 766 F3d 929 (9th Cir. 2014), amending 743 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2014). A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit previously...more

China Court Ruled Infringement for Ambush Marketing in Film Industry

The term “Ambush Marketing” originally came from inappropriate sport advertisement in western countries. It involves a marketing strategy wherein the advertisers associate themselves with, and therefore capitalize on, a...more

Frozen - An IP Fairy Tale

On this especially cold day in the Northeast, my thoughts are on the coming winter. And winter reminds me of the cold, and of feeling frozen. And the word frozen reminds me of Disney’s Frozen, the highest-grossing animated...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 5, Issue 11 - November 2014

In This Issue: - Court Orders Department of Finance to Release Corporate Tax Return Records to City Comptroller - ALJ Upholds State Tax Department Policy on Personal Liability of LLC Members for Sales...more

FAA Clears the Drone Runway for Hollywood; California Governor Grounds AB-1327

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on September 25, 2014, that it approved exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies to use unmanned aircraft systems - or drones, as they are otherwise...more

Briggs v. Blomkamp - USDC, N.D. Cal., October 3, 2014

Briggs v. Blomkamp - USDC, N.D. Cal., October 3, 2014 : District court grants summary judgment for screenwriter and film companies in copyright infringement case, finding that plaintiff author lacked any evidence of...more

Star Wars: Redefining Trademark and Copyright Law Since A Long Time Ago

The Star Wars series is truly an exceptional franchise, having broken box office records, creating legions of fans, and bringing the idea of collateral merchandise licensing to an unprecedented level. Also, how many other...more

Music videos have been a grey area when it comes to certification and age ratings. The Lines have been Blurred, if you will…

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has been certifying theatrical films since 1912 (though in actual fact the ultimate power over a film’s classification in any particular cinema lies with the local authority who...more

Drone on Drones: FAA Authorizes Drone Use Over Some Hollywood Sets

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved the requests of six movie and TV production companies to use drones for filming on certain sets. This decision marks the first time the FAA has permitted commercial drone...more

Drones: The FAA Grants Hollywood the First Regulatory Exemptions Permitting the Commercial Use of UAS

Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted six aerial photo and video companies exemptions from FAA regulations that—before now—wholesale banned the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial...more

Hollywood Leads The Way On Drone Use

The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted six aerial photo and video companies exemptions from FAA regulations that — before now — wholesale banned the use of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes in...more

It’s a Bird…it’s a Plane…it’s a Drone; FAA Approves Limited Use of Drones as Camera Platforms for Film and TV Production

Unmanned aerial cameras have been legal in other parts of the world but prohibited for commercial use in the United States until last week, with the limited exception of two commercial-drone operations, which the FAA had...more

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: New DOJ Closed-Captioning Rules

The price of movie tickets could be going up soon. Under new proposed regulations issued by the Department of Justice, movie theaters with digital screens would be required to show films with options for closed captioning...more

FAA Grants Exemptions and Releases Guidance for Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

On September 25, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved six exemption requests for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for television and movie filmmaking under strict conditions....more

Status Updates - September 2014 #10

Hooray for Hollywood. According to a new study by KPMG, television and movie viewers have never had it better. A report by the consulting company found that the overwhelming majority of well-known movies and television shows...more

Dean v. Cameron -- USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 17, 2014

Dean v. Cameron - USDC, S.D.N.Y., September 17, 2014: Court dismisses artist’s copyright infringement suit against defendants, including James Cameron, involved in production and distribution of blockbuster feature...more

Arrow Productions, LTD v. The Weinstein Company LLC

Arrow Productions, LTD v. The Weinstein Company LLC - USDC, S.D. New York, August 25, 2014: District court dismisses copyright and trademark infringement claims of copyright owner of 1972 pornographic film Deep Throat,...more

Raging Bull Decision Riles Hollywood, Thrills Plaintiffs

In June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision affecting copyright claims and defenses. The copyrighted work at issue was the popular motion picture Raging Bull, in which Robert DeNiro plays famous boxing champion Jake...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

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - August 2014 (Global)

BROADCASTING - US: Following loss before the Supreme Court, Aereo “astonishes” broadcasters with new legal strategy - New York-based Aereo asserts in federal district court that it is entitled to a compulsory license...more

Wizard of Oz Celebrates 75th Anniversary & Victory in Copyright and Trademark Dispute Over Film Characters

This August will mark the 75th anniversary of the release of the classic film The Wizard of Oz. As Warner Bros. celebrates the iconic status acquired by the film and its characters during the past seven-plus decades, the...more

SHARKNADO Trademark: Toothless Wonder?

In case you missed SHARKNADO last year, fear not, the sequel SHARKNADO 2 — The Second One, is taking the country by storm, and it is reportedly even better than the first SHARKNADO film. Not having seen either, I’m not sure...more

You’re Getting Sued for What? An E & O Odyssey (Pt 11)

This post is part of an occasional series highlighting the type of risks which film and TV producers face and which are supposed to be covered by “errors and omissions” (E&O) insurance. The series aims to demonstrate that...more

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