Movies

News & Analysis as of

The 2016 Roundup of Key California Anti-SLAPP Decisions

In 2016, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued important opinions interpreting California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P. § 425.16 et seq.), once again broadly construing its application. See...more

Liability of an internet subscriber for acts of copyright infringement over the internet

A United States film studio, Dallas Buyers Club LLC, made news last year for commencing legal proceedings against internet subscribers for copyright infringement for downloading the movie “Dallas Buyers Club”. ...more

Ohio Supreme Court Rules No Compensable Taking Occurred as a Result of Filming Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Downtown...

Earlier this month the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that reduced access to a downtown Cleveland parking lot did not constitute a compensable taking under the Ohio Constitution. The case arose after the City of Cleveland granted a...more

IMDb Challenges Recent California Law Shielding Actors’ Ages

IMDb.com Inc., the creator of the popular online database of movies and industry professionals, has filed suit in federal court challenging the recently enacted California Assembly Bill 1687 that requires the deletion of an...more

Central District of California Dismisses Copyright Infringement Suit Regarding Christian Film God’s Not Dead

The Central District of California recently dismissed a copyright infringement suit brought by the creators of the screenplay for Rise against the creators of the screenplay God’s Not Dead (“GND”) for failure to state a...more

CA Governor Signs Bill Allowing Actors to Delete Their Age from Online Profiles

On September 24, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1687 – a measure aimed at preventing age discrimination against film, television, and other professionals in the entertainment industry whose ages could be viewed...more

California Ballot 2016: Pros and Cons of Props 57-61

This is the second post in our California Ballot 2016 series – providing the “nutshell” versions of each of the 17 state-wide measures voters must decide in November. Please refer to our first post in the series: Props 51-56,...more

Bad Faith Actions for Excess Judgments….is There Trouble Brewing for Recalcitrant Primary Insurers

Can an excess carrier go ahead and fund an excess primary limits settlement and then assert a claim for bad faith against the primary insurer who previously refused to accept and fund a prior in-limits policy demand? On...more

Court’s Reconsideration Gives “Lift” to Dirty Dancing Trademark Dilution Claim

It’s been almost 30 years since we were introduced to bad boy dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and sweet daddy’s girl Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey). This star-crossed duo shimmied their way to...more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

These are Not the Trade Secrets You’re Looking For: Star Wars Model Maker Sues Ex-Employees for Misappropriation

In a tale of alleged betrayal and misappropriation of trade secrets in a courtroom (not) far, far away, a pioneering company in the area of special effects has sued its former employees and a vendor, claiming that they...more

Appeals Court Overturning of Verdict in Jesse Ventura Defamation Case Sparks Debate Over Balance between the Right to Free Speech...

On June 13, 2016, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a jury’s decision to award former Minnesota governor and Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in a 2014 defamation case....more

Magistrate Judge Orders Leonardo DiCaprio to Appear for a Deposition in Wolf of Wall Street Defamation Suit

On February 18, 2014, Andrew Greene sued Paramount Pictures Corporation, among other defendants, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, claiming that his alleged fictional depiction in “The...more

Appellate Court Rejects Defamation Lawsuit Targeting Statements Made In American Hustle

Plaintiff Paul Brodeur, a well-known author, filed suit in California state court against the producers and distributors of the motion picture American Hustle, asserting claims for defamation, slander, and false light. The...more

In Landmark Case Utah Jury Decides in Favor of FTC, Against Companies for Violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rules and Do Not...

A Utah federal court jury decided last week that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) claims against Forrest S. Baker, and his film firms, Feature Films for Families, Inc., Corporations for Character, L.C., and Family Firms...more

‘The Autumn Wind’ and the Right of Publicity

As a child of the 60’s and 70’s and an insatiable NFL football fan, I can still hear the swaggering voice of narrator John Facenda in the now-iconic 1974 NFL Films production “The Autumn Wind,” which has been dubbed The...more

Screening Room Alone Won’t Save AMC-Carmike

Last month, AMC and Carmike announced plans to merge. They would form the nation’s largest cinema chain with over 8,000 screens. Also last month, Napster founder Sean Parker announced a new product—Screening Room—which will...more

Summary Judgment Upheld In Avatar Creators’ Favor After California Appellate Court Determines That Film Is Not Substantially...

James Cameron’s 2009 box-office hit Avatar is the subject of a California idea submission lawsuit that was decided in Cameron’s favor both at the trial and appellate level, in Eric Ryder v. Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., et...more

Foundation for the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan v. Alcon Entertainment (N.D. Georgia, March 23, 2016)

Rarely does one think of copyright issues surrounding how research is conducted for feature films that are based on real life events, but 54 Sudanese refugees are forging that new connection between research and copyright in...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Friend a Bot on Facebook? Messenger Launches Business Chatbots - At Facebook’s annual developers conference F8 this week, Facebook confirmed that Messenger will allow brands and companies to build bots that interact...more

Ninth Circuit Leaves it to Policyholder to Pay Eddie Haskell’s Attorneys’ Fees

Moral hazard lurks around the edges of many disputes about liability coverage. Everyone agrees in principle that insurance shouldn’t help bad actors benefit from their wrongdoing, but parties often clash over where the...more

Shakespeare and Copyright: 5 Things You Should Know

Last year, I made a terrible mistake. When I published Harry Potter Lawsuits and Where to Find Them on this blog, I pronounced that “Ms. Rowling and her works pop up in court more than any author since Charles Dickens.” I...more

Right of Publicity Claim over Straight Outta Compton Gets Kicked Straight Outta Court

In August 2015, the film Straight Outta Compton was released. It’s a biopic about the struggles of several young African American males who formed the musical group “N.W.A.” back in the 1980s. ...more

McElroy Films secures FAA Section 333 exemption

Boston video production company, McElroy Films, LLC (McElroy Films), recently secured its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Section 33 exemption, adding its name (and services) to the list of 22 other commercial drone...more

T.T.A.B. Emphasizes the Fame of the Movie ‘Jaws’ in Its Refusal to Register a Cooking Show’s Mark

On March 16, 2016, the TTAB affirmed the refusals of an applicant’s mark, JAWS DEVOUR YOUR HUNGER, for online streaming cooking shows, holding that it is confusingly similar to the registered mark from the movie JAWS. Though...more

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