Movies

News & Analysis as of

Jordan-Benel v. Universal City Studios, Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, June 24, 2015

District Court allows screenwriter’s suit alleging feature film The Purge was based on his screenplay, Settler’s Day, to proceed, denying defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion because acts supporting plaintiff’s implied contract...more

“Black Swan” Internship Case Creates New Obstacles For Employers In California

In California, internships have always been viewed as a trade-off between prestigious employers and young students looking to get a foot in the proverbial door. College students and graduates looking for highly-coveted...more

Gerritsen v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 201

District court dismisses breach of contract and breach of guaranty claims in first amended complaint against Warner Bros. based on Oscar-winning motion picture "Gravity," holding that plaintiff Terry Gerritsen, author of...more

The Creation of San Fransokyo

Some of the most fantastical buildings and urban environments started off on paper and, these days, on computer screens. Think Babylon or even Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s Washington, D.C.. Most of those structures and...more

Garcia v. Google: Ninth Circuit En Banc Denies Actor’s Copyright Claim In Her Performance

This blog previously discussed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in Garcia v. Google, Inc., (9th Cir. 2014) 766 F.3d 929, reversing a decision of the district court. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit, en banc, in Garcia...more

I Didn’t Say That – The Ability of Actors to Control Their Performances Under Canadian Copyright Law

When the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2014 opinion in Garcia v Google, its tentative conclusion that actors might enjoy copyright protection in their on-screen performances was met with vociferous...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

Let It Go… To Trial: Disney Frozen Out of Summary Judgment In Copyright Infringment Case

Elsa and Anna are going to trial. Well, Olaf and Sven are headed there, at any rate. The sanguine snowman and his reindeer buddy were featured in a trailer for the Disney hit Frozen that is now the subject of a lawsuit...more

Does Hollywood Encourage Illegal Speed Racing?

Despite its glorification in Hollywood films such as the “Fast and the Furious” series and “Need for Speed,” street racing (or drag racing) has been blamed for causing many accidents — and with good reason. Drivers often lose...more

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Company - USDC, N.D. California, April 16, 2015

In copyright infringement action concerning trailer for Disney’s blockbuster film Frozen court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff established genuine factual dispute as to Disney’s...more

The “Up” House is “Up” for Sale

You might remember the 2009 Pixar/Disney 3-D animated movie “Up,” about an aging widower, Carl Frederickson, who learns to let go of his past and live his dream of moving he and his beloved late wife’s “clubhouse” to a cliff...more

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

“Raging Bull” Settles but Its Repercussions Persist

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., et al., 134 S. Ct. 1962 (U.S. 2014) delivered a clear message to copyright holders and those who wish to capitalize on those copyrights. The...more

Australia: Dallas Buyers Club LLC obtains customer identities from ISPs in landmark piracy ruling

On Tuesday 7 April 2015, a single Federal Court Judge ordered six internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over the names and identities corresponding to approximately 4,700 unique IP addresses, which have allegedly...more

Media Companies Snipe at Potential Expansion of Defamation Risk in Ventura v. Kyle

“A Navy SEAL and a professional wrestler walk into a bar and begin to argue politics …” sounds like the beginning of a pretty good bar fight story. The story only gets more promising when you learn that the SEAL was the...more

Status Updates - March 2015 #2

Out with the inbox? The overwhelming popularity of workplace-specific platforms that facilitate coworker communication—commonly referred to as “enterprise social media”—is undeniable. But are these platforms poised to someday...more

Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Inc. v. Cole - USDC, D. Oregon, March 18, 2015

District court holds defendants willfully infringed plaintiff’s copyright in animated film, finding defendants acted recklessly by manufacturing film without searching Copyright Office’s records, and by concluding that film...more

Spain: Mr. Grey or Mr. Koldo - Profiling Spain’s cinema-goers

One year ago a modest, soft romantic comedy with a great dose of humour and references to countryside life and open mock of controversial political issues (“Ocho Apellidos Vascos“) saw its theatrical release in Spain. It...more

And the Lawsuit Goes to . . . An Oscar-Time Guide to “Best Picture” Intellectual Property Litigation

The film that wins the Best Picture Oscar this year is certain to attract more viewers and more box office receipts than it had before receiving the award. But Best Picture winners also tend to attract more lawsuits,...more

Gerritsen v. Warner Bros. Entertainment - USDC, C.D. California, January 30, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and breach of guaranty claims against Warner Bros. based on Oscar-winning motion picture Gravity, holding that plaintiff Terry Gerritsen, author of novel by same name, failed to...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 130, The Oscars and Compliance, Part IV with Jay Rosen [Video]

In this Part IV of my continued exploration of the Oscars and compliance with Jay Rosen, we look at the touchpoint which Hollywood and the movie industry has which might subject it to FCPA liability. ...more

Does ‘Raging Bull’ Deliver Knockout to Patent Laches Defense?

Under Federal Circuit case law, patent-infringement defendants may assert the laches defense – an equitable defense barring claims brought after an unreasonable delay. But the doctrine will soon square off in the Federal...more

Rhoads v. Margolis - Cal. App. 2d, January 26, 2015

In lawsuit brought by family of guitarist Randy Rhoads against writer and publisher of his biography, California appellate court affirms lower court denial of anti-SLAPP motion as it relates to family's breach of contract...more

Joint Inventorship at the Movies: Stick Around for the Credits

Determining a list of inventors can be one of the messier parts of finalizing a patent application. Telling a colleague who put in late nights refining another’s idea that he is not a joint inventor can lead to tension,...more

Key Issues Facing Places of Public Accommodation at the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

With all of the presents, decorations, and champagne now firmly in the rearview mirror, January is a time customarily spent reflecting on the year that was and planning for the year ahead. For places of public accommodation,...more

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