Tarantino Withdraws IP Lawsuit Against Gawker Over Script Leak

Barely a few weeks ago Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino filed an amended complaint in his lawsuit against the website Gawker, alleging that the site had committed copyright infringement by allowing a copy of his latest script, The Hateful Eight, to leak on the internet. Now, Tarantino and his lawyers have decided to walk away, voluntarily dismissing the lawsuit. The controversy began after Gawker posted a downloadable PDF version of Tarantino’s script online. The two-time Oscar winner responded by filing…
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‘What Masie Knew’ Screenwriter Facing Libel-in-Fiction Suit by Ex

The movie “What Maisie Knew” has been commonly understood as being an adaptation of Henry James’ 1897 novel that shares the same name.  That work chronicled the bitter tale of a daughter caught between two parents in a custody battle between her biological parents.   On April 18, 2014, actress/musician Ronee Sue Blakley sued Carroll Cartwright, the film’s co-writer, alleging that the recent film adaptation of the piece was actually a defamatory portrayal of the former couple’s contentious custody battle that lasted over ten years. In…
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The Battle Over ‘Margaret’ Ends

On Wednesday, April 2, a six-year legal battle over Kenneth Lonergan’s film Margaret, released in 2011 ended. The parties to the suit, Lonergan and the film’s financier, Gary Gilbert, came to a settlement agreement that was recently  executed. In 2005, Gilbert and Fox Searchlight (Fox) agreed to split about $12.6 million in production costs for the film Margaret. In 2007, Gilbert became unhappy with the result of the film’s final cut and according to Lonergan, attempted to seize control of the film despite not…
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‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Studio Sued for Defamation

On February 18, Andrew Greene filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against the filmmakers of the recent box office hit “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Paramount Pictures.  Greene’s filing accuses the defendants of defaming him through their portrayal of the character Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff, who Greene asserts was modeled after him.  Greene’s suit states that “the motion picture contains various scenes wherein Mr. Greene’s character is portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved and/or devoid of any morality.” Several scenes in the movie…
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Disney Hoping to Freeze “Frozen Land”

This holiday season Disney released its newest animated film “Frozen.” To celebrate, the company presented Phase 4 Films with a gift worse than Aunt Edna’s fruit cake – a trademark infringement lawsuit. Disney’s “Frozen” was released on November 19, 2013.  Less than three weeks earlier, Phase 4 changed the title of one of its from “The Legend of Sarila” to “Frozen Land.”  In a December 23 complaint, Disney stated the change was an attempt to ride the coattails of “Frozen’s” success. Under its original title,…
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Tribeca Film Festival Sues Developer for $100 Million in Breach of Contract Lawsuit

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Craig Hatkoff, Jane Rosenthal, and Robert DeNiro. It has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City. It has strong ties to the community, a commitment to making cultural programming available to the public, and over four million people have attended its many cultural events. It seems that the Tribeca Film Festival would make a splendid business partner. Somehow, however, one developer is managing to botch the relationship. Pier 57 in the…
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Author Fails in ‘Avatar’ Copyright Suit Against Cameron and Fox

U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real recently granted director James Cameron’s and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.’s motion to dismiss in a copyright action, holding that a disgruntled author and screenwriter was unable to demonstrate that “Avatar” was “substantially similar” to his novel, “Bats and Butterflies.” “Bats and Butterflies” is a story about a bullied boy who travels to a magical land called Altair where he befriends a tribe of aliens that look like butterflies.  At the end of the story, the boy battles against…
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Disney, Sony Face Billion Dollar ‘Sister Act’ Suit filed by Harlem Nun

Harlem nun Delois Blakely is suing Disney and Sony Pictures for allegedly stealing her life story for the plot of the popular movie “Sister Act.”  According to Blakely, she delivered a synopsis of her autobiography, “The Harlem Street Nun” to a Tri Star Pictures producer.  When they expressed interest in the story, producer Scott Rudin took the story to Disney, where they made “Sister Act.” The Disney picture featured Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno singer who is forced to go into hiding in a convent…
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Weinsteins’ Suit Against ‘Scream’ Writer Williamson is about the Contract, not the Copyrights

On August 23, 2012, California Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy refused to dismiss a suit brought by The Weintstein Co., LLC against ‘Scream’ writer Kevin Williamson.  In essence, the ruling resolved a dispute over whether the action was preempted by the Copyright Act, or was, in fact, a simple contract dispute.  Judge Murphy held that the case could proceed as it is based in contract and The Weinstein Co.had not alleged any copyright infringement or any other acts forbidden by federal law. In its…
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Federal Judge Cuts Down Actress’s Claims in Suit Against Amazon, IMDb for Posting Her Age Online

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman released an order on July 2, 2012 granting a joint motion by IMDb.com Inc. and parent company Amazon.com Inc. to dismiss actress Junie Hoang’s claims that IMDb’s and Amazon’s privacy notices were fraudulent. 40-year old Hoang brought a breach of contract and privacy suit against IMDb and Amazon in October for finding and publishing her true age online. Hoang claimed that after she signed up for an IMDbPro account, her legal date of birth was added to her public…
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