Law of Hollywood Land

Entertainment Legal Bouts and Justice

John Waters Sued For Song Use on Christmas Album

A John Waters Christmas

A John Waters Christmas

A federal lawsuit for copyright infringement has been issued against director and all-around awesome individual John Waters for the publication of the song “Santa Claus is a Black Man” on Waters’ CD A John Waters Christmas from 2004.

The plaintiff, Theodore Vann, claims he owns the song and that Waters had no right to release it on the CD. Vann goes on to say in his suit that he specifically denied Waters the rights to use the song because he is “odd and a fetishist”.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit, Musician | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin’s Wardrobe Defense Costs Consignment Store Their Name

When the story exploded that the RNC spent $150,000 on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, Palin rebutted saying that her wardrobe comes from her favorite consignment store in Anchorage, Out of the Closet.

Well, it turns out that there is a non-profit chain of stores in California and Florida which is also called Out of the Closet.  When the AIDS Healthcare Foundation found out about the the AK store, the sent a copyright infringement cease and desist letter to the owner asking them to change their name.

Ellen Arvold, who owns the store in Anchorage, has said that she will comply and change the name.  No word if this has affected who she may vote for on November 4th.

October 31, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Politician | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bon Jovi Sued for $400 Billion (Yes Billion) for Allegedly Borrowing Lyrics

Jon Bon Jovi is being sued for allegedly borrowing lyrics from the song “(Man I Really) Love This Team”, the Boston Red Sox Anthem by a band called The Chelsea City Council.  Frontman Samuel Bartley Steele is seeking $400 Billion (thats $400,000,000,000 or over half of the Wall Street Bailout the Congress is working on) from Bon Jovi, who he says used his lyrics for the song “I Love This Town”.

Representatives for Bon Jovi and their and any other copyright protection lawyers that may need to get involved have stated they have yet to see the lawsuit.

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit, Musician | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hannah Montana Co-Creator is Demanding His Royalties Percentage

Michael Poryes, co-creator of the Hannah Montana character which has brought in billions for Disney, says he is entitled to a percentage of the bank brought in by the books, movies and merchandise.

Poryes is suing using intellectual property law for almost $1 million dollars for compensatory damages, punitive damages, court costs and of course interest.

Disney at this time does not have any comment.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Filmmakers of “Finding Rin Tin Tin” Sued for Copyright Violation by Dog Breeder

The original Rin Tin Tin

The original Rin Tin Tin

A little background information… Rin Tin Tin was a real German Shepherd dog who lived in the early 1900s.  His descendants became the stars of a TV series of the same name in the 1950s.  Afterward, another descendant of the same bloodline was given to a dog breeder to continue the breeding of German Shepherds and use the “Rin Tin Tin” name for promotional uses.

Now, a new movie entitled Finding Rin Tin Tin has been released on DVD, and the current owner of the dog breeding company Daphne Hereford has filed a lawsuit for copyright violation.  Hereford claims she has owns the copyright for the Rin Tin Tin moniker in regards to “live German Shepard puppies” and that this movie directly violates her copyright protection.

Hereford is suing the filmmakers First Look Studios for, among other things,  irreparable injury to her company, the studio’s profits from the movie, and wants all copies of the movie destroyed.

At this time, representatives for First Look Studios have not commented.

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement | , , , , | 1 Comment

Warner Brothers Sue Bollywood Produces Over HARI PUTTAR

Bollywood producers to release a film called “Hari Puttar: a comedy of terror” are working to fend off a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Warner Bros. contends that the title of the film is too close to his mega-famous boy wizard franchise.

Although Bollywood often borrow films from  liberal western movies, producers of “Hari Puttar: a comedy of terrors” to say that his film is nothing like a film in the “Harry Potter” series.

“There is absolutely no link” from Hari Puttar “to” Harry Potter” said Munish Purii, CEO of Mumbai-producers Mirchi Films. Hari is a common name in India while “puttar” is the son of Punabji he said.

“Even if it does rhyme with Harry Potter, surely there is a limit to the case?” Says Tarun Adarsh, editor of Trade Guide.

The film is not a story of sorts or assistant flight on broomsticks, but rather a story of an Indian boy left home alone, which combat the thieves when their parents are on vacation – much of the film recalled Home Alone with Macaulay Culkin.

Warner Brothers seeks an injunction against the film, which is set for release on September 12. The hearings began on Monday and the next is scheduled for September 2.

Deborah Warner Brothers Lincoln spokesman confirmed that the company has filed a lawsuit against the producers of “Hari Puttar”.

“Warner Brothers values and protects intellectual property rights. However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation,” said Lincoln.

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit | , , , | Leave a comment

What is Behind Fox’s Attack on Warner Bros Over WATCHMEN?

As you have heard, some legal battles have been raised due to the highly expected film adaptation of comic books, WATCHMEN.

So what really happens?

Well, basically, a judge has granted 20th Century Fox permission to take Warner Bros. to court for not obtaining permission to make WATCHMEN in the first place. Fox has appeared to have the copyright protection to make a film of WATCHMEN for the past 22 years, without luck, in reality, to make it themselves. Warner seems to think that everything is on the up and up, so the battle goes to trial.

Properties that are derived from studies, but in the end was not done are generally collected by other studies. But the original studio still hangs on in case the film has becomes a giant property. In this case, Fox tried to make WATCHMEN before, and now WB is doing it and receiving much attention in the process, so pissed Fox is and does not want to become a joke.

Apparently, Fox does have reasonable ground for their lawsuit for the issues of “turnaround” and “changed elements”, and has already been explained in an article in the New York Times this week.

On its face, turnaround is a contractual mechanism that allows a studio to release its interest in a dormant film project, while recovering costs, plus interest, from any rival that eventually adopts the project. But turnaround is a stacked deck.

The turnaround clauses in a typical contract are also insurance for studio executives who do not want to be humiliated by a competitor who makes a hit out of their castoffs.

That trick turns on a term of art: “changed elements.” A producer of a movie acquired in turnaround who comes up with a new director, or star, or story line, or even a reduction in budget, must give the original studio another shot at making the movie because of changed elements, even if a new backer has entered the picture.

Thus, “Michael Clayton” was put in turnaround by Castle Rock Entertainment (which, like Warner, belongs to Time Warner). When George Clooney became attached to star in it, however, Castle Rock stood on its right to be involved as a producer of what turned out to be an Oscar-nominated film.

But what this all comes down to is money. Fox may appear to want to stop WATCHMEN in its tracks, but the real purpose is for them to get a piece of what will bound to be some massive monetary intake.

WATCHMEN storms theaters March 6, 2009.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lawsuit Against Tim McGraw Claims Hit “Everywhere” Was Stolen

Tim McGraw is currently dealing with a lawsuit filed by Texan James Martinez who claims that the tune from his original song “Anytime, Anywhere Amanda” was stolen and incorporated into McGraw’s smash hit “Everywhere”. Martinez further alleges that because some of McGraw’s songs use similar titles to his songs, that is also stealing.

The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed last year in Texas, for a sum of $20 million, but has been dragged out and is finally seeing the light of a courtroom… but in Nashville instead, where McGraw lives. McGraw’s attorneys say Martinez’s claims are “totally without merit.”

More to come on this exciting battle of the redneck rockers!

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Musician | , , , , , | Leave a comment