Movies, TV, Screenwriting, and the Law

I’ve been doing some blogging for Free Advice on legal topics related to movies and the law. Here are the links to some recent articles:

Miramax Sued for Copyright Infringement Over Sherlock Holmes Movie

The estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sued Miramax for copyright infringement over the planned release of the upcoming film Mr. Holmes – even though a US federal appeals court ruled a year ago that the character of Sherlock Holmes was – mostly – in the public domain.

ACLU Wants Investigation of Hollywood’s Bias Against Women Directors

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),

A large body of statistical evidence reveals dramatic disparities in the hiring of women directors in film and television; women are effectively excluded from directing big-budget studio films and seriously under-represented in television directing.

Writer Claims Hollywood Talent Agency Stole Idea for The Purge

Whenever a hit movie comes out, it’s not at all uncommon for someone to sue, claiming that the studio “stole” the idea.

Virtually all of these cases fail, whether brought under theories of copyright infringement or breach of contract.

Learning About Intellectual Property Law from HBOs Silicon Valley

In addition to being extremely funny (for those who enjoy geek humor), HBO’s Silicon Valley also provides a useful education in intellectual property law.

Seth MacFarlane Prevails in Copyright Infringement Suit over Ted Movie

Writer/performer Seth MacFarlane and Universal Pictures have prevailed in a lawsuit charging that they engaged in copyright infringement in connection with the 2012 hit movie Ted.

Screenwriter Beats Defamation Lawsuit by Former Lover

A judge has dismissed “libel in fiction” claims brought by a screenwriter’s former romantic partner.

In a “libel in fiction” case, the plaintiff contends that he or she is portrayed as a character in an allegedly fictional work, but that the portrayal includes false and defamatory characteristics or events.


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