Screen Junkies » law http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:33:55 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 7 Frivolous Hollywood Lawsuits http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-frivolous-hollywood-lawsuits/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-frivolous-hollywood-lawsuits/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2011 22:21:11 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=233027 What's more American than a desperate grab at unearned income?

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In America, everyone has the right to be wealthy. To pull themselves up out of squalor and build an empire. No, not by working hard, silly. THIS IS AMERICA. Everyone has the right to sue their way to fabulous riches. Just ask The Millionaire Matchmaker.

In light of recent cuckoo lawsuits filed against Drive and The Hangover Part II, here are seven of Hollywood‘s most frivolous lawsuits.

Crazy Lady vs. Drive

A Michigan woman filed a class action lawsuit against the distributor of Drive because the film failed to feature her preferred amount of driving. She also accused the film of antisemitism. But mostly it was the driving thing that bugged her. I’d be interested to see her reaction to the blatantly-racist yet high-octane Transformers films.

Aspiring Writer vs. The Hangover Part II

Aspiring writer Michael Alan Rubin has filed suit against the makers of The Hangover Part II, claiming the film stole his life story. Rubin claims that the plot of the film was stolen from a treatment he wrote based off his own exploits in Thailand. “The plot and theme of ‘Hangover 2‘ is copied from the treatment ‘Mickey and Kirin’ and also from the private real life incident of the plaintiff, because the protagonist in Hangover 2 travels from the United States to an Asian country to marry his Asian girlfriend,” says the lawsuit. Rubin also didn’t cotton to the notion that his character would do drugs or accidentally propose to a tranny. Because he soooo didn’t do that, in case that’s what you heard.

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Is ‘The Help’ Lawsuit Complete B.S.? http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/is-the-help-lawsuit-complete-b-s/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/is-the-help-lawsuit-complete-b-s/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 01:09:18 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=224226 Maybe, but not necessarily.

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Up until now, the only reason I had to care about The Help was the fact that Emma Stone is in it. But today, after reading about a lawsuit filed against the author of the book on which the film is based, I care slightly more. Why? Because it poses an interesting question: When is it OK for a book or film to use someone’s likeness?

Ablene Cooper, who worked for the brother of Kathryn Stockett, the book’s author, claims that one of protagonists, a maid named Aibileen, is based on her. She came to this conclusion after noting several similarities between her and the character, such as…

  • Both have names that begin with the letter ‘a’ (Ablene and Aibileen)
  • Both are maids…
  • Both worked in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960′s…
  • Both have a gold tooth…
  • Both lost a son to cancer.

Considering that the author of the book knew Cooper, it’s not a stretch to believe that the similarities are more than coincidence. But is there enough for a lawsuit? After all, the name has been changed, and the book claims to be a work of fiction. Isn’t that enough to ward off this kind of legal trouble? Not necessarily.

According to Mark Litwak’s Entertainment Law Resources, there is no problem with basing a character off of a real individual, so long as the public cannot readily identify the individual in question. On his website, Litwak encourages writers to change the context surrounding their characters as well as their names in order to avoid any unwanted recognition. But aside from the name, Stockett failed to do this in The Help. Both Cooper and her fictional character share many defining characteristics, including location, profession, the loss of a son, and a particularly damning gold tooth.

However, another matter comes into play. Did this fictionalized portrayal of Cooper defame her in any way? Citing the case of Leopold v. Levin, in which convicted murderer Nathan Leopold sued the author of a fictionalized novel based on his case, Litwak claims that such a fictionalized portrayal would have to be highly offensive to meet the “standard for determining invasion of privacy.” Although Cooper’s lawyers are pointing to a scene in which the character of Aibileen compares her skin color to that of a roach, the idea that the film is somehow defaming Cooper is tough to swallow.

Other questions remain which bring Cooper’s motives into doubt. For starters, it would seem that the one-year statute of limitations has already run out. Second, why is she only seeking $75,000? Third, the fact that Cooper waited until the film was released to start making a fuss is somewhat suspect. But no matter how it plays out, one thing is certain: I would rather bash my head into a brick wall than sit through this movie.

(Source: ABC News)

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FOX ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT CONTEST http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/fox-announces-development-contest/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/fox-announces-development-contest/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Got a great idea for an animated holiday special? Well, Fox is seeking your submissions. From Reuters, the network has announced a contest where animators can submit holiday-inspired short films for cash prizes. The winner will receive a deal with the network that could lead to a show getting on the air. Here's my idea. Nobody steal it, okay?Here are more of your morning headlines.... Teri Hatcher regularly attacked by bees. (Cinema Blend) Porn Star Riley Steele in 3-D!!!! (Dread Central) V remake gets picked up. (io9)Dollhouse RENEWED (The Hollywood Reporter) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles CANCELED (EW)

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Got a great idea for an animated holiday special? Well, Fox is seeking your submissions. From Reuters, the network has announced a contest where animators can submit holiday-inspired short films for cash prizes. The winner will receive a deal with the network that could lead to a show getting on the air. Here’s my idea. Nobody steal it, okay?

Here are more of your morning headlines….

Teri Hatcher regularly attacked by bees. (Cinema Blend)

Porn Star Riley Steele in 3-D!!!! (Dread Central)

V remake gets picked up. (io9)

Dollhouse RENEWED (The Hollywood Reporter)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles CANCELED (EW)

 

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