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axanar_ship

The saga of Pararmount Pictures Vs the Makers of the fan film Axanar continues as a legal decision yesterday allowed the lawsuit, which is now been before the courts for a year, to proceed to a jury trial. In a legal good news/bad news situation, the first, best defense of the Axanar producers to get the lawsuit thrown out of court was itself thrown out by the judge, but U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner decided to not go so far as to end the case himself, and will let the question that the case hinges on answering be decided by a jury later this year. (more…)

suicide-squad_UPDJGm

Despite the strong and growing negativity in regards to Suicide Squad, the movie made a lot of money over the weekend to set the record for the biggest August opening ever. As these things go, the more money you make, the more you attract people who want to take that money, and so it goes with this latest “Say What?!?!” story surrounding the new David Ayer movie. So what’s going on now? Well, one Redditor is screaming mad about the lack of Joker in the theatrical cut of the movie, and he’s ready to take his outrage all the way to court. (more…)

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This was supposed to be a year of celebration for Star Trek, 50 years since the original series first premiered on NBC in the fall of 2016. There’s a new Star Trek movie coming this summer, production on a new Star Trek TV series will begin later this fall, and the con schedule this year is full of special Star Trek guests. The last thing Paramount would want to do is tarnish those good vibes with something like a lawsuit aimed at fans making a highly-anticipated fan film based on Star Trek. So turning a frown upside down, Star Trek producer J.J. Abrams announced on the weekend that the lawsuit against the producers of Star Trek: Axanar is over. Peace in our time. (more…)

Marvel and Kirby Family Settle Long-Time Legal Dispute

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Marvel Comics, after making billions and billions of dollars based on the works of Jack Kirby, appears to have become magnanimous to the Kirby family, who have now achieved at least a small victory in its intense legal fight with Marvel and their owners at the Walt Disney Company. Just as the case looked to be heading to one final trial at the Supreme Court of the United States, both sides have come out today to say that their differences have been settled and all systems are go for comics, movies and other media to me made about the characters co-created by Kirby at Marvel during his legendary Silver Age run at the publisher. (more…)

quentin-tarantino

The story goes like this: The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino’s latest script, found its way to the open air, leaking out after the director had shared it with a few members of his inner circle. This infuriated the Pulp Fiction helmer, causing him to take his ball (script) and go home. Maybe the western would become a novel, maybe it would someday become a movie again, but for the time being, Tarantino was moving on.

Enter… all of the internet, who reported on the leak and Tarantino’s decision to push the project to the back burner. No harm, no foul. That’s kind of the internet’s jam, but Gawker not only reported on the leak, they reportedly linked to another site that had posted the leaked script and then they closed their article with, “For better or worse, the document is 146 pages of pure Tarantino. Enjoy!”, prompting Tarantino to sue them for “contributory copyright infringement”, a suit that was dismissed yesterday, though it is entirely possible that this is merely a speed bump and not a brick wall in Tarantino’s quest. (more…)

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If you once owned the rights to a franchise that makes 10 figures every time at bat, wouldn’t you sue for more money? That seems to be the tact being taken by Bob and Harvey Weinstein who yesterday brought suit against Warner Bros, owners of New Line Cinema, stating that they’re owned more money from the franchise they sold: the rights to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien‘s books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. How’s that? Well, it’s kind of a long story. In fact, you’d need a whole trilogy of three-hour films to tell it in the most excruciating detail possible. (more…)

There’s big dollars in those Marvel characters, and nobody knows that better than the company that bears the name of the co-creator of many of those characters. Stan Lee Media, the company Stan “The Man” Lee helped found in 1998, has filed a copyright infringement complaint against the Walt Disney Company claiming that they never held the copyrights to the various Marvel Comics characters from their appearances in other media, like multi-billion dollar making movies.

So to what do we owe this litigious declaration? Well, in the plaintiff’s own words:

“Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee. Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false.”

So let’s put aside the fact that Stan Lee created all the disputed characters long before anyone had the idea for Stan Lee Media, and leaving aside that this is not the first time that Stan Lee Media has tried to sue Marvel for back pay, and leaving aside the fact that Stan Lee Media’s been involved in more lawsuits than asbestos and tobacco combined, just what does Stan Lee Media hope to achieve with this latest suit? How about, in their words, “the maximum statutory damages allowable.” Meaning all that Avengers bling.

Somehow, I see this going about as far as previous suits by Stan Lee Media against Marvel, but putting aside all talk about creator-rights, one wonders what might happen if the company started putting as much effort into developing their own properties as it did trying to reap the profits from others’.

Source: Comic Book Movie

 

The headline is rather confusing, right? Al Simmons is the alter-ego of the superhero Spawn in the comic book of the same name, so how can Spawn creator Todd McFarlane being suing Al Simmons for being who McFarlane tells him to be? Interesting question.

The answer is that McFarlane came up with Spawn’s secret identity of Al Simmons by basing him on his friend who has also named Al Simmons. The real life Al Simmons was also once an employee of McFarlane Productions and his duties included making personal appearances as, you guessed it, Spawn. So the two of them were pretty close, right? What could possible make McFarlane want to sue the man he was so chummy with that he named his best selling comic book character after him?

In a word: book. Simmons wrote a book called The Art Of Being Spawn, in which he takes no small credit for being the inspiration for Al Simmons. According to McFarlane, writing the book has violated Simmons’ employment terms and breached his duty of loyalty. He’s also libel for damaging his reputation, and exposing trade secrets, false endorsements, false advertising and both trademark and copyright infringement. McFarlane is suing both Simmons and his wife for at least $75,000.

Further, the lawsuit claims that “Al Simmons, who was flattered and eagerly gave his consent to McFarlane in 1993 for his name to be a part of ‘Spawn,’ was not the inspiration for ‘Spawn’s’ central character and no one has ever confused the character with Defendant Al Simmons… Curiously, Defendant Al Simmons has, over the years, as ‘Spawn’ enjoyed popularity, remarked on how his association with Plaintiffs has provided him with some name recognition or notoriety, where he had none before ‘Spawn.’… Defendant Simmons has, in effect, traded on Plaintiffs’ fame, brand and copyright protected creation, and now is deliberately using falsities in the Book to further attempt to improperly capitalize and infringe upon the McFarlane Companies’ property interests and McFarlane’s name, likeness and identity.”

Of course, this isn’t McFarlane’s first turn at litigious endeavors, but it is his most recent. One wonders if McFarlane just misses the courtroom, and just what Simmons might have written to get the artist to hammer down so hard with the lawyers on his old buddy. Either way, it’s great press for Simmons’ book. Way to guerrilla market, Al!

Source: Bleeding Cool

Marvel was initially planning to release a boxed set of all of their Phase 1 movies in a special briefcase set that includes a glowing Tesarect cube at the same time as the DVD release for The Avengers.  However, shit hit the fan and that isn’t happening so quickly; the release date has been delayed for some unspecified time in spring 2013.

Turns out the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One super epic boxed set won’t be released because a German luggage company called Rimowa GmbH filed a trademark claim at the beginning of August because the briefcase that houses all the DVDs and the Tesarect is apparently a knockoff of one of their products.  And apparently it makes them look bad.  I don’t quite see how that line of reasoning works out, but whatever.  Consequently, Marvel is pulling back all the sets so they can redesign the package for a 2013 release date.

The Avengers DVD will still be released on September 25, 2012 as planned and Marvel will continue work on their Phase 2 films, which include Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and sequels to Thor and Captain America.

No idea what the redesign of the briefcases will look like.  In fact, there hasn’t been any official comment on this matter yet, as far as we can tell.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

One of these things is not like the other.

Known for their whole Mockbusters” thing, Global Asylum constantly makes cheaper versions of the year’s top film franchises. This time, Universal studios has finally said “Enough!”, and bitch slapping the company with a class action lawsuit. Initially reported by TMZ , the lawsuit (which can be read here) claims that Global Asylum is trying to piggyback off the board-game-turned-Blockbuster-feature starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård and Rihanna.

Global Asylum’s most recent feature, American Battleship, goes straight to DVD May 22nd — a mere four days after Universal’s Battleship hits theaters May 18th. Seems a bit fishy that two movies, both about naval warships battling aliens from space, would be released so close to each other. But this is a tactic that Asylum has used over and over again.

Just look at their recent “hits”: Paranormal Entity, Titanic II, 2012: Ice Age, The Terminators, Transmorphers and Battle Of Los Angeles. Sound familiar? They should, because Asylum is known for copying the premise and plot of the every feature-length film its copies. And Universal will not stand for it a minute longer.

In a response to the lawsuit posted on Deadline, Global Asylum gave the single best defense a company could ever give:

The Global Asylum has promoted the feature film American Battleship for nearly a year while Universal raised no concerns. The timing of Universal’s recently filed lawsuit coincides with mixed reviews of its big-budget film, Battleship — the first movie based on a board game since Clue. Looking for a scapegoat, or more publicity, for its pending box-office disaster, the executives at Universal filed this lawsuit in fear of a repeat of the box office flop, John Carter of Mars. The Universal action is wholly without merit and we will vigorously defend their claims in Court. Nonetheless, we appreciate the publicity.

Bitch slap returned in spades, thanking Universal for suing them and using the “John Carter” defense. While you have to hate Asylum for their dirty tactics, you have to respect their badassery here. Hopefully they’ll still have this type of swagger when both parties go to court in the next few weeks.

We wish everyone the best in the coming bloodbath.