2009 Lecture 10 Actual

2009 Lecture 10 Actual - ENTERTAINMENT LAW University of...

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ENTERTAINMENT LAW University of Southern California Fall 2009 / Lecture 10 Prof. Michael Grizzi
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Question from a classmate I passed by a “Zombieland” billboard the other day which had a quote on it that said something like "The funniest movie since ‘The Hangover’.” When studios use quotes like this (mentioning films produced by studios other than their own), do they have to pay a fee?
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Studios do not generally pay fees to make reference to other films As long as there is no attempt to trick or confuse viewers into thinking that "Zombieland" is a sequel to "Hangover" or that "Zombieland" was created by the same people behind "Hangover", there would not likely be any liability for making a statement of opinion such as "The funniest movie since ‘The Hangover’". Those statements are generally considered advertising puffery and given leeway by the courts.
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Ripped from the headlines … Kimbell v. Rock, et al. ( USDC C.D. California, October 8, 2009) Kimbell was the producer of an award-winning documentary about black hair called My Nappy Roots . Defendants Chris Rock and HBO produced a comedy-documentary about black hair called Good Hair . Both movies featured coverage of the Bonner Bros. International Hair Show and Convention where contestants demonstrate their hair- styling skills on African American women.
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Kimbell filed suit for copyright infringement, alleging that the defendants, who admitted they viewed plaintiff’s movie in 2007, copied several elements of her documentary. Kimbell moved for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the release of “Good Hair”.
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The court denied Kimbell’s motion Kimbell was aware as early as August 2009 that defendants intended to distribute their motion picture in October, but waited until “a mere four days” before Good Hair was set to be released before filing her request for a TRO. The court held that Kimbell’s “eleventh hour” request was untimely.
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The copyright infringement claim The court filtered out the elements of Good Hair that existed in treatment form before defendants viewed Kimbell’s documentary It held that there was not enough evidence of substantial similarity to establish the requisite likelihood of success on the merits. Court: the movies are not substantially similar in terms of their theme, plot, sequence of events, characters, dialogue, setting, mood and pace.
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Good Hair is a comedic documentary that follows the Bonner Bros. contest . . . [and] focuses on contemporary issues of black hair care, and relies on Chris Rock’s shtick of combining comic incredulity with a respect for the underlying subject matter. My Nappy Roots , in contrast, takes a serious and holistic view of black hair care throughout history.”
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Alternative Sources of Entertainment Property Rights Artistic Credit Moral Rights and Creator Control Legislation E-Rating Systems
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Trademark Instead of Copyright General aim of trademark law:
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2009 Lecture 10 Actual - ENTERTAINMENT LAW University of...

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