Posts Tagged entertainment law

What’s the Verdict: Marlon Wayan Creates Fifty Shades of Grey Spoof!

What’s the Verdict: Marlon Wayan Creates Fifty Shades of Grey Spoof!

Open Road Production company just bought the rights to Marlon Wayan’s new project, a spoof of the erotic thriller Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty shades of black. The company purchased the film rights for a cool $5 million, and plan on a late January of 2016 release date.

This isn’t Wayan’s first deal with the Open Road Production company. He had previously worked with them on his last film titled A Haunted House. Open road also has Michael Tiddes ties to the deal as a the film’s director, Tiddes also directed A Haunted House.

Wayan’s is also expected to make his appearance as Mr. Black alongside long time friend and collaborator Rick Alvarez. If his past work is any indication this film is sure to get some laughs. I love a good spoof and I cannot wait to see this one.

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Whats the Verdict: Is Binge Watching the New Normal? NBC takes the plunge!

Once reserved strictly for online content streaming platforms like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, binge watching seems to have gone mainstream, with big networks beginning to release whole seasons online. The adoption of the binge model by big networks comes precisely at the same time that platforms like Netflix are moving away from it.

Tomorrow NBC will release the the first season of David Duchovny’s new period drama, Aquarius in its entirety online, while at the same time airing one episode a week on TV. In a Hollywood reporter article, NBC Entertainment Chairman, Bob Greenblatt proclaimed this decisions would push new boundaries, while also giving the consumer what they want.

NBC’s jump into the binge party comes at the same time as other’s are begining to question its merit. On May 21, Netflix began airing its new show, Between on a week to week basis. Hulu is also questioning the model and is looking at non binge options for its lineup, and Yahoo’s sixth season of Community is also being released over several weeks.

At the root of this shift is the need to create buzz. Content creators want to be able to build buzz around their shows, that continue over a period of time. The binge model allows for much of this build up. However, once the show is released the hype plummets. Serial releasing of content, on a week by week basis allows for hype to be built throughout a season.

As big networks like NBC move to catch up to online content providers like Netflix, more and more shows will be released on the binge model. The implications of this for the industry could be huge. Networks will have to create more and more content. This means that season story lines will become much longer. This also means that Networks will have to green light more shows. If they no longer have to worry about the physical confines of airtime, networks will be able to produce more shows for online viewers.

The real question is wether or not this is what the consumer wants. Will weekly entertainment transition into becoming fourteen hour obligations to watch an entire season in one weekend? What implications will this have on hiring patterns? What does this trend mean for payouts in the industry?

What do you think the verdict will be?

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What’s The Verdict: Mitre Sports International v. HBO

What’s The Verdict: Mitre Sports International v. HBO

Court is finally in session.  Six years ago (2008), a lawsuit was filed against HBO alleging that a child labor report that aired on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” was a hoax. The report accused Mitre Sports International, a British sporting goods company, of turning a blind eye to the use of underage workers for its production of soccer balls in India. As part of the child labor report, the show featured clips of children stitching Mitra soccer balls. It’s no surprise that Mitre denied charges saying that it would never endorse child labor.   Attorney for Mitre Sports International, argued that the scenes were all staged, describing the report as “concocted” and “flat-out lies.” According to Mitre, it was all a hoax and as a result has tarnished the reputation of the company. With that, the company is seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages. But HBO is not giving up without a fight. The premium news channel stands by the report and said that no video footage was fabricated in any way, shape, or form.  In fact, HBO’s lawyer Dane Butswinkas told plaintiff Mitre they should be grateful for how generous their reporting was. Something is clearly off. Why would Mitre Sports International bring the case forward if they were wholly endorsing child labor? They wouldn’t because an investigation would probably prove they were doing so. But then why would HBO air a report that had no basis? This lawsuit comes after Rolling Stone Magazine ran into some serious trouble for inaccurate, unconfirmed reporting and NBC’s Brian Williams discrepancies in story-telling. If HBO is found guilty of fabricating any part of its new report, this will definitely hurt the premium channel’s reputation. The 12-member jury trial has officially started and is expected to last around 4 weeks…stay tuned for any updates on What’s the Verdict!

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Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Leaked Script

Famed director Quentin Tarantino has filed a copyright infringement suit against Gawker Media for its alleged involvement in the dissemination of copies of his script, ‘The Hateful Eight’. The complaint contends that Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself as the first source to read the entire  screenplay illegally. The article contains multiple direct links for downloading the entire screenplay through an anonymous URL with a caption that says “Enjoy!”. After several demands for removal which Gawker has reportedly chosen to ignore, Tarantino has commenced a lawsuit that is seemingly designed to counter Gawker’s potential “safe harbor” defense under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  John Cook, the editor for Gawker, has responded to the lawsuit by asserting the website did not leak the script. Cook claims that Tarantino deliberately turned the leak into a story and wanted the script published online and Gawker published the link because it was newsworthy. 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/quentin-tarantino-suing-gawker-leaked-674424

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Courtney Love Triumphs in Twitter Defamation Suit

After eight days of testimony, a California jury decided on Friday that Courtney Love should not be held liable for a tweet directed at her former attorney, Rhonda Holmes. The lawsuit is considered to be a trailblazing case as it is believed to be the first trial in a U.S. courtroom involving allegations of defamation on the Twitter platform. Love retained Holmes in 2009 to handle fraud allegations against the executors of Kurt Cobain’s estate. After the relationship between Love and Holmes deteriorated, the rockstar tweeted about Holmes who in turn sued for defamation claiming the tweet hurt her reputation.

The court found that the attorney was a limited-purpose public figure because of her involvement with a celebrity client and thus Holmes was burdened with demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that the statement was made with actual malice. Actual malice, sometimes referred to a Constitutional malice, was defined in the the landmark 1964 lawsuit New York Times Co. v. Sullivan,  as knowledge that the statement was false or reckless disregard for the truth. Love contended that the tweet as intended to be sent as a direct message and when she learned it was tweeted to the public, she quickly deleted the comment. Love further testified that she believed the tweet to be true when she sent it. The jury ultimately concluded that Holmes did not meet her burden of proof in this case. 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/courtney-love-wins-twitter-defamation-673972

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Lil’ Kim Attacked Over Zombie Makeup Photo

After posting an image on instagram, rap star Lil’ Kim was sued over a photo of zombie makeup by a Vancouver artist. Samantha Ravndahl is claiming that self proclaimed Queen Bee “splashed” a photo of Ravndahl modeling zombie-style makeup across the internet, including on the rapper’s social media pages, and is prepared to go to court to protect the image and stake some claim in her “original makeup design”. The Ravndahl allegedly posted the image on instagram and other social media outlets as part of a step by step “how to” tutorial. The artist alleges that Lil’ Kim put her name and copyright notice on the artist’s face and makeup design prior to distributing it on the internet. The lawsuit claims that Lil’ Kim’s alleged exploitation of the image is unfair and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/lil-kim-sued-zombie-makeup-673437

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Disney Successfully Ices Phase 4 Films

Disney has emerged victorious in their trademark infringement suit against Phase 4 Films. The studio successfully thwarted Phase 4 Films’ alleged attempt to take advantage of the success of ‘Frozen’. Only one month after the lawsuit commenced, Phase 4 has thrown in the towel, settling the case with a stipulated judgment that includes a $100,000 payout and requires the movie to go back to its original name, ‘The Legend of Sarila’.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/disney-lawsuit-ices-frozen-land-673259

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