Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hollywood copyright battles

In The L.A. Times, J.A. Feranandez reports on a spate of copyright battles as documentary makers accuse feature film writers and producers of ripping off their material.
Last Wednesday, L.A. attorney John Marder filed a copyright infringement and breach of implied-in-fact contract suit in federal District Court against Warner Bros., screenwriters Cory Helms and Jamie Linden and others on behalf of filmmakers John Witek and Deborah Novak.

Witek and Novak's Emmy-winning documentary "Marshall University: Ashes to Glory" details the same incident of a West Virginia town struggling to find redemption after most of the members of the university's football team die in a plane crash (Novak grew up in the town and was present for the major events depicted in both movies).

In the filing, they claim that the producers saw the documentary, actively solicited participation from Witek and Novak and offered them a contract before communication abruptly ceased. The studio then went on to make the fictionalized film.

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