Category Archives: Media and Entertainment

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The California Court Of Appeal Weighs In: The Development And Production Of An Entertainment Program Is Protected Under The Anti-SLAPP Statute

In a recent 50-page published opinion, the California Court of Appeal determined that offensive and derogatory language on a movie set was protected activity under the anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (or anti-SLAPP) statute because the conduct was part of the behind-the-scenes process for making a movie. The case pitted Marlon Wayans – an actor … Continue Reading

Defamation Law Series: Court Affirms Dismissal Of Claims Against Actor Marlon Wayans

In Daniel v. Wayans, The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision to grant actor Marlon Wayans’ anti-SLAPP motion against Pierre Daniel. Daniel worked as an extra on the movie A Haunted House 2, which starred Wayans.  Daniel filed suit against Wayans and others asserting a number of claims, based in part … Continue Reading

Defamation Law Series: Massachusetts District Court Tosses Katherine McKee’s Claims Against Bill Cosby

Last week, on February 16, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed Katherine McKee’s claims against Bill Cosby in McKee v. Cosby. McKee was among the women who alleged that Cosby had sexually assaulted her.  In her lawsuit against Cosby, McKee claimed that after she shared her story in an … Continue Reading

Defamation Law Series: Third Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Renita Hill’s Claims Against Bill Cosby

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the Pennsylvania district court’s dismissal of Renita Hill’s claims against Bill Cosby in Hill v. Cosby. Hill was among the women who alleged that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her.  In her lawsuit against Cosby, Hill claimed that after she shared her story in an interview, … Continue Reading

Gawker Remains in the Crosshairs: Seventh Circuit Finds that Online Media Publisher Can Be Liable for Defamatory Third-Party User Comments for Its Role in Disseminating the Statements

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently kept alive one of the multitude of legal entanglements ensnaring Gawker Media LLC, as the Court reversed and remanded a lower court’s decision to dismiss a plaintiff’s defamation claim involving defamatory third-party user comments.  In its ruling, the Court emphasized that a media company such as Gawker can … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Rejects Defamation Lawsuit Targeting Statements Made In American Hustle

Plaintiff Paul Brodeur, a well-known author, filed suit in California state court against the producers and distributors of the motion picture American Hustle, asserting claims for defamation, slander, and false light.  The case is Paul Brodeur v. Atlas Entertainment, Inc., et al., Case No. B263379. Mr. Brodeur’s claims were based on a single statement made … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Clarifies Idea Submission Claims

A case against the makers of the wildly successful movie Avatar shows how California courts examine and decide fraud in the context of idea submission claims. In the Intellectual Property Magazine article “Appeals Court Clarifies Idea Submission Claims,” Lee Brenner and Andreas Becker examine Eric Ryder v. Lightstorm Entertainment, et al., and analyze Ryder’s fraud, … Continue Reading

Significant Practical Reasons For Entering A Life Rights Agreement May Exist, But It May Not Be Necessary From A Legal Perspective

Real life stories are often produced with the acknowledgment and encouragement of their subjects, who are compensated in exchange for entering into what are known as life rights agreements. However, obtaining permission from every real person involved in the making of the work may not be feasible. In the article “Rights to Life,” published in … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Upheld In Avatar Creators’ Favor After California Appellate Court Determines That Film Is Not Substantially Similar To Plaintiff’s Sci-Fi Work

James Cameron’s 2009 box-office hit Avatar is the subject of a California idea submission lawsuit that was decided in Cameron’s favor both at the trial and appellate level, in Eric Ryder v. Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., et al., Case No. B254922.  Plaintiff Eric Ryder claimed that Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc. fraudulently expressed an interest in … Continue Reading

Blake Shelton Says Magazine Wrong About Rehab & Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion

Last year, country music superstar Blake Shelton filed suit in federal court against the creators and publishers of In Touch Weekly, bringing claims of libel per se and false light invasion of privacy after the magazine published allegedly false statements in its cover story headlines and an accompanying article about Shelton’s purported drinking habit and … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP Adds Partner Miles Cooley to Los Angeles Office

The Los Angeles office of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP welcomes litigator Miles Cooley as Partner. Mr. Cooley’s practice focuses on the resolution of disputes involving business and entertainment matters, primarily representing entertainment and sports talent, such as famous pop and hip-hop artists, actors, as well as corporate clients and high net-worth individuals. He is … Continue Reading
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