LEGAL INSIGHTS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND MULTIMEDIA
July 18, 2005
In this newsletter:
FLORIDA SUPREME COURT SHELTERS "THE PERFECT STORM"
"The Perfect Storm," a Warner Brothers film, was based on a true story about the sinking of a fishing vessel and the resulting deaths of its crew members, two of which were Billy Tyne and Dale Murphy. Tyne and Murphy's survivors brought suit, claiming the film's depiction of their ancestors was a form of commercial misappropriation under Florida's right of publicity statute and also a common law invasion of privacy.
The lower Florida courts dismissed these claims and granted Warner Bros.' motion for summary judgment. However, the survivors appealed and the case went to the Florida Supreme Court. The main question the Court faced was whether the Florida right of publicity statute applied to "The Perfect Storm" and movies similar to it?
The statute calls for a ban on the unauthorized use of a person's name or likeness "for any commercial…purpose." The Court ultimately held that the statute was not applicable to "The Perfect Storm" or other forms of media that "do not directly promote a product or service." Furthermore the Court cautioned that finding the statute applicable to movies, which are protected under the First Amendment, would raise potential constitutional concerns.
Tyne v. Time Warner Entertainment Co., Case No. SC03-1251 (Fla. 2005), available in PDF format.
"HUSTLE & FLOW" PREMIERES JULY 20, OPENS IN 1,500 THEATERS JULY 22
You've got to dream big. In "Hustle & Flow," a Memphis pimp who seeks hip-hop stardom makes the biggest hustle of his life to get a record made.
Paramount Pictures picked up "Hustle & Flow," written and directed by our client, Craig Brewer. The film won the 2005 Sundance Audience Award for its sensational performances by a cast that stars Terrence Dashon Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Taraji P. Henson, Paula Jai Parker, Elise Neal, DJ Qualls, and Ludacris.
"Hustle & Flow" premieres Wednesday, July 20 in Los Angeles at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome, and opens in theaters on Friday, July 22. The official website is www.hustleandflow.com. Apple.com has an exclusive featurette online at Apple.com.
COPYRIGHT & DISCLAIMER
Mark Litwak & Associates grants newsletter recipients permission to copy and distribute this newsletter and distribute it free of charge, provided that copies are distributed for educational and non-profit use, no changes or revisions are made, all copies clearly attribute the article to its author and include its copyright notice.
DISCLAIMER: While we are careful in preparing this newsletter, readers should consult with a lawyer before relying on any information. Case law and statutes are subject to change, and may not apply in all jurisdictions.
Copyright 2005, Mark Litwak