Godzilla; Importance of a Signed Agreement

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Certain producers won a small battle in the dispute surrounding the upcoming Godzilla feature film being produced by Legendary Pictures.

Legendary moved to compel arbitration, citing a clause in an unexecuted draft of an agreement. The CA Appeals court refused to compel arbitration based on the fact that the draft agreement had not been executed, despite containing a binding arbitration clause.

If I had to guess, the producers will be offered a healthy sum of money to put this one behind them. The lesson to be learned, make sure you get signed documents.

Catch the full article here: http://hosdi.eu/1f3OIio


Robinson Crusoe; Public Domain; Protectable Elements

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Claude Robinson is $4MM richer, thanks to the high court in Canada.

The short of the story is that Claude pitched an animated educational children show that contained elements of the “Robinson Crusoe” story, which was originally published in 1719.

The production companies who received the pitch later produced a show that, according to the Canadian courts, was substantially similar and contained elements that warranted protection despite Claude’s project having been based on a property that is based on a property that is within the public domain.

For a further explanation, see the full article HERE.

Stuntman Stabbed on Set of Brad Pitt’s ‘Fury’

I wouldn’t be surprised if the stuntman filed a lawsuit against the studios and the producers of “Fury”. I’ve been tracking this film since before it went into production, so I’m interested in seeing what comes of this “accident”.

‘Avatar’ Plagiarism Plaintiff Seeks to Disqualify Judge

Just another day for studios and a top filmmaker. FYI – There is never any glory without your occasional speed bump!

New Legal Development; Diesel Fuel

While most producers are concerned about talent, directors, writers, etc., New York City Counsel is advocating for new legislation that would require TV/film productions to use a grade of diesel fuel known as b-5 in generators used during production.

While this may not seem to be a big issue, the availability of this grade of fuel is less accessible, which could cause logistical concerns, delays, and ultimately cost concerns for New York productions.

Is matter will be the subject of a hearing in Manhattan on WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16 AT 1:00 PM AT 250 Broadway, 14th floor.

Look for the update tomorrow evening.



Life Rights; Burn Notice

The idea of ‘life rights’ always seems to play a part in television and Film adaptations.

But what about when someone claims that an adaptation is surprisingly similar to their own life, and a network or studio hasn’t obtained that persons permission, whether they knew of that third part or not.

This hypothetical is the basis for a recent lawsuit filed agains the network and producers of the hit TV show ‘Burn Notoce’.

While life rights are typically secured as source material and cooperation from an individual, there is no legal basis for someone to claim the exclusive rights to their life story. Why you may ask do producers, networks and studios insist on these rights? Insurance is the best answer.

For more details on the ‘Burn Notice’ case, see the article Here



International Tax Incentives

For those Producers looking for an exotic shooting location, there may be more reasons to travel overseas than you initially realize.

Foreign governments are looking to Hollywood to stimulate growth in local economies. This is evident by the increasing number of foreign legislation providing production tax incentives and other forms of economic breaks.

The most recent country is Hungary who decided to extend their incentive for another 6 years.

For the latest, see Variety