Tag Archives: Parody

Jury makes a point (break), awards $250,000 to playwright

Last week (December 20, 2012), a jury awarded a playwright $250,000 in a case concerning her parody of the 1991 film “point break”

The film, starred Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Gary Busey in a story about FBI Agent Johnny Utah's infiltration of a team of surfing bank robbers.

In 2003, playwright Jamie Keeling came up with the idea to adapt the film for the stage but to “cast” the Johnny Utah character from the audience each night, having the selected patron recite lines from cue cards. But, when the show's producer New Rock Theatre Productions stopped paying Keeling royalties, the playwright sued.

New Rock's main defense, it seems, stems from the argument that the play, based almost entirely on the movie script, wasn't original and therefore not entitled to copyright protection.

But, last week, a Federal Court jury in New York City disagreed, awarding Keeling a cool quarter of a million dollars in damages. The judge and jury, it seems, believed the show to be a copyrightable parody, mocking the entire original, together with Reeves' performance.

Now, Ms. Keeling is seeking an injunction to permanently enjoin New Rock from infringing her work in the future.

Asked and Answered: Parody/Satire and copyright infringement.

Q:¬† When does a parody of someone else’s material infringe on their copyright? For instance, having a character use the Vulcan mind-meld in your story. ¬†Changing some content within a Dr. Seuss story to create new characters but keeping the same meter, structure and rhyme. ¬†Changing a word in a famous slogan to reinvent it.… Continue Reading

There is no custom code to display.

Find us on Google+