TRADE SECRETS THEFT AND BREACH OF CONTRACT LLEGEDALLEGED BY ORLANDO BUSINESS AGAINST NEW LINE CINEMA AND UNIVERSAL ORLANDO
ORLANDO, FLORIDA—ICC Designs, an Orlando-based business that has for over 25 years designed and produced theme park attractions, recently filed suit against New Line Cinema and Universal Orlando for theft of its idea and design for a “Halloween Horror Nights” attraction, featuring New Line characters “Freddy,” “Jason Voorhies” and “Leather Face.”
The lawsuit alleges that ICC approached New Line Cinema in 2005 to develop and produce a series of theme park horror attractions using New Line’s famous horror characters. New Line management responded enthusiastically to ICC’s proposal as no theme park or horror attraction had ever before featured these characters. New Line’s Executive Vice President David Imhoff was quoted in a July 25, 2005, Orlando Sentinel story announcing the ICC and New Line joint venture: “This has never been done before in the Halloween business. There’s going to be a lot of people asking, ‘Why didn’t we think of this?’ ”
It seemed business plans were progressing until just minutes before a November 21, 2006, conference call between ICC and NBC to discuss licensing for Universal Studios, the call was cancelled. In July of 2007, ICC Designs read in industry magazines that Universal Orlando, NBC, and New Line had formed a new partnership to bring three of Hollywood’s scariest characters to Universal’s two resorts, Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood.
My friend and podcast co-host Tamera Bennett has posted an article at her blog about the valuation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein music publishing catalog. Apparently, the catalog was worth around $200 Million when it was recently purchased by a Dutch pension fund. This valuation is estimated by experts who suggest that it's probably around 14 times the catalog's annual earnings.
Check out Tamera's blog piece, which includes several links to other news stories. Music Publishing A Good Investment « Current Trends in Copyright, Trademark & Entertainment Law.
“Borat” and “Bruno” star Sacha Baron Cohen” is no stranger to lawsuits alleging defamation, but this week he scored a victory in a suit filed by a woman (identified as “jane doe”, who alleged that she was defamed in an interview with Gore Vidal on “Da Ali G Show”.
According to the Judge in the case:
No reasonable person could consider the statements made by Ali G on the program to be factual. To the contrary, it is obvious that the Ali G character is absurd, and all his statements are gibberish and intended as comedy. The actor, Sacha Baron Cohen, never strays from the Ali G character, who is dressed in a ridiculous outfit and speaks in the exaggerated manner of a rap artist. Ali G’s statements are similarly absurd. For example, prior to the reference to Plaintiff, while ‘interviewing’ the author Gore Vidal, Ali G refers to the Constitution of the United States as having been written on two tablets, clearly intended to confuse the Constitution with the Ten Commandments. Altogether, the program is obviously a spoof of a serious interview program. No reasonable person could think otherwise.