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.
The Hollywood Reporter's lawyer-oriented site, THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog: has a great piece by Eriq Garder that surveys the Top 5 ways reality shows can get sued.
Recommended reading for all up-and-coming producers of reality shows, documentary films, and other media featuring real-world situations.
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This week's topics:
- Borat Cases dismissed. Court rules releases were valid.
- A short discussion of “Libel Tourism”, a growing trend of plaintiffs to bring libel cases against U.S. Authors in Britain and other countries where the First Amendment won't apply… then try to enforce the judgments in the U.S.
- Do I need a license to use a computer-screen-capture in a software training video?
- Is there a difference between the permissions needed for use of video clips vs. stills?
- What kinds of permissions are needed when using clips of old TV shows?
- Explanation of Duration of Copyright…
- for works created before the 1976 Copyright Act?
- for works created after 1978?
- for corporate-authored works?
- when does the life+70 timeline begin to run when multiple authors of a joint work die at different times?
- What permissions and releases are needed when shooting prison inmates for a promotional video?
- What legal issues are implicated when writing a script based on real events and people?