Entertainment Hollywood Docket: Disney Gets Favored Turf in ‘Predator’ Rights Fight

11:35  11 june  2021
11:35  11 june  2021 Source:   hollywoodreporter.com

Disney Plus hits 103.6 million subscribers

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Disney’s 20th Century unit will win the first round in an ongoing battle over franchise rights to the 1987 action film Predator.

On April 15, two dueling suits were filed. First, in San Francisco, Jim and John Thomas — the brothers who wrote the original screenplay — filed a complaint seeking confirmation of successfully recapturing rights under the termination provision of the Copyright Act. Within hours, in Los Angeles, Disney filed its own complaint seeking to hold on to rights.

The case will ultimately turn on the proper method of counting time, but first comes the determination of where the battle will play out — San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Predators (Disney +): Which renowned director has failed to stage the movie?

 Predators (Disney +): Which renowned director has failed to stage the movie? © Moviestore / Shutterstock / Sipa Predators (Disney +): Which renowned director has failed the movie? Out of XXX, Predators marks the return of bellicose extraterrestrials, this time in numbers. This new component failed to be staged by a leading director, known for his spectacular films. The monster is back. Or rather the monsters! All fans of science fiction (and muscular cinema) know the predator. An alien not frankly friendly, become mythical with his very first adventure.

At a hearing on Thursday, Marc Toberoff, the attorney for the Thomas brothers, explained that he filed in San Francisco because entertainment cases are a “dime a dozen” in L.A. and he didn’t want the case lost among the many suits where plaintiffs are arguing a stolen idea. “We wanted to hear fresh voices,” said Toberoff, aiming to flatter U.S. District Court Judge Laurel Beeler.

The judge was sympathetic, expressing how she’d love to adjudicate the case on the merits. But without making it official, she said she firmly agreed with the other side that this case belonged in L.A., the home of all the parties. Expect a formal order soon.

In other entertainment law news:

—Judge Beeler also appears primed to throw out another case of interest in the entertainment world. O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson is currently suing financial services app Robinhood for using the rapper-actor’s catchphrase — Check yo self before you wreck yo self” in a newsletter.  Although attorneys for Jackson are arguing that Robinhood is not a news organization, the judge appears to believe that even financial institutions can exercise some news function. “This doesn’t look like an endorsement of a product; it looks like an illustration,” said the judge at a hearing, adding that she was leaning toward throwing out the case for lack of standing since Jackson might not be able to plausibly demonstrate the requisite injury.

Summer Movie Calendar, from 'Cruella' to 'The Suicide Squad'

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—Streamers are facing lawsuits across the nation for refusing to pay local utility fees. On Wednesday, for the first time, a class action was launched in Illinois that included not just Netflix, Hulu, and Disney, but also Amazon, CBS, Peacock, YouTube, and Apple. Here’s the complaint.

—According to court papers filed this week in D.C. Superior Court, the former top lawyer at the Motion Picture Association of America has reached some plea deal with prosecutors. Two years ago, Steven Fabrizio was arrested for the alleged rape and blackmail of a woman he contacted through a dating site. The film industry’s top trade group then fired him. Now, in his criminal case, a preliminary hearing scheduled for next month has been converted to a plea hearing upon word from the parties that they have reached a disposition in the case. No word just yet on the exact terms.

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