Friday, July 28, 2006

The Scorned Screenwriter's New Best Friend

The Times profiles attorney John Marder, who has made a name for himself representing screenwriters, and others, in their claims against the studios whom they believe listened to their pitch and then stole their ideas. Marder is capitalizing on his success in Grosso v. Miramax, in which the 9th Circuit did not throw out the writer's claim that his pitch to the studio created an implied contract between the two parties. With an implied contract theory backing up a more difficult to prove copyright claim, writers appear to have significantly more leverage in these sorts of cases. While this has certainly lead to more claims being brought, it remains to be seen if it will lead to more successful claims.

I like this last from Marder: “There’s a problem with the system when every time the studios release a movie, they get a bunch of claims,” he said. “There can’t be that many crazy people in the country.”

Or can there?

Update: William Patry provided way, way more detail about all this yesterday.



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