Conjuring Copyright Protection and Adjudicating Apparitions: Should the Law Consider Ghost Stories Historical Facts?

Picture1By Daniel Hagen

If Warner Bros. fails to prove the existence of ghosts and demons in court, it may have to pay out nearly one billion dollars. Or, at least that’s how the entertainment media has positioned a lawsuit that is currently pending in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. Brittle v. Time Warner involves a copyright dispute over the popular 2013 film The Conjuring, as well as its sequels and spin-offs. The film series follows the adventures of two alleged paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who investigate hauntings, demon possessions, witchcraft, and satanic rituals. During their adventures, they confront evil spirits and demons using a variety of methods, including séances and exorcisms. The outcome of the case may depend to some degree on whether the events portrayed in the film are properly characterized as “historical facts.” Continue reading

Demolition Man Seeks Retribution Against Motion Pictures Studio

Picture1By Samuel J. Daheim

“[Sylvester] Stallone is one of the greatest American talents of the last and present century,” explains a complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Rogue Marble Productions Inc., Stallone’s “loan out company.” Stallone has achieved critical acclaim “as an actor, filmmaker, producer, director and screenwriter, but is most well-known for his Hollywood action roles.”  Stallone is suing Warner Bros. Entertainment over allegations that the film company breached its contract with Stallone and Rogue Marble for the former’s work in the 1993 science-fiction film “Demolition Man” (the Film).  Continue reading