32 posts in the Legal Category
More on Modern Family
Addressing some arguments raised in defense of the Modern Family cast, and comparing the ratings of MF, Two and a Half Men, and Desperate Housewives for context.
Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, Two and a Half Men
"Modern Family" cast delays S4 production, sues 20th Century Fox
The cast of Modern Family -- already earning over $1.4 million per year -- have delayed production of the fourth season and sued their own studio for more money, after rejecting a raise proposal to $4.4 million per year.
20th Century Fox, Modern Family
Actor to Plead Guilty to Leaking Black Swan to BitTorrent
Feds wasting money on being copyright cops, movies that get pirated early and then make tons of money, and innovate uses for iTunes.
Black Swan, iTunes
Expendables Producers Begin Process Of Shaking Down Thousands For Cash
The producers of The Expendables have begun suing movie downloaders according to TechDirt.
Lost/Stargate prop auctions, lawsuits, Potter test screening, more
Silly lawsuits, spoiler-ific test screenings, dumb reality show ideas and more in quick links.
IESB's Robert Sanchez missing over allegations of child sexual abuse
IESB's founder, Robert Sanchez, has been missing for weeks, reportedly dead from suicide at one time, and is now wanted for questioning by police over allegations of sexual molestation involving Sanchez's minor step-daughter.
IESB, Robert Sanchez
DGA President jumps in Viacom vs. YouTube fray
Directors Guild of America president Taylor Hackford gets a lot wrong in whining about Viacom's defeat at the hands of YouTube in a case asking for over $1 billion in damages.
DGA, Viacom, YouTube
Big Business doesn't always get what it wants
Some people think YouTube's win over Viacom is unfair, but can't really argue that it was wrong.
Comcast and Cablevision lose appeal over channel sharing rules
Comcast and Cablevision have lost an appeal in a lawsuit against the FCC over rules forcing them to make channels they own available to their competitors.
Cablevision, Comcast, FCC
NBC probably violated Conan O'Brien's contact
I'm a little late to the party, but I fully agree with THR after THR viewed and explained Conan's contract with NBC: NBC very clearly violated it.
Conan O'Brien, NBC, Tonight Show
Done deal: Conan to leave with $32 million
Wire reports are saying that the deal for NBC to pay Conan O'Brien to surrender The Tonight Show and leave the network has been finalized.
Conan O'Brien, NBC
CBS refuses to release public domain, un-aired TV show episodes
Fans and representatives of Jack Benny's estate have discovered a cache of unaired episodes (in the public domain) in CBS's archives -- and they refuse to release them.
CBS, Jack Benny
U.S. House passes bill to limit TV commercial volume
The U.S. House of representatives has passed a bill that would limit the volume of commercials to an acceptable standard in line with the original programming.
FBI captures movie pirates now, instead of terrorists
The FBI has arrested a man for leaking an early copy of Wolverine online, rather than, say, hunting terrorists, serial killers, or fraud and identity theft rings.
20th Century Fox, Wolverine
Polanski went back on his settlement with rape victim
A link to a list of Hollywood celebs demanding the release of child rapist Roman Polanski, and news that he agreed to settle a civil suit with his victim but never even paid up.
Writers settle unfair working conditions lawsuit
Writers and several networks and studios have settled a lawsuit over unpaid overtime and unfair working conditions prohibited by California law.
New FCC chair could mean pro-public agency
President-elect Obama has announced his pick for the next FCC chairman, which could have significant effects on Internet network neutrality and "indecency" on television.
First up on post-election theater: censorship at the high court
The big four networks battled the FCC in arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday in an on-going war over foul language and censorship.
ABC, CBS, Censorship, Fox, NBC
Indefensible provision dropped from bad copyright bill
The U.S. Senate passed a new copyright bill that further unbalances property rights in favor of billion dollar corporations, but had an unconscionable provision stripped at the last minute request of the Department of Justice.
Thoughts on Pellicano and government wiretapping
One person in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping case has been found guilty of wipretapping and could face 10 years in prison, while the U.S. government and big telecommunications companies did the same for six years and walked scott free.
NBC rebuked in accounting fraud lawsuit
Actor Jack Klugman won a court order to have his old Qunicy M.E. contract copied and released to him by NBC Universal in a brewing battle over accounting disagreements.
Jack Klugman, NBC Universal
SAG seeks contract extension, gets owned by Judge
SAG is ordered by a judge to stop suing advertisers in disputes over health and pension fund contribs; seeks extension to contract expiring in 5 days.
AFTRA, AMPTP, SAG
Report: most piracy within 12-18 hours
Report says most piracy peaks within 12-18 hours after TV broadcast.
FCC and Justice Department declare war on Fox
The FCC and Department of Justice have declared war on Fox over indecency on television. How far will these persecutions go?
DoJ, FCC, Fox
'Punisher 2' scribe has life threatened over film
You could see this coming from a hundred miles away -- one of the writers working on the next Punisher flick has opted to take his name out of the hat, come credit arbitration time, to totally disassociate himself from the film. That's an exceptionally bad sign, as if this film actually needed more of them, that it's going to be a true junker that won't even come close to making a profit in the theaters.I wouldn't bother with repeating something like this normally, since I don't think it's all that out of the ordinary for doomed projects to have a merry-go-around of writers that each in their own way are going to be unhappy about what's going on. Some...
Kurt Sutter, Punisher 2
FCC fines ABC $1.5m for 5-year-old infraction
It's funny how conservatives (i.e. Republicans) are the first to object to the government interfering in a family's rights when it comes to parenting and running their household, and generally fight all forms of regulation even when it's desperately required, but are always coming into your home unannounced, sitting down onto the couch next to you, holding your remote control, and deciding what you -- presumably a mature adult with a car and a real job and everything -- can watch on television.The FCC under Republican control (it's a five-member panel with a Republican president that gets to decide who gets nominated -- do the math) has been rebuked by the courts for trying to regulate far beyond what congress...
Initial proceedings for David Chase lawsuit begins today
The AP is reporting that jury selection for the lawsuit filed against The Sopranos creator David Chase was set to begin today. Apparently one of Chase's unofficial consultants is suing him over the success of the show, even though it's not really clear here what the legal claim is. Robert Baer, a prosecutor and former judge did some leg work well before the show went on the air to give Chase some background on the Jersey Mafia which inspired the show.It seems like the work Baer did amounts to little more than consulting, so I'm not sure what he thinks he's going to get out of this. The "he stole the show idea from me" rap never holds up in...
David Chase, The Sopranos
John McTiernan gets bail pending appeal
While I love some of the guys films, I can't say I care much for his conduct off the set. You know, little things like lying to federal investigators and stuff. I don't know what part McTiernan played in the Anthony Pellicano scandal, but it must have been serious or at least pretty embarassing if he lied to the feds about his involvement. Here's a thought though, I'm pretty sure Canada doesn't let people in that have criminal records at all, so McTiernan can't run off to film his stuff up north on the cheap anymore.McTiernan then tried to rescind the guilty plea for a bevy reasons: (1) he had been jetlagged at the time he was questioned by agents; (2)...
There's basically no news coming out this afternoon. A lot of people are looking forward to the 26th when the WGA and AMPTP return to the bargaining table, and I did read a story last night that said the total shutdown of scripted television figures to cost a little over $20 million per day once everything stops. It wasn't really clear if this was loss in revenue and/or profit for the studios and networks, or if that number included what writers and everyone else not working because of this strike are losing as well.Either way, that's a big number. If this strike lasts as long as the last one, we'll be looking at losses above $3 billion rather than the...
Chili Peppers going after Californication
There was a cute story in Variety yesterday about a lawsuit filed against Showtime over the title of their series Californication. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers think they own the name exclusively since they used it first, and foremost for both a CD and song title. The problem with that theory is that song titles generally don't qualify for trademark protection. Just have a look through any catalog and you'll see dozens of songs with the same title, all by different bands in different eras.The same goes for movie and television episode titles. Follow this imdb.com search to see what I mean.Something to consider is that trademark protection is not absolute, either. Because words are kind of a finite resource,...
One Drunk Actor That Wasn't So Lucky
Kelsey Grammer, Michele Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Daniel Day Kim, Lindsay Lohan, the list of irresposible drunk, rich actors is nearly endless. Luckily for those of us that can't afford the pay for the medical expenses caused by a car accident, most of these jerks don't end up hurting anyone but their own really expensive cars. Lane Garrison who was in the first season of Prison Break, and a little bit of the second, got behind the wheel and ended up with one dead kid and another severely injured, because they were just as retarded as he was and got in a car with a drunk in the first place.Garrison is now going to pay for what he's done, as they...
Warner Brothers Learning That Family Matters
Warner Brothers (the studio) is being sued by a former writer-producer for Family Matters over allegedly unpaid revenue sharing agreements and/or bonuses made years - in some cases decades - ago. If memory serves me, this is the third such lawsuit this year alone, although not all of them have been against Warner Brothers. These lawsuits stem over promises by the studios to share profits with series bigwigs, but only if the show can generate a profit on paper, otherwise those sharing agreements don't come into effect while the studio tries to recoup its production costs.Unfortunately for the people who actually make the show, the studios are notorious for juggling their accounting books in ways that would Enron blush. No...
Family Matters, Warner Brothers