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James Bond Copyright Lawsuit

James Bond Copyright Lawsuit

Ratings: (0)|Views: 22|Likes:
Published by Mark H. Jaffe
Copyright lawsuit, alleging that upcoming film is a ripoff of James Bond films. James Bond is a character protected by copyright.
Copyright lawsuit, alleging that upcoming film is a ripoff of James Bond films. James Bond is a character protected by copyright.

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Published by: Mark H. Jaffe on Apr 06, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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05/21/2014

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ROBERT
M.
SCHWARTZ
(S.B.
#1171(i6)
rschwartz@omm.com CASSANDRA
L.
SETO
(S.B.
#2.+(608)
cseto@omm.com BRIAN
J.
FINKELSTEIN
(S.B.
#26
I
} )O)
brianfinkelstein@omm.com
O'MELVENY
MYERS LLP 1999 Avenue
of
the Stars, 7th Floor Los Angeles, California 90067-6035 Telephone: (310) 553-6700 MARC
A.
BECKER
(S.B.
138Xn)
marcbecker@guinnemanuel.com QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART
&
SULLIVAN, LLP 865 S. Figueroa Street, 10th Floor Los Angeles, California 90017 Telephone: (213) 443-3000 Attorneys for Plaintiffs
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT
OF
ALIFORl~IA
DANJAQ, LLC, a Delaware limited
.f:'
liability company;
METRO GOLDWY~
MA YER STUDIOS INC., a Delaware cOrPoration; UNITED ARTISTS CORPORATION, a Delaware cOrPoration; SEVENTEEN LEASING CORPORATION, a Delaware cOrPoration; EIGHTEEN LEASING CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation; NINETEEN LEASING CORPORATION, a Delaware cOrPoration; TWENTY LEASING CORPORATION, a Delaware cOrPoration; and TWENTY -ONE LEASING
COMPANY
LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Plaintiffs, vs. UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; NBCUNIVERSAL MEDIA, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; and AARON BERG, an individual, Defendants.
L
PJ JD
--
APR
-3
2014
2
D
\)
17
S
-
COl\tIPLAINT FOR:
1.
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEl\tIENT; 2. CONTRIBUTORY COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT; 3. VICARIOUS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT; AND
4.
INDUCEMENT
OF
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEl\;IENT DEMAND
FOR
JURY TRIAL
PORTIONS
PROVISIONALLY
FILED
UNDER
SEAL
AT
DEFENDANTS'
REQUEST
COMPLAINT
 
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8
9
10
11
2
13
4
IS
6
17
18
9
20
2
22 23
24
25
26
27
28 Plaintiffs Danjaq, LLC C'Danjaq ) and Metro-Ooldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; United Artists Corporation; Seventeen Leasing Corporation; Eighteen Leasing Corporation; Nineteen Leasing Corporation; Twenty Leasing Corporation; and Twenty-One Leasing Company LLC (collectively
MOM ),
for their complaint against defendants Universal City Studios LLC and NBC Universal Media, LLC (collectively Universal ) and defendant Aaron Berg, allege as follows:
JURISDICTION
1
This
is
an action for copyright infringement arising under
17
U.S.C.
§§
101
et seq
The Court has federal question subject matter jurisdiction over the action under 28 U.S,C.
§§
1331 and 1338(a), as this action asserts copyright claims arising under the laws
of
the United States,
NATURE
OF
THE
CTION
2. This lawsuit concerns a motion picture project,
in
active development, featuring a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by His Majesty's Secret Service, with a license to kill, and a
00
( double-O ) secret agent number, on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot
of
a megalomaniacal villain. Most moviegoers would assume from that description alone that this lawsuit concerns the next
James Bond
motion picture.
It
does not. This lawsuit instead
is
about a
James Bond
knockoff that defendant Universal is readying for production, based
on
a screenplay that defendant Berg wrote, 3. Instead
of
creating something original, Universal and Berg decided to take an easier path, by freely helping themselves
to
vast portions
of
the copyrightprotected expression that Ian Fleming created, and that Danjaq and
MOM
further developed over the last fifty-plus years,
in
writing more than a dozen novels and short story collections and in producing twenty-three motion pictures. That body
of
James Bond
works, each fully protected by United States copyright law, constitutes some
of
the most widely admired, critically acclaimed, and financially successful entertainment ever created.
COMPLAINT
 
-
-
4. Oanjaq and
lVIGM
did not develop the intellectual property that
2
underlies and appears in the
James Bond
motion pictures so that Universal and Berg
3
could grab it for their
own
use and profit. But that is exactly what defendants are
4
doing. Universal's project, titled
Section
6
misappropriates from the
James Bond
5
works far beyond the signature aspects
of
James Bond, described above. Universal
6
and Berg have copied in detail nearly every aspect
of
the characters, plots, dialogue,
7
themes, setting, mood, and other key elements
of
the copyrighted
James Bond
8
literary works and motion pictures. Universal and Berg have also copied the unique
9
combination
of
those elements that, when taken together, define
and
distinguish
10
Danjaq
and
MGM's
James Bond
motion pictures and make them so distinctly
11
recognizable to the public. Without limiting the generality
of
the foregoing,
12
defendants have misappropriated:
13
a
The James Bond Character:
As
this Court ruled in holding that
14
plaintiffs' James Bond character is, by itself, protected by copyright, James
15
Bond has distinctive customs, traits, and mannerisms that have
been
16
expressed in the numerous motion pictures that feature him.
1
Defendants
17
have misappropriated those customs, traits,
and
mannerisms.
For
example, to
18
ensure that audiences immediately think
of
James
Bond
when they see and
19
hear defendants' British agent, defendants'
Bond
knockoff introduces 20 himself as Duncan. Alec
Duncan -a
theft
of
what The American Film
21
Institute has recognized as
one
of
the
Top 25
lines
of
dialogue in motion 22 picture history, in which the real James Bond introduces
himself
as Bond.
23
James Bond. Equally infringing, defendants imbue their James Bond 24 knockoff with a license to kill (a fictional invention
of
James Bond creator
25
Ian Fleming), employment by
His
Majesty's Secret Service (a term that Ian 26 Fleming created to refer to the British Intelligence Service and that became 27 28
I
See iWetro-Goldwvn-A1ayer
file
v
l\merican Honda
IWofor
Co.
900
F
Supp. 1287, 1296 (C.D. CaL 19(4).
CO\IPL INT

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