Paul Llewellyn Offers Insights on Supreme Court Ruling in Screenplay Copyright Case in Reuters

As seen in Reuters’ “‘Raging Bull’ Revival Emboldens Others with Old Claims: Lawyers”

May 20, 2014

Reuters reports on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., in which the court ruled that the daughter of deceased screenwriter Frank Petrella could proceed with a lawsuit against MGM claiming that the 1983 movie Raging Bull infringed the copyright on a screenplay her father wrote in 1963. The case had previously been thrown out by the Ninth Circuit due to the many years that had passed since the screenplay was written and the movie produced, but the Supreme Court voiced the opinion that the equitable doctrine of laches will not automatically preclude copyright owners from filing a lawsuit after such delays.

Many copyright lawyers believe that the decision will lead to a flood of litigation brought by artists attempting to profit off of works created many years prior. However, Kaye Scholer Partner Paul Llewellyn, Co-Head of the firm’s Trademark, Copyright & False Advertising Practice, voiced skepticism that this would happen, as “it’s an unknown how many copyright claimants are sitting on the sidelines.”

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