THR, Esq. just released the top 10 Hollywood Lawsuits for 2010. It is an interesting read. Excerpts follow:
“It was another active year on the Hollywood legal docket. Here’s our list of the top 10 cases, as judged by significance to the entertainment industry, the amount of attention the litigation received, and/or the novelty of the legal issues in play. We’ll start with by far the biggest showbiz legal story of the year…
1. The Walt Disney Co. vs. Celador
If Disney had known that in July a federal jury would award a staggering $319 million to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire producer Celador Intl.—the largest jury verdict ever in a so-called “Hollywood accounting” case—the studio would never have taken the six-year legal fight all the way to a trial. That’s the lesson Hollywood learned from the year’s most important case, which quickly became a cautionary tale for studios debating whether to fight profit participants over revenue from hit franchises. In December, Disney’s motion for a new trial was denied, ensuring that the Millionaire case will now be appealed to the Ninth Circuit—so we won’t get a final answer in the case for perhaps years.
2. Hurt Locker Producer vs. Army of Pirates
In what might be the ballsiest antipiracy lawsuit of the year, Voltage Pictures in May sued 5,000 individuals who were alleged to have downloaded its Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker off of torrent websites. The suit represented the biggest legal action against end-users of pirated content since the record industry’s aborted legal campaign against tens of thousands of song thieves. Voltage hired an upstart law firm, the U.S. Copyright Group, on a contingency basis to go after a massive number of alleged file-sharers in just a single lawsuit. The defendants were anonymous, but ISPs were subpoenaed for customer identification, creating a nightmarish burden on those companies to look up flagged IP addresses. The U.S. Copyright Group has thus far successfully beat back subpoena squash motions. Recently, USCG dismissed many of the defendants from the lawsuit but say they are in the process of filing follow-up litigation against these individuals around the country. . .”
THR, Esq. has the full story.