Copyright decision over ‘Raging Bull’ could give copyright plaintiffs a second wind

SCOTUS says copyright suits only subject to Copyright Act limitations

Despite age, some movies have a legacy that continues to inspire decades after release. For the award-winning classic “Raging Bull,” that influence now also extends into legislation. Earlier this week the Supreme Court weighed in on copyright issues surrounding the movie and came to a decision likely to increase the risks associated with copyright agreements.

The issue lies in the rights to a book and subsequent screenplay that the movie may or may not have been based off of. Frank Patrella along with boxer Jake LaMotta (the subject of the movie) penned that screenplay in 1963. When Patrella died, the copyrights were taken over by his heir, Paula Patrella. Paula Patrella renewed the copyright in 1991, and then filed suit in 2009 for copyright infringement against Metro Goldwyn Mayer Inc. (MGM)

Executive Editor

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

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