Decisions Roundup: 'King of Party Crashers' Suit vs. New Line Crashes At Appeals Court

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Decisions Roundup: 'King of Party Crashers' Suit vs. New Line Crashes At Appeals Court

Wed Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:17AM PST

Posted by Matthew Heller

Gavel_celeb_20061127Case: Reginald v. New Line Cinema

Court: Calif. 2nd District Ct. of Appeal

Date: March 5, 2008 (unpublished)

Facts: Plaintiff Rex Reginald, the so-called King of Party Crashers, pitched his unpublished work "The Party Crasher's Handbook" to United Talent Agency and New Line Cinema chief Bob Shaye. After the release of "Wedding Crashers," he sued UTA, which represents stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, and New Line for breach of an implied contract not to use his concept without his consent or without crediting and compensating him. A trial judge summarily dismissed the case, finding no substantial similarity between plaintiff's concept and "Wedding Crashers."

Holding: The only similarity between the works is that "both include crashing a wedding and elements
common to such an event" and "when the [plaintiff's] concept and the film are each viewed as a whole, as a matter of law, there is no substantial similarity between plaintiff’s concept and Wedding Crashers that gives rise to a triable issue of material fact regarding whether defendants used plaintiff’s concept in breach of any implied contract for credit and compensation between the parties."

To view the opinion, click here.

Case: Arista Records v. Does 1-7

Court: USDC, S. W.Va.

Date: April 14, 2008

Facts: Marshall University filed a motion to quash an RIAA subpoena seeking documents which would identify students who allegedly used university computers to illegally download recordings.

Holding: The trial court rejected Marshall's argument that compliance with the subpoena would impose an undue burden on its resources. "By requiring plaintiffs to serve an amended subpoena making it clear that they seek only identifying information with respect to the person associated with the IP address at the date and time of the alleged infringing use, the perceived burden should be considerably reduced," the court said. "This together with the fact that, absent the identifying information from the university, plaintiffs simply cannot proceed with their lawsuit, establishes to the Court’s satisfaction that Marshall University’s obligation under the subpoena is not unduly burdensome."

To view the opinion, click here.

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