Is new 'Wall Street' a spinoff or a sequel? Michael Douglas' ex-wife wants to know

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Is new 'Wall Street' a spinoff or a sequel? Michael Douglas' ex-wife wants to know

Wed Jun 30, 2010 @ 10:39AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

As Gordon Gekko said: "Greed is good."

Michael Douglas' ex-wife, Diandra, now wants a cut from his "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" payday. At issue is language in a decade-old divorce agreement that Diandra Douglas says in a new court action entitles her to money from "spinoffs" of work created when the couple was married. In response, Michael Douglas says that "Wall Street 2" isn't a "spinoff" but rather a "sequel."

Is it? Interesting legal issue. The divorce agreement apparently didn't clarify what a "spinoff" means. In terms of copyright law, both are derivative works. That doesn't mean that a judge will see them as the same (although we can be sure there's a lesson here for both divorce and entertainment lawyers).

ABC News filed this interesting report on the subject and had two lawyers debate the subject:

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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