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'Friday The 13th' Ruling Will 'Upend' Movies, Producer Says

June 4, 2019Article
Law360

By Bill Donahue

Law360 (June 4, 2019, 11:41 AM EDT) -- The producers of the “Friday the 13th” franchise on Monday launched an appeal to the Second Circuit in their closely watched copyright battle with the screenwriter of the original film, warning that a ruling last year for the author threatens to "upend" how movies are made.

The appeal follows a decision in September that allowed screenwriter Victor Miller to regain the rights to his screenplay under the Copyright Act’s so-called termination right — a rule designed to let authors reclaim control of works they signed over to a company years ago.

On Monday, franchise producer Horror Inc. told the Second Circuit that Miller was an employee who wrote the movie as a “work for hire” at the behest of the film’s director, meaning he never had any rights to begin with.

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