Monday, January 20, 2014

As trial nears, 9th Circuit Court accused of favoring Hollywood

McClatchy reports:
The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is known for progressive rulings that champion individual rights over government and corporations, but when it comes to show business, the "Hollywood Circuit" -as it has been called - stands accused of routinely siding with the home-turf entertainment industry.

Judges famously sided with film studios in the early 1980s when the studios sued Sony for infringing their copyrights by selling the Betamax video recorders. Had the Supreme Court not reversed the decision, the home video industry might never have been born.

In another case, the majority sided with "Wheel of Fortune" TV personality Vanna White when she claimed her "right to publicity" had been violated by a commercial spoof featuring a robot with a blond wing who stood next to big block letters.

Now, the court's alleged pro-Hollywood slant is being cited again by a screenwriter's daughter who on Tuesday will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a 9th Circuit decision that blocked her copyright claim against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in a dispute over the 1980 movie "Raging Bull."

Hollywood sure likes the political system.