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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:00 am 
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Ya think? :P

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:09 pm 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
Almost exactly a year ago, not long after it was announced that Jackson was out of the Hobbit, I wrote:

Quote:
I've already gone on record as saying that Peter Jackson WILL make the Hobbit, with Howard Shore providing the soundtrack. I suspect that it will be made in around 2009 or 2010, and released in 2010 or 2011.


http://www.thehalloffire.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=65893#65893




V, this reminds me of one of my favourite scenes in Blackadder, where George is defending Edmund in his court martial case:

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Edmund: George, I'm in trouble here... I'm not sure your particular brand of mindless optimism is going to contribute much to the proceedings.

George: Well, that's a shame, sir, because I was planning on playing the mindless optimism card very strongly.


;) :poke: :poke:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:26 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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solicitr wrote:
That goddess or demigoddess (without necessarily imputing gender) at some times identified by the Latin name Aurora (without prejudice to other names which may be or at previous times have been applied in Greek nor to cognate gods/goddesses existing or formerly existing in the cultural mythologies of other cultures including, but not limited to, Persian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Akkadian, Thracian, and/or Celtic); characterised by 'fingers' (without hereby alleging that said god/goddess necessarily maintains at all or any times an anthropomorphic form) of a roseate color falling within the range of of electromagnetic wavelengths defined by the American Physical Institute as "red", without thereby alleging that the said god/goddess is possessed at any or all times of visibly identifiable color in the extremities (assuming without alleging that such extremities do or do not exist).


There's something wonderfully ironic about how lawyerese's goal seems to be to make any simple statement so painfully, undeniably, exactly clear that it obfuscates any and all clarity the statement may have had. :P

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:39 am 
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The Complaint is now online at

http://news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs/en ... 08cmp.html


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:50 am 
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I was just about to post that!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:06 am 
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solicitr wrote:


HoME XIII: The War of the Films - The Legal Proceedings of Middle-earth

BrianIs :) AtYou

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:56 am 
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perhaps they can play the court case as one of the DVD-Extra's - or even the blooper reel from the court case - that should be exciting.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:03 pm 
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That pleading's a bit of an eye opener and no mistake. Quite different stylistically from the way we do it in England.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:23 pm 
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It's pretty different from how I do things here in California, too. Aravar. I can't help but wonder why, if the facts are so strongly in their favor, they rely so heavily on rhetoric, rather than letting the facts speak for themselves. The contracts really should be attached as exhibits, or at the very least, the operative clauses should be quoted verbatim at length.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
The contracts really should be attached as exhibits, or at the very least, the operative clauses should be quoted verbatim at length.


I found that very surprising, especially as it is asserted that there are specific contractual clauses providing for termination, rather than a right to terminate because of breach.

The rhetoric doesn't seem to add anything to the substance of the claim.

It is interesting to see the remedies that are being sought. Some are familiar, but others such as the claim for punitive damages and a remedial constructive trust are alien.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:37 pm 
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Aravar wrote:
The rhetoric doesn't seem to add anything to the substance of the claim.


I agree.

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It is interesting to see the remedies that are being sought. Some are familiar, but others such as the claim for punitive damages and a remedial constructive trust are alien.


Those are based on the fraud cause of action, which strikes me as pretty meritless. It seems to me to be a straight breach of contract claim.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:00 pm 
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Here in Virginia also in a contract action the contract should be attached and incorporated in the pleading. This Complaint does rather read like it was drafted for the press, not the court.

On the other hand, Bonnie Eskenazi has a prtty impressive track record, including Katzenberg's profit-participation suit against Disney, and successfully reverting the rights to the Alvin & the Chipmiunks characters (ironically she's also successfully defended some creative-accounting cases). Now if the suit goes down in flames I'll be happy to criticize; but as things stand I'm prepared to accept that she knows more about showbiz law than I do.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Oh, I'm sure that she knows more about the entertainment law biz than I do. Doesn't mean I have to like it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:14 pm 
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Quote:
Those are based on the fraud cause of action, which strikes me as pretty meritless. It seems to me to be a straight breach of contract claim.


Let's wait for some more details- if New Lin'es accounting and reprtage involved significant wilful misrepresentations of fact, if the bookkeeping was designed to conceal moneys lawfully owed, then a case of common-law fraud has been made out.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:17 pm 
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"The bookkeeping was designed to conceal moneys lawfully owed" is a pretty concise summary of any studio's business plan, from what I hear.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Come on, soli. You and I both know how hard it is to assert a fraud cause of action in a breach of contract case. This is spin for the media, pure and simple.

Just as you suggested.

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And here I was all of these years assuming Tolkien had sold the movie rights. Wait he did but with stipulations?

You would think that if a studio or any business like New Line had such a sordid record, that the state AG would step in at some point.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:24 pm 
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In California?

Studios have way too much influence in Sacramento for CA ever to pass legislation reforming the whole sorry business of Hollywood Accounting, much less the AG's office getting involved. Moreover the prospect of prosecutorial involvement would *not* be welcome to the plaintiffs, as then the principal defendants could take the Fifth and dummy up.


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Ok I'll ask a few specific questions.

Tolkien sold the movie rights to LOTR long ago to UA. Obviously when New Line acquired the rights, they were bound to the original contract. Where, if anywhere, are the details of the original contract listed?

What are the statute of limitations of a breach of contract suit? Seems this is kind of long in the tooth no? Certainly the Tolkien Estate made a discovery of not getting their money and the clock must have started ticking a while ago.

Can it be construed the the Estate is using this late filing date to their advantage, and is putting New Line in an unfair disadvantage? The timing of this is failrly suspect.

The movie rights to the Hobbit are different than those from LOTR. Where, if anywhere, are the details of the this contract listed?

As stated, perhaps the Tolkien Estate does not file lawsuits on whims, but they are certainly all business when going after non-licensed coffee mugs. =:)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Vor: Difficult, yes. The problem in this case is not proving wilful misrepresentation, but rather proving plaintiffs were injured by relying on those misrepresentations, since it's pretty clear the TE haven't believed NLC's numbers from Day One. But that's common-law fraud.

However- jeez, this is NY law- somewhere in the back of my head I dimly recall the existence of a NY statutory tort called something like 'fiduciary fraud', which is pretty much strict liability any time a fiduciary knowingly and wilfully provides a false accounting.

EDIT: Aha! This might be relevant. NY 2006,
Quote:
The plaintiffs -- the surviving Beatles Richard "Ringo Starr" Starkey and Sir James Paul McCartney; Yoko Ono Lennon; George Harrison's estate; Apple Corps and Apple Records; and McCartney's company MPL Communications -- claimed that Capitol/EMI under-reported sales, concealed "lucrative" music-video deals and conducted "secret" transactions with record clubs, among other misdeeds. As in Apple I, a primary accusation was that the record company designated millions of dollars of merchandise as discardable "scrap," then resold the items without forwarding royalties.


The Court permitted all three counts- breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud- to go forward.

2D EDIT: Can't find anything on 'fiduciary fraud' (although it might explain that puzzling 'constructive trust' count)- but it does appear that NY counts specious overbilling as fraud- and that presumably would extend to debiting fictitious 'costs' against the plaintiffas' participation. "Aggressive earnings management" of the Enron sort is generally accepted a a species of fraud.


Last edited by solicitr on Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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