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Titanium Dragon


TD writes and reviews pony fanfiction, and has a serious RariJack addiction. Send help and/or ponies.

More Blog Posts567

Sep
3rd
2017

It IS a ghost story - they're ALL made up! · 11:08pm Sep 3rd, 2017

Warner Brothers is being sued over The Conjuring, a series of movies loosely based on the "true story" of Ed and Lorraine Warren and the haunting of a certain house, in what is possibly one of the most amusing lawsuits I've heard about this week.

They're being sued by Gerald Brittle, a man who secured exclusive rights to the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, "paranormal investigators" who investigated a "haunting" and, well, made up a bunch of bullshit, that he wrote into a 1980 book (which, of course, presented itself as a true story). He is now suing Warner Brothers on the basis of them violating his intellectual property.

Now, you cannot own exclusive rights to historical facts - they cannot be copyrighted. But because, as Mr. Brittle argues, the entire story was, in fact, made up, and has absolutely no historical basis whatsoever, it is, in fact, a work of fiction, however it was presented. And, therefore, it was the intellectual property of Ed and Lorraine Warren, until they sold him the rights to their pack of lies, and thus, now he has exclusive rights to it.

Therefore, Warner Brothers, by making movies loosely based on the works that he owns the rights to, owes him money - to the tune of $900 million.

I look forward to the day where a very serious lawyer has to argue over whether or not ghosts are real in a court of law.

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Comments ( 15 )

People have sued over dumber things

Truth is subjective, especially when money becomes involved.

Once again, proof that greed is dumber than a box of rocks.

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Or politics, or religion, or ideology, or the objective worth of a My Little Pony episode.
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Just sayin'. :twilightoops:

So he basically lied about published work... Isn't that illegal?

I am a writer who has recently been doing research into Title 17 U.S. Code so I might convince my college that, yes, I have exclusive rights to my fanfics and they should unban FimFiction on campus Wi-Fi. (Because I don't have an unlimited data plan, and I'm a poor, broke, college student.) I know I have little legal standing outside of proving that my stuff is mine (which should be obvious, but whatevs), but I'm hoping that if I make it sound official enough, they'll buckle anyways.

That said, our boy Gerald, who is doing the suing, should have the legal high ground with only one exception: if passing off a fictitious story as a true one for the purpose of making a profit through a work or for the purpose of increasing the profits made by that work should be found to be unlawful, Gerald loses.

(Wow. I think the legal jargon is slipping into my writing. Look at that last paragraph! :rainbowlaugh: Should I be proud or worried?)

Well, you know, it's historical fact that they claimed these events happened, so that much I don't think would be an issue. And take a look at the blurb on top of the book:

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZJG7BtxhL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

He's making money off the film connection. OTOH, the director has mentioned having read the book, so they can't claim not being aware of it.

The writers of the film apparently interviewed Lorraine Warren a buncha times when writing the movie script. I wonder which side of things she's on?

I bet Gerald could be sued for having presented his book as non-fiction based on him now saying it is entirely made up. :unsuresweetie:

--Sweetie Belle

Brings new meaning to the phrase "Possession is nine parts of the law..."
(sorry)

And Lawyer's Fees are the other ninety-one.

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From the article:

Brittle says at the time he was writing The Demonologist, he believed the Warrens' accounts of their work to be true. Now believing he was duped, the author says the allegedly based on real-life films are "at best" unauthorized derivative works.

This seems like rather tenuous legal reasoning, though (and really kind of undermines his argument against Warner Brothers). Doubly so considering that it continues to say "true" on the cover.

I bet Gerald could be sued for having presented his book as non-fiction based on him now saying it is entirely made up.

Very possibly! But that wouldn't necessarily absolve Warner Brothers of wrongdoing.

The writers of the film apparently interviewed Lorraine Warren a buncha times when writing the movie script. I wonder which side of things she's on?

She gave Warner Brothers permission to make the movie. Brittle claims that, because she sold him the rights to the (fictional) story already, she couldn't then sell those same rights to WB.

frickin "darling" slippin' into rarity quotes even when it's not there in the show...

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This seems like rather tenuous legal reasoning, though (and really kind of undermines his argument against Warner Brothers). Doubly so considering that it continues to say "true" on the cover.

He's kinda trying to have it both ways here. It's rather convenient to start believing something isn't true right when it financially benefits you.

Besides, aren't the rights to the true story, not anything that was made up?

Very possibly! But that wouldn't necessarily absolve Warner Brothers of wrongdoing.

It'd probably be good grounds for a countersuit by them, though.

She gave Warner Brothers permission to make the movie. Brittle claims that, because she sold him the rights to the (fictional) story already, she couldn't then sell those same rights to WB.

Wonder if those rights were actually in general, or just book rights?

She gave Warner Brothers permission to make the movie. Brittle claims that, because she sold him the rights to the (fictional) story already, she couldn't then sell those same rights to WB.

I bet she's going to end up being called in on this and asked to testify on the truth of her and Ed's accounts of events. Should be interesting!

--Sweetie Belle

This has come up before.

Consider a medium. If she tricks people into thinking ghosts are real by using gimmicks like speakers and wires, that's highly illegal because it's fraud. It's only legal if she actually believes she's communicating with ghosts, and also believes she is not unfairly exaggerating the reality and effects produced by ghosts.

So mediums are either felonious charlatans, or they're legal by way of being completely bucking insane.

Well I know ghosts are real since I saw a real one. I didn't believe in them until I actually saw one. So it's just one of those things you have to see to believe.

On the other hoof - she did sell the guy the film rights - and then sold them again to WB. That's kind of a dick move.

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