The Friday the 13th Copyright Case Could Tear Apart Further Entries in the Franchise - Dread Central
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The Friday the 13th Copyright Case Could Tear Apart Further Entries in the Franchise

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Back in August of last year, we wrote about the legal battle between Victor Miller, the original screenwriter of Friday the 13th, and Horror, Inc., and the Manny Company, who represent Sean Cunningham. The issue is that Miller is trying to use a provision in copyright law that allows authors to terminate a grant of rights and reclaim ownership, giving him Friday the 13th. Meanwhile, Cunningham and Co. are saying that Miller was a work-made-for-hire, which invalidates any right he has to claim ownership in this case.

Today, more news about this issue has come forward and it seems that there might be a compromise in the works between the defendant and the plaintiffs. However, it’s not going to be viewed as a popular one, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Attorney Marc Toberoff, who is representing Miller, has raised the following possibility (per THR): “Whereas Miller will thereby recover the U.S. copyright to his original film treatment and screenplay this does not prevent the continued exploitation by Plaintiffs or their licensees of prior derivative works, including the 1980 film and its many sequels; it solely relates to new derivative works after the effective 2018 termination date. Furthermore, as the U.S. Copyright Act has no extra-territorial application, the foreign rights to Miller’s screenplay remain with Plaintiffs or their licensees.

Alright, that’s all well and good but what does it mean, you ask? In simple terms, it basically means that Miller will retain ownership of the concepts presented in the first film on a domestic basis. That means he owns the Friday the 13th name. However, Cunningham and Co. would retain the rights to Jason, because the infamous version we all know and love was only brought to life in “derivative” works.

Ergo, Miller could make Friday the 13th films in the US that don’t feature Jason while Cunningham could make Jason films outside of the US that do include Voorhees. Is it a compromise? Sure. Is it one that we would like to see come to fruition? While I love the idea of the franchise moving away from Jason, I’d like to see them do it on their own terms and not because of some legal complication.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what Paramount can whip up in the midst of this situation. Until then, us horror fans will have to suffer without another Friday the 13th film.

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Syfy Renews Z Nation for a 5th Season; Season 4 Finale Airs Tonight!

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Syfy’s popular zombie series “Z Nation” just keeps shambling on, and tonight the two-episode Season 4 finale, “Mt. Weather/The Black Rainbow,” airs. If you’re a fan of the show, we have good news for you… it’s not over yet as David Latt of The Asylum has announced on Twitter the pickup of “Z Nation” for a 5th season! So you can expect lots more adventures with the gang in 2018.

Below is the official word from David along with a brief synopsis of what’s ahead tonight in the finale, which kicks off at 9/8c.

Synopsis:
In the mind-bending two-hour Season 4 finale, Warren and the team must stop Zona from launching operation Black Rainbow, which will cleanse the landscape of both zombies and humans. In Part 2 the secret of Warren’s Black Rainbow dream is unlocked when they reach their final destination. The cast includes Kellita Smith as Roberta Warren, Keith Allan as Murphy, Russell Hodgkinson as Doc, Nat Zang as 10K, Gracie Gillam as Sgt. Lilley, DJ Qualls as Citizen Z, Ramona Young as Kaya, Justin Torrence as President Donald Trump, Michael Berryman as The Founder, Micheal Daks as Mr. Sunshine, Anastasia Baranova as Addy, Sydney Viengluang as Sun Mei, Joseph Gatt as The Man, and Natalie Jongjaroenlarp as Red.

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First Look at Chris Alexander’s Space Vampire

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Who says all vampires have to be all extra-broody or sparkly or take up residence in Transylvania? Certainly not indie filmmaker Chris Alexander, who has just unveiled the first images and posters for his latest foray into film, Space Vampire!

The movie stars Ali Chappell as a beautiful female alien parasite who falls to earth with an intent to drain women of their life forces. As if women don’t have enough problems in this day and age!

Alexander wrote, directed, edited, filmed, and even provided the score for this intergalactic terror tale. Talk about a jack of all trades, eh?

Enough talk! Dig in!

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Rob Zombie Narrates Charles Manson’s Last Words to a Wider Audience

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Charles Manson. The name alone lives on in infamy even long after his physical remains lay rotting… and rightly so. A new docudrama entitled Charles Manson: The Final Words is on its way, and we have new details and behind-the-scenes imagery for you. Check it out!

The flick made its premiere on the REELZ Channel, and Breakthrough Entertainment has announced that they’ve acquired worldwide distribution rights to the project that features narration from Rob Zombie and is home to the final interview given by America’s most notorious and now deceased cult-leader and mass murderer, Charles Manson.

The opportunity that we have to offer this distinct and truly unique documentary to our international clients is beyond exciting for Breakthrough Entertainment,” said Craig McGillivray, Vice President, Distribution at Breakthrough Entertainment. “We are continuously focused on sourcing captivating new premium content that pushes the envelope and generates mass attention such as this amazing film from James Buddy Day and Pyramid Productions.

The two-hour film narrated by musician Zombie focuses on the so-called Manson family murders told from Manson’s perspective using never-before-seen case files, pictures, and exclusive interviews with Manson himself from inside California State Prison. The feature documentary reveals new details that unveil the true story and motives behind the grisly murder spree. The audio used in the doc contains the last recorded interviews with the infamous killer conducted by director and producer James Buddy Day.

It has been a truly distinct project for us and an experience that very few producers encounter. This film has the potential to captivate global audiences, and we are very excited to have Breakthrough Entertainment on board to share this one-of-a-kind documentary,” says James Buddy Day, Executive Producer at Pyramid Productions.

Look for more on this one soon!

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