2nd Circ. Ruling May Be A Royal Pain For Movie, TV Studios

Law360, New York (June 27, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT) -- Movie studios and TV networks face the prospect of having to mount longer and more costly defenses to suits by writers who claim their ideas were stolen, after the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday that copyright law doesn't trump suits claiming idea theft amounts to a breach of contract, attorneys said.

The appeals court held that a contract suit by "Star Wars" actor Hayden Christensen, who claims the USA Network turned an idea he pitched into the medical drama "Royal Pains" without compensating him, was not preempted by copyright law. The Ninth Circuit used the same reasoning in a different case last...

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