05/19/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Washington – The Supreme Court has ruled that a lawsuit filed over interest in the Oscar-winning 1980 film “Raging Bull” can proceed. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), justices determined in a 6-3 decision that the daughter of late screenwriter Frank Petrella did not bring forth her copyright lawsuit against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer too late as a federal judge had previously ruled.

Paula Petrella, whose father collaborated with Jake LaMotta, the boxer on whom the film was based, on multiple projects, filed the suit claiming interest in the film. The copyrights of the elder Petrella were passed to Paula following his death in 1981.

A federal court ruled that because Paula Petrella had been aware that she could potentially file a lawsuit seeking royalties from commercial use of the film since 1991 she was too late in filing her case in 2009. The Supreme Court’s ruling Monday reversed the lower court’s decision.

Brad Newberg, a copyright law expert at the Reed Smith law firm in Northern Virginia, is quoted as stating of the impact of the high court’s decision on similar lawsuits filed against film studios, “What you have now is the ability for a plaintiff to come out of the woodwork and say that some creative work that was a hit in the 70s, 80s or 90s belonged to them…I would say there’s now going to be an explosion of these types of cases.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Washington Legal News

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