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Miami, FL Law Blog for Entertainment Law, Business Law, and Public Interest

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paramount seeks to quash 'Godfather' book prequel

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

There are a number of movie franchises that stand apart in the minds and wallets of the public. For example, while many die-hard fans of the original Star Wars trilogy criticized the three new prequels, it is very likely that they all went to the theatre to see the films. The films also brought in an entire new generation of fans. Once a studio has done the heavy lifting of established a brand like 'Indiana Jones' or, in this case, the 'Godfather' it may go to great lengths to protect its brand.

Last week, Paramount Pictures filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the planned July publication of the book "The Family Corleone." The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the publication of the book as well as damages.

The book at issue was adapted from an unfinished screenplay by Mario Puzo, he shared two best screenplay Oscars for his writing on "The Godfather" and "The Godfather II." But paramount claims that it purchased the copyright for the "Godfather" in 1969. Mario Puzo's son, Anthony, is behind the proposed publication of the prequel. The Studio did have an agreement with Anthony Puzo to publish one sequel. This first sequel was well received by boththe public and critics. A second sequel, that Paramount claims was not authorized, was much less well received by both critics and the public.

The integrity of a movie or book franchise is key to its ongoing ability to generate profits. The same is true for individual singers and actors, after doing all of the initial legwork to develop a successful brand, it is important to protect it so that you can enjoy its success rather than have others who improperly try to cash in

Source: Daily News, "Studio wants 'Godfather' prequel whacked," Robert Gearty, Feb. 21, 2012
 


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