Copyright infringement suit against Angelina Jolie forges ahead

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” did not do much at the box office. But Miami residents might be hearing about it again soon because a lawsuit filed against Jolie by an author who claims she unlawfully used his book as the basis of her film nears its start date.

Jolie, her film’s distributor and the film’s production company were sued by Croatian author James Braddock in December. He claimed that “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” a drama about refugees in the war-torn Balkans, used his 2007 book “The Soul Shattering.”

The defendants tried to have the suit dismissed, but to no avail. Attorneys for the defendants have said they plan to ask for summary judgment, which means they will ask a judge to agree that the plaintiff cannot prove the required elements of his claim.

Jolie has said she did not base “In the Land of Blood and Honey” on “The Soul Shattering,” but rather on her work with the United Nations and Bosnia. Her claim is that “In the Land of Blood and Honey” was created independently and any similarities between the two works are pure coincidence and, therefore, are not actionable.

If the case makes it to trial, it will be a very complicated lawsuit. Discovery would have to take place in both Europe and the U.S. and getting a busy star like Jolie to participate might be hard.

Our law firm works on intellectual property matters such as this. If you want to know more about the sort of cases we take, you could visit our website, which is accessible by the link in the previous sentence.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Angelina Jolie ‘Blood and Honey’ Lawsuit Heats Up as Lawyers Fight Over Private Information,” Eriq Gardner, Oct. 31, 2012