Entertainment lawsuit filed over distribution of “Atlas Shrugged: Part One”

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Did you ever see the movie “Atlas Shrugged: Part One”? Probably not, because Miami wasn’t the only city where moviegoers largely ignored this film. Despite being an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s famous and well-respected novel, it made almost no money when it was released in 2011 and quickly disappeared from theaters.

Recently, the production company behind the movie filed suit against Relativity media, its distributor, and Netflix, alleging that they each failed to pay a $1.5 million fee to release “Atlas Shrugged: Part One” on home video. Lawsuits such as this are quite common in entertainment law.

The company that made the movie, Atlas Productions, said in its lawsuit that it had fulfilled all the terms of the agreement in entered into with Relativity and Netflix, but has not been paid. Furthermore, it alleges Netflix committed copyright infringement by releasing “Atlas Shrugged: Part One” without fulfilling the terms of its agreement.

All told, Atlas Productions is alleging unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation, copyright infringement and breach of contract.

Although it is impossible to remove every possible source of legal friction, having an attorney who understands the intricacies and details specific to entertainment law on your side can really help head off a lot of potential future problems. Such attorneys know what to look out for, what to prepare for and how to best represent your interests. In a field like entertainment, where it’s definitely true that not all that glitters is gold, having counsel and advice you can count on is very important.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Netflix, Relativity Sued Over ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Distribution Deal,” Matthew Belloni, May 30, 2012