“Friday the 13th” Screenwriter Victor Miller has successfully gained some rights over the classic film he wrote in the 80s. Specifically, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals awarded domestic rights to the Friday the 13th franchise. The producer who Miller was suing, Sean Cunningham, will retain copyrights over the foreign markets and any intellectual property derived from the sequels. 

Miller attempted to leverage the part of copyright law that allows authors to reclaim the rights to what they once created after waiting a statutory set period of time. During the lawsuit, Cunningham argued that Miller wrote the screenplay as a work-for-hire and was “thus ineligible for copyright termination.” Still, a judge disagreed, ruling that Miller was not a work-for-hire. 

The ruling is considered an important victory for screenwriters, “who have commonly lost ownership and power over their creations after handing them over to production companies.”

 

– Excerpt from an article for Geek Culture by Brandon Toh. Read the full article here.

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