Friday, 30 December 2011

New ?Ghost Hunters? Lawsuit Filed Against NBCUniversal

There is a new chapter in the five-year legal battle between two producers and NBCUniversal over the hit Syfy franchise Ghost Hunters, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The producers, parapsychologist Larry Montz and publicist Daena Smoller, have filed a new breach of implied contract lawsuit against NBCUniversal claiming that Ghost Hunters is based on a concept they originally pitched to the company between 1996 and 2003. Along with NBCU and its cable networks division that includes Syfy, the complaint also names Ghost Hunters executive producer Craig Piligian and star/producer Jason Hawes. (Copy of the lawsuit can be found here.) The new lawsuit, filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, comes less than 2 months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by NBUniversal to review a lower court ruling that reinstated a complaint by Montz and Smoller alleging that Syfy stole the idea for Ghost Hunters. Montz and Smoller first filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal in 2006. They lost in district court on the issue of copyright, but the case was reinstated after appeal on grounds of implied breach of contract. NBCUniversal, with the backing of the MPAA, argued to the Supreme Court that federal copyright law trumped state contract law. The high court declined to review the appeals court ruling, which allows the suit by Montz against NBCUniversal, Piligian’s Pilgrim Films & Television ... Read More »


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