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First off today, Ashely Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that former professional heavy boxer Chuck Wepner is suing Mary Aloe, a former business partner, over allegations that she took confidential information and is aiming to create an unauthroized movie about Wepner.
Wepner is best known for his 1975 fight against Muhammad Ali. Though Wepner lost in the 15th round, the fight went on to inspire Sylvester Stallone to write Rocky and has gone on to be one of the most famous boxing stories. According to the lawsuit, Wepner signed a deal with Aloe to offer her executive producer credit and 5% of the funds raised if she could secure between $5 and $6.5 million in financing for film based on his life story, tentatively entitled The Bleeder.
However, the arrangement fell apart and Wepner ended up securing the funding on his own. After doing so, he learned that Aloe was producing a different film entitled American Brawler, that they claim is based upon confidential information Aloe obtained while working with Wepner. The lawsuit is seeking punitive damages, actual damages and an injunction to halt production of American Brawler.
Next up today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that AMC Networks has begun using a NexGuard, an anti-piracy system by Civolution, to help it combat leaks of its popular TV shows, including The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul and Humans.
The system doesn’t do anything to prevent copying or sharing of the content, but places invisible watermarks that can be used to detect which party leaked the content should it appear on file sharing sites ahead of its official release. The system is routinely used by Hollywood studios, who implement the system to discourage leaks and determine when and where they occur in the production process.
Pre-broadcast leaks have plagued AMC, especially with The Walking Dead, which remains one of TV’s most-pirated shows. However, the watermarking is not currently implemented on cable systems, meaning that it will not be able to prevent or discourage post-broadcast piracy.
Finally today, Neil Miller at Film School Rejects reports that porn director Axel Braun, famous for his pornographic parodies of popular films, has taken to Indiegogo to fund his next project, The Empire Strikes Back XXX, a pornographic parody of the second Star Wars film.
Braun’s stated reason for choosing crowdfunding is because of piracy. In his video promoting the campaign, Braun attacks pirates for not just stealing his work, but also for profiting form it and spreading malware while doing so. He said that crowdfunding was a way to thwart pirates, basically allowing him to make the film and then give it away for free.
The approach is a shift for Braun, who previously had filed lawsuits against over 7,000 suspected pirates he accused of sharing Batman XXX. The campaign has currently raised $605 dollars of the needed $500,000 but has two months to go.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.