Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Leeway Media Group v. Laurence Joachim

Check out Bruce Lee’s first Hollywood screen test from 1965. Approximately 91 seconds of the over eight minute long video was used in the documentary, I Am Bruce Lee, which aired on Spike TV in February 2012. That July, Laurence Joachim contacted Leeway (which represents the deceased kung-fu star’s interests) and claimed to own the copyright to the screen test. Leeway has received a 1974 copyright registration but no evidence to the chain of title between the filming (1965) and the registration (1974). Mr. Joachim’s counsel, apparently, announced intentions to proceed with litigation unless Leeway paid a six figure settlement. “The demands and threats… have created and actual justiciable claim or controversy such that declaratory relief represents the appropriate remedy.”

Leeway wants the Court to declare both that Mr. Joachim has no copyright in the screen test and that Leeway has not infringed on any of Mr. Joachim’s rights. Stay tuned for updates.

Leeway Media Group LLC v. Laurence Joachim et al

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00822-JMS-TAB
File Date: Monday, May 20, 2013
Plaintiff: Leeway Media Group LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Theodore J. Minch of Sovich Minch LLP
Defendant: Laurence Joachim, Trans-National Film Corporation
Cause: Declaration of No Valid Copyright, Declaration of No Standing, Declaration of No Copyright Infringement, Declaration of No Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker