In a Fight Between Steven Seagal and the Idea Factory, Who Will Win?
In mid-December 2010, a Los Angeles judge ruled that a company called Idea Factory could proceed in a lawsuit against Steven Seagal and A&E Network. Idea Factory is pursuing a claim based on conversations they held with Seagal before he had an A&E TV deal. In those talks, Idea Factory says material terms of an agreement about a show based on Seagal's work in a Louisiana Parish Sherrif's department were agreed upon. According to this Dec. 17th, 2010 NY Times account, a judge in LA decided there was enough evidence (of an implied contract between Seagal and Idea Factory which might entitle Idea Factory to money from the A&E show, Steven Seagal: Lawman) to allow the case to proceed. Notice: Idea Factory is not pursuing a copyright lawsuit - copyright does not protect "ideas" - but a suit based on a contract. This leaves some key questions unanswered: 1) Without a written agreement, how will Idea Factory go about proving they had a "contract" to produce a reality show about the pudgy-self-important-sometimes-sexually-inappropriate-former-action-star-who-claims-to-be-a-clairvoyant-and-a-real-cop? 2) What conduct, emails, letters and conversations will convince a court that an "implied" contract existed? 3) Will the Idea Factory prevail? 4) Will A&E settle despite protestations from Steven Seagal that he is a lone wolf capable of dispensing his own brand of frontier justice? 5) Will Steven Seagal give a deposition loaded with catchphrases from his previous films like: "What kind of babbling bullshit is this?" (Under Siege) and "What am I, a shit magnet?" (Exit Wounds).
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Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.