As Uproxx’s Chief Legal and R&B Music Correspondent, I consider it my duty to bring important law-related matters to your attention and explain them in a professional, straightforward manner to help cut through all the legalese. The law can be very confusing to the layperson, what with all its Latin terminology and jurisdictional issues and various precedents, so I’m more than happy to provide assistance to help you all make sense of it. Take for example the fight over the rights to Martin Scorsese’s classic film Raging Bull, now in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It’s a mess of copyright and legal mumbo jumbo (official term), so allow me to break it all down for you.
So there’s this lady, right? She was all “Yo my dad wrote this screenplay about Jake LaMotta and also a book and y’all straight-up jacked it so PAY UP,” and the studios were like “Whoa toots FIRST OF ALL we based the screenplay on the book but we already paid for that” and the lady was all “Yeah but the book was BASED on the screenplay so really he wrote the movie and since he died before the copyright expired it went to me as his heir so I REPEAT pay up,” and then the studio was like “Ok, A) No, B) You can’t copyright facts and his life story is all facts, and C) Even if this is all true you waited like two decades to bring this case which is unfair to us because everything we need to defend ourselves is all dusty and stuff now,” and then the judge was like “Yeah it’s pretty unfair to wait so long so I am dismissing the case,” the lady was like “I AM APPEALING AND I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL CALL ROBERT DENIRO” which is a classic legal strategy. So, now it’s being argued in front of the 9th Circuit.
Based on a thorough examination of all the evidence in this case, my OFFICIAL LEGAL ANALYSIS of the situation is that Raging Bull is a dope movie and this lady should think about suing Scorcese for something else, like that shot at the end of The Departed where the rat walked across the screen. That was dumb.