December 9, 1997 |
Steven Spielberg's "Amistad" will premiere as planned Wednesday, after a federal judge denied an author's request to stop the release of the movie that she claims steals from her historical novel on the 1839 slave ship revolt. U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins said that author Barbara Chase-Riboud "has raised serious questions going to the merits of her copyright infringement claim."
December 3, 1997 |
Seeking to turn the tables on the author bringing suit over Steven Spielberg's upcoming holiday movie "Amistad," DreamWorks has suggested in a court filing that writer Barbara Chase-Riboud's novel about the historic slave mutiny cribbed extensive material from an earlier book on the same subject.
November 23, 1997
If no one can copyright historical events, does that mean that DreamWorks cannot copyright "Amistad" ["Novelist Urges Court to Block Spielberg Film," The Biz, Nov. 18]? DreamWorks attorney Bert Fields' claim that author Barbara Chase-Riboud is suing the studio "only for money" leaves me wondering. When artists write books or make films about historical events, are they supposed to do it solely as a public service? Is it wrong for them to expect to be paid for the laborious research and creative work they do?
November 18, 1997 |
Unearthing what they say is evidence of "deliberate literary piracy," attorneys for an author claiming director Steven Spielberg stole ideas from her historical novel in making his movie "Amistad" filed for a preliminary injunction Monday to block the film's December release. While claims of plagiarism are common in the movie business, it's rare to seek such an injunction and even more unusual and costly to obtain one.
November 9, 1997
In Claudia Eller's "Spielberg Lawsuit Pits Author vs. Auteur" [The Biz, Oct. 24], DreamWorks attorney Bert Fields dares to actually suggest that the author, Barbara Chase-Riboud, an African American who is suing DreamWorks for copyright infringement, should not cause waves because the project is about African Americans and, according to Fields, is based on the work of leading black historians. I don't really know who is legally correct in the copyright question, but for Mr. Fields to bring race into the issue seems completely inappropriate.
August 30, 1994 |
When we last saw Tom and Sally, they were back on the farm, entertaining friends, watching their children grow up and slowly, inexorably, going broke. He was, of course, our improvident third President, Thomas Jefferson, settling into uneasy retirement at Monticello, his northern Virginia plantation. And she was the mysterious Sally Hemings, a Monticello slave, with whom, according to some historians, Jefferson had seven children.