‘Lovelace’ Cleared for Release Despite $10 Million Lawsuit

'Lovelace' Movie Cleared for Release Despite

Action sought to block release of biopic

A federal judge has refused to block the release of Amanda Seyfried starrer “Lovelace,” the biopic about porn star Linda Lovelace.

The film, which is due to launch Friday, had been hit with a copyright lawsuit by Arrow Productions seeking a court order to hold up the release.

“We are relieved that common sense prevailed,” said Millennium Films president Mark Gill in a statement. “The suit was completely unwarranted. We believe this case was an insult to the legal safeguards in place maintaining our right to freedom of speech. It was without merit on every level.”

Gill also said that the Arrow Productions’ complaint was “transparent” about its desire to control discussion about “Deep Throat” and to hinder projects that would compete with theirs. “The law does not support either of these motives,” he said.

Radius co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego said, “Radius couldn’t be more pleased the world will finally get a chance to see Linda’s real story unfold on screen in ‘Lovelace.’ Never again will she be silenced by the producers and distributors of ‘Deep Throat.'”

Arrow Productions, which owns the rights to Lovelace’s iconic “Deep Throat” movie, sued the Weinstein Co. and Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films in Manhattan federal court Tuesday, alleging that “Lovelace” contains more than five minutes of unlicensed footage. The action seeks damages of more than $10 million.

The action also alleges that the title “Lovelace” has been used without license or permission.

“Lovelace,” which also stars Peter Sarsgaard, debuted at Sundance in January. The film is directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

“There’s an idea of her is this one-dimensional character who has this talent for deep-throating,” Seyfried recently told Variety. “We wanted to tell her story from her point of view.”

The new film and its title are banking on the cultural significance of Linda Lovelace’s trademarked name, Arrow Productions’ lawsuit states, adding that “the defendants use that title without license or permission.”

The suit names TWC, Radius-TWC, Lerner, Nu Image, Animus Pictures, Eclectic Pictures, Untitled Entertainment and Laura Rister as defendants.

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  1. Ali says:

    Avi & Heidi used tax payer money to make this box office bomb.”Licensed from the Linda Lovelace estate” Really? translates to $5K to one of the Boreman/Marciano kids — That’s like saying licensed from the “Luke Skywalker” estate and recreating scenes word for word from “Star Wars” I’ll bet Avi never told Tom Quinn at Sundance there was pending litigation or if he even carried an E&O policy.Why should Avi care his problems over the “Corporate controller”issue don’t even compare and I would not be surprised if he quits the US for Bulgaria or Israel – Avi plainly ripped these people off and Weinstein at the same time.

  2. Being a “product/child” of the 70’s, I was in my early teens when we first heard of Linda Lovelace, We didn’t have the access to porn we do now, I remember finding film cases where you had to hold the film up to a window and use your imagination for the fast play. Thought we were quite risqué’ but enough of that most girls that I knew or palled with back then gave it away for free, myself included anyway. We did not have the opportunity to make our parents proud by deciding to go whole hog (if you will) nor because of our promiscuity are we having a film of our escapades brought out 40 years later. Linda sweetheart, deal with it, you got your token 500 dollars per movie back then and because you were a film slut they are now bringing your name back and showing what you were all about. For the life of me I cannot figure out why they would waste good money on a film about someone as mundane no not notorious. There are way better people in history to make a film about than some very decrepit porn starlet.

    • Frank W says:

      You do know that she’s dead, right? 2002.

      And perhaps, you didn’t understand (or even read the article) that the people who own Deep Throat and the trademarked name of “Linda Lovelace” are the ones suing, partly because they feel they are being defamed.

      From a Wall Street Journal article “The Still Untold Story of Linda Lovelace”:

      “…But the public figure of Linda Lovelace was just as much a fictionalization as the character in “Deep Throat.” A little under ten years after the release of the movie, Lovelace publicly denounced the film, claiming that she had been coerced into making it by her abusive husband and manager, Chuck Traynor (played by Peter Sarsgaard in the film). Lovelace, whose real name is Linda Marciano (née Boreman), found allies in feminist anti-pornography activists such as Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dworkin. In 1980, Steinem published an article in “Ms.” entitled “The Real Linda Lovelace,” and later that year Lovelace published a memoir, “Ordeal,” which chronicles the history of her relationship with Traynor and career as Lovelace.”

  3. Frank W says:

    The name may be trademarked, but this being a docudrama of a person saddled by that name, I think it’s perfectly legal to use it.

    I’ve always wanted to make a movie of Kin Platt’s book, “The Blue Man”. So while researching Karen Black’s career, I see she was in a movie called “The Blue Man.” So because of the crap over “The Butler”, does that mean I need to title it “Kin Platt’s The Blue Man?” I’m OK with that, but I think it’s stupid I would have to do it.

  4. This issue each time arises wide open to debate; one of “titles” which are many and profligate across the considerable spectrum of the creative arts community, even greater given the width of that universe, and for which a judge might easily acquit legal prerogatives and protections. (THE BUTLER is now LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER.)

    A trademark/registrations for a corporate enterprise and its retail product(s) is one thing. But what is a movie…a piece of art unique and elite, or retail showbiz, upon its equally ludicrous and lugubrious arrival in court? Perhaps it’s both, awaiting paperwork from the copyright office or the judgement of Solomon.

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