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First off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that two writers, Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton, have filed a lawsuit against HBO, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson (AKA: The Rock) and others alleging that the new HBO series Ballers is an infringement of a project they had proposed.
According to the lawsuit, Silas and Littleton had been in negotiation with two producers to shoot a series entitled The Game Plan. However, those negotiations broke down when Silas and Littleton refused to remove their names from the “Created By” credit for the show. They then allege that the producers shared the concept of the show with HBO, who created Ballers based on the concept.
For similarities the authors allege that the shows have very similar concepts and even use the same two leading men. All totaled, they identify some 27 instances that they say shows similarity in plot and character. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages but HBO says that the lawsuit has no merit.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that, nearly a week before release, screeners for The Hateful Eight and The Revenant have leaked on BitTorrent sites with the piracy group promising to leak dozens more over the next few days.
The group behind the leak, Hive-CM8, says they come from screener copies, which are sent out to reviewers ahead of a film’s release. This means that both versions are DVD quality though they are free of the visual watermarks common in screener copies.
The group listed the screeners as being the first of 40 and has already put out copies of other films including Legend, In the Heart of the Sea, Steve Jobs and Joy, none of which are available on DVD though all but Joy have been released to theaters.
Finally today, Andrew Flanagan at Billboard reports that The Beatles may be set to make their first appearance on streaming music services with sources reporting that their catalog will be available on most, if not all, streaming music services starting December 24th.
The Beatles are one of the most iconic and popular bands in music history. However, they’ve also been one of the longest holdouts from streaming music, withholding their catalog from all streaming service providers.
The band was also a holdout of digital music purchases, finally allowing their catalog to be bought on iTunes in late 2010. If the rumors are true, The Beatles would join AC/DC, Metallica and other long-time holdouts in allowing their music to be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music and other services.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.