In a video interview with Roy Abramsohn, the actor who stars in the horror fantasy film “Escape From Tomorrow,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the actor discusses copyright material. Abramsohn plays a father going insane at Walt Disney World, and the movie is garnering attention because writer and director Randy Moore filmed on location at theme parks and hotels in Florida and California—without Disney’s permission. The New York Times noted that while “Escape” is “careful to leave out certain copyrighted material,” it would still “seem to test the limits of fair use in copyright law.”
A spokeswoman for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts had no comment for the Times story, even though the company is known for being “intensely vigilant about its intellectual property.” Moore’s cast and crew reportedly filmed inside at least eight rides, going on the “It’s a Small World” ride at least 12 times. Moore made the film for less than $1 million with an inheritance from his grandparents.
The Times noted that a strong reaction from Disney could risk “giving the movie free publicity and helping it find a larger audience,” but Moore admitted that he was worried about the company’s reaction. “Look, I have amazing memories as a kid from going to the parks,” Moore said. “I think Walt Disney was a genius. I just wish his vision hadn’t grown into something quite so corporate.”
It will certainly be interesting to see if Disney responds with legal action, but “Escape From Tomorrow” certainly recalls the attention filmmaker Morgan Spurlock received when his documentary “Super Size Me” premiered at Sundance in 2004. In that movie, Spurlock ate three meals a day at the fast food giant for an entire month, but many bigger studios took a pass, fearing legal action from McDonald’s. Two months after the Sundance screening, the company responded by beginning to phase out the “Super Size” option from its menu.
Los Angeles business litigation lawyer Robert G. Klein has more than 25 years of experience in intellectual property litigation, and you can learn more about copyright infringement by visiting our website. If another individual or company is using your copyrighted material without your permission, contact our firm today at (323) 653-3900 or fill out the form on this page to let our Los Angeles copyright infringement lawyer review your case.
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Quick Klein Extra: While Warner Bros. owns the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” Disney filed trademark registration in 2011 on its upcoming title “Oz, the Great and Powerful” one week before Warner Bros. filed on “The Great and Powerful Oz.”
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