Final Friday The 13th Rights Decision Inching Towards Conclusion


This past September, the continuing rights saga between writer Victor Miller and Horror Inc. hit the legal proceedings’ next step, which was Victor Miller’s brief (rebuttal) to Horror Inc. and Sean Cunningham’s claim that he was an employee of Sean when he wrote the original Friday The 13th in 1979. Copyright lawyer Larry Zerner wrote on Twitter at the time:

The bulk of Victor's brief deals with this argument and pretty much calls it out for 1) being ridiculous, 2) having no legal support and 3) not being in line with U.S. Copyright law. 

The rest of the brief covers the normal arguments over the factors taken into account when an author is an employee or an independent contractor under current U.S. law.  It is fairly standard and tracks what was argued in the trial court.

I still think that Victor has the (much) better argument and, while nothing is certain when dealing with judges, I would say that I expect Victor to win his appeal.

Larry also went on to say that he expected the court to schedule oral arguments in January or February, with an expected final decision on this case in June 2020. Larry was indeed correct as he revealed yesterday that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has proposed oral arguments for the week of February 10, 2020. If both parties present their oral arguments at that time, it is truly possible to have a final decision this coming June. We can all hope!