Larry Zerner former actor (Shelly from Friday the 13th Part 3D) turned lawyer for the past several years has shared his legal expertise with fans on the ongoing, legal battle happening with the Friday the 13th franchise.
Today he shared on his twitter some news regarding another famous horror franchise.
Clive Barker the novelist, film director, and visual artist whose works has been adapted into films, notably the Hellraiser and Candyman series has now been successful in proceedings to regain his rights to the Hellraiser franchise.
On Monday, his attorney filed papers in California federal court confirming a settlement with Park Avenue Entertainment, the production company that’s currently enjoying rights to a film about a woman under the sway of a resurrected former lover.
Under the termination provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, authors may recapture rights from publishers after waiting a prescribed period (usually 35 years for newer works) and sending a notice within a five-year window. Baker did so, but met resistance from Larry Kuppin, the producer who had once purchased New World Pictures from Roger Corman. New World had released the horror movie, and according to a lawsuit that came in June, told Baker in correspondence that he couldn’t terminate because the terms of the original movie contract were to be construed under U.K. contract law.
The legal dispute thus seemed primed to explore what happens when the original rights assignment happens in a foreign jurisdiction plus a somewhat complicated chain of title (although here it appears as though Barker sent a notice of termination to the single-purpose vehicle he had once personally co-founded), but the parties have come to a deal. The judge has now been presented with a proposed consent judgment that states that Barker will recapture U.S. rights on December 19, 2021. No word on which side will take foreign rights.
This result in in contrast to the situation over Friday the 13th where a judge ruled in favor of the writer against the producer but is still pending an appeal. Given the statutory clock, Barker isn’t the only writer from the 1980s attempting to grab back franchise rights.