Sunday, 17 June 2018

Terry Gilliam Loses His Don Quixote Court Case And No Longer Holds The Rights To The Film

quote [ “The ruling means that the rights to the film belong to Alfama. Any exploitation of the film up until now has been completely illegal and without the authorization of Alfama,” said Branco, in an interview with Screen Daily. “We will be seeking damages with interest from all the people involved in this illegal production and above all, all those who were complicit in its illegal exploitation. We’re holding everyone responsible.” ]

Worst case, a pristine 4k torrent suddenly becomes available, from an "unknown source." Gilliam just had a stroke a few weeks ago; I doubt he gives a flying fuck through a rolling doughnut what Paulo Branco thinks he owns. Case summary in extended.

Gilliam: Hey, will you give me some money to buy a truck?
Branco: Ok, but if I give you the money, I want the right to use the truck whenever I need it.
Gilliam: Ok, that's fair.
(Later, Gilliam buys truck with money from someone else.)
Branco: Hey, I want the truck.
Gilliam: No. You didn't give me any money to buy the truck.
Branco: But I said I would give you the money to buy the truck. It doesn't matter that you didn't use my money to buy the truck. You broke the agreement. Give me the truck.
Gilliam: Fuck you.
[SFW] [art] [+6 WTF]
[by midden@1:50amGMT]


donnie said @ 11:46am GMT on 17th Jun [Score:1 Informative]
It wasn't a stroke.
midden said[1] @ 1:34pm GMT on 17th Jun
Thanks. I didn't know. Here's an update on that.

Still, while not a stroke, it's not something I'd want perforated:

medullary artery: a large caliber spinal or radicular artery that courses centrally along the posterior or anterior root of a spinal nerve, supplying it and the surrounding meninges in the fashion of any spinal/radicular artery
hellboy said @ 10:16pm GMT on 17th Jun [Score:1 Interesting]
Now I'm really confused. Here's a conflicting story from a reputable source from just one day before this posting:
midden said @ 2:57pm GMT on 18th Jun
Unless the actual contract is made public, it's hard to know. I would think it would need to explicitly spell out Branco's financial right of first refusal for him to retain rights to the film, but if it was, I don't see any point of litigation. I'm guessing it wasn't spelled out clearly, and both sides have differing interpretations of what they think was implied and what was not.

Also, an important part of any contracts are the escape clauses, clearly stating how and under what circumstances either party can cancel the agreement.

I think they both need better contract lawyers.
damnit said[2] @ 5:51am GMT on 17th Jun
I saw the trailer for the movie. It's not even a direct adaptation. It's like some guy who thinks he's Don Quixote. Maybe that was Gilliams way of skirting the rights to making this movie
midden said @ 11:15am GMT on 17th Jun
Cervantes published Don Quixote in the early 1600s. Even with Disney's lobbying power, they haven't been able to push copyright back that far. Yet.
cb361 said @ 11:19am GMT on 17th Jun
Pssst. He was being ironic.
midden said @ 11:26am GMT on 17th Jun
hellboy said @ 7:07am GMT on 17th Jun
If Branco didn't provide funding then he's in breach of contract. What fucking bullshit.
Kama-Kiri said @ 3:02pm GMT on 17th Jun
Not if Gilliam went and got funding from someone else first.

"Gilliam claims that funding never came"

The court case probably centers on that tricky claim: whether Branco outright refused to fund the project, or whether Gilliam just went ahead and got different funds assuming that Branco wasn't ever going to pay up. For Gilliam it might be difficult to prove that refusal in court.

Spleentwentythree said @ 8:31pm GMT on 17th Jun
Seems pretty simple.

If the film is his by right, set a time limit for him to pay the full cost of making the film to honor his commitment to provide the funding.

hellboy said[1] @ 10:09pm GMT on 17th Jun
If Branco provided funding he should be able to produce bank records proving that fact - the burden of proof is on him, not on Gilliam. If Branco can't provide the proof, then there's no contract in effect. The contract fails if either party does not comply with the terms. Branco's mere promise to provide funding is not sufficient to complete the terms of the contract. Either the court fucked up, or Gilliam's lawyer fucked up and signed an incredibly poorly-written contract.

"But I was gonna fund the movie eventually, if you hadn't been so impatient" is not a legitimate claim. Something is seriously wrong here, Branco claiming ownership of something that someone else paid for is theft. Where is that other financier? If I were them I would be raising holy hell.

Sadly I know from personal experience that the independent film world is plagued with crooks and pathological liars.
Kama-Kiri said[2] @ 5:40am GMT on 18th Jun
IANAL, but as I see it Branco doesn't have to prove anything except that he has a contract with Gilliam's signature.

"But I was gonna fund the movie eventually, if you hadn't been so impatient" *is* a legitimate claim, if Gilliam didn't formally seek to terminate the contract or whatever timeframe written into the contract was not violated. In that case Gilliam is the one in breach of contract.

Going with Midden's truck analogy,

Branco: I'll give you money to build a truck for me.
Gilliam: Okay.
(Gilliam goes and gets money from someone else to build a truck.)
Branco: we agreed you'd build a truck for me, why didn't you?
Gilliam: I figured you wouldn't give me the money.
Branco: I want my truck! Lawyer up, bro.

To be clear, it is not Gilliam's movie just because he made it. A movie is owned by whoever pays for it to be made, he has only as many rights to it as he negotiated in his contract with the investors.
captainstubing said @ 7:27am GMT on 18th Jun
Kudos for IANAL - we don't see enough of that.
midden said @ 9:33pm GMT on 18th Jun
It depends on what is in the contract and how opposing lawyers, judges, and juries choose to interpret it. I'm guessing it's a pretty shitty, slap-dash contract that does a terrible job of defining mutual obligations and expectations, leaving way too much wiggle room. Honestly, knowing Gilliam's production history, that doesn't surprise me at all. A well written contract would never have gotten this far through the courts.
SnappyNipples said @ 9:18pm GMT on 17th Jun
So...anyone know where this 4K print is hiding.....for science purposes
of course.

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