Aalmuhammed v. Lee
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
202 F.3d 1227 (9th Cir. 2000)
Spike Lee (defendant) co-wrote, directed, and co-produced the movie Malcolm X, which starred Denzel Washington. Jefri Aalmuhammed (plaintiff) knew a great deal about Malcolm X’s life and the religion of Islam, which played an important role in the movie. Under the supervision of Lee, Aalmuhammed assisted with production of the movie, including helping Washington with his role, directing Washington on set, suggesting script edits that were used in the final cut, ensuring historical and religious accuracy, and editing some of the movie in post-production. Lee had the final say on all of Aalmuhammed’s contributions. Aalmuhammed did not have a written contract with Lee or Warner Brothers. Aalmuhammed requested but was denied credit as a cowriter of the movie. Instead, Aalmuhammed was in the credits as “Islamic Technical Consultant.” Aalmuhammed brought suit against Lee, his production companies, and Warner Brothers, seeking a declaratory ruling that Malcolm X was a joint work, and that Aalmuhammed was a coauthor. The district court granted Lee summary judgment. Aalmuhammed appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kleinfeld, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.