Huston v. Société Turner Entertainment

1991 Bull. civ. I No. 172 (1991)

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Huston v. Société Turner Entertainment

France Court of Cassation
1991 Bull. civ. I No. 172 (1991)

Facts

John Huston directed a film called The Asphalt Jungle. The film, made in 1950, was shot in black-and-white. To produce the film, Huston worked with a movie studio. Prior to production, he signed a contract with the movie studio that gave the studio all of his copyrights in the film and also provided that he would not have any claim of authorship or moral rights in the film. After the film was made, Turner Entertainment Company (Turner) (defendant) acquired the copyrights in The Asphalt Jungle from the original movie studio and made a new version of the film. This version was in color. Huston’s estate, comprised of Huston’s heirs (plaintiff), sued Turner, along with La Cinq (defendant), the entity set to televise the film’s new version in France. The estate sought to block the French airing of the film’s color version. It argued that it held the moral rights to the work under French law and that these rights entitled it to protect that work’s integrity by preventing the airing of the color version. The court of appeal denied the estate’s claim, concluding that the case’s outcome was controlled by US law and finding that it did not have the authority to disregard the original contract between Huston and the studio.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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