Matthews v. Wozencraft
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
15 F.3d 432 (1994)
Two police officers in Tyler, Texas, Creig Matthews (plaintiff) and Kim Wozencraft (defendant), were assigned to an undercover narcotics operation in the 1970s against a person suspected of dealing drugs. During their time together undercover, Matthews and Wozencraft developed a romance and achieved success in making over 100 arrests. However, it was later revealed that Matthews and Wozencraft were addicted to drugs, planted evidence on the person they were investigating, and perjured themselves in court. Matthews and Wozencraft married at some point, and they went to prison. While incarcerated, Matthews and Wozencraft agreed to write a book together about their story upon release. However, when Wozencraft was released, she wrote a graduate thesis that became a book. The rights for a fictionalized movie, entitled Rush, sold to MGM for $1,000,000. Matthews was not compensated. Matthews participated in the publication of a less noted nonfiction account and gave many interviews to the national media. Matthews sued Wozencraft, the book publisher, and MGM for appropriating the rights to his life story. A lower court granted summary judgment to the Wozencraft, and Matthews appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)
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