Judge refuses to block 'Lovelace' release after lawsuit

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 08, 2013 2:28 PM

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge refused to block the Friday release of "Lovelace" after a lawsuit by the owners of the rights to "Deep Throat," a pornographic film that starred the biopic's namesake.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan denied Arrow Productions Ltd's request for a temporary restraining order on Wednesday, a day after the company filed a $10 million lawsuit against the producers and distributor of the R-rated movie starring Amanda Seyfried.

The judge's oral decision was confirmed by Millennium Films, one of the "Lovelace" producers, as well as a lawyer for Arrow, which owns the rights to the 1972 porn film that starred Linda Lovelace.

In its lawsuit, Arrow contended that the producers of "Lovelace" used more than five minutes of footage from "Deep Throat" without permission.

Arrow also complained about the biopic's title, citing a trademark it held for the name "Linda Lovelace."

Mark Gill, president of Millennium, said the production company was "relieved that common sense prevailed."

"We believe this case was an insult to the legal safeguards in place maintaining our right to freedom of speech," Gill said.

Evan Mandel, a lawyer for Arrow at Mandel Bhandari, said his client was considering the next move.

"Our client's position is the movie violates its intellectual property rights," he added.

"Lovelace" tells the tale of the formative years of porn star Linda Lovelace (born Linda Boreman), her abusive marriage to Chuck Traynor, played by Peter Sarsgaard, and her work on "Deep Throat."

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was to be released in theaters and be available to video on demand customers on Friday.

Radius-TWC, a division of Weinstein distributing the movie, welcomed Griesa's ruling in a statement and confirmed the movie would be released as planned.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Diona Chiacu)