"The Butler" must find a NEW NAME after Warner Brothers sues The Weinstein Company
WB says it has the rights to the name "The Butler" because of a 1916 silent film of the same name that is part of the Warner library.
A judge agreed with them and has ordered TWC to remove "The Butler" from ALL promotional material for the film, due to open next month!
According to the link, it was an arbitration, not a court ruling. I don't think you can copyright a title as general as "The Butler," or even make a valid common law claim that there is a "likelihood of confusion" with the original. WB is probably just looking to force some sort of payout from Weinstein, who will not want to deal with any potential delay in release of the film.
Does WB need the money so badly that they'd create this hassle? What's the payoff?
I have no idea, R16. It could be they are looking for a trade in rights to some other property that Weinstein owns.
I was trying to think of an instance where a studio purchased rights to a work just to gain the right to use the title. The only one I could come up with was "I, Robot." The Asimov work was a collection of short stories, and none of them, IIRC, had any similarity to the movie with Will Smith.
[quote]I don't think you can copyright a title as general as "The Butler,"
Lisa Beamer - Merry Widow
They can call it "The Butler, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."
Just call it "Oh, Waiter!" Someone's name might be Butler.
Just call it "Butler" & drop the "The"
They should call it WHITE HOUSE BLACK
maybe they'll call it the Women of Brewster Place 3
They need to do something now so Oprah can win her Oscar!
This is all about playing ball in Hollywood. Someone must have been settling a score against Weinstein, or someone in the group, to pursue such a petty issue. Sometimes when you dish out cunt you get cunt back.
R29 is right. They're getting back at harvey for something. Love that this all went down 6 weeks right before the movie's release.
To those wondering this isn't a court ruling. This is an industry thing through the mpaa.
White House Downer?
Lee Daniels wrote an open letter to Warner Bros and had all the black co-stars of "The Butler", including Oprah, sign it!
You'd think that the supposedly creative people behind this project could've come up with a better title anyway like The White House Help.
This is payback to Harvey for that fucking awful movie The Artist.
Or The Help - White House Edition.
Went to the movies last weekend and they showed a trailer,,,,still being called "The Butler".