Friday, March 05, 2010

"The Hurt Locker" - Invasion of Privacy?

A soldier specializing in bomb disposal has sued the makers of "The Hurt Locker" for a number of torts, including invasion of privacy, misappropriation, defamation and false light. Apparently the screenwriter, who was embedded in his unit, wrote a non-fiction piece about the soldier for Playboy. Although the main character in the movie has a different name, there are substantial similarities between the real soldier, the soldier as depicted in Playboy, and the fictional movie version.

A quote from the complaint:

For the reasons more fully explained below, the production, release, distribution, and publication of the motion picture film “The Hurt Locker”, and the motion picture DVD “The Hurt Locker”, are hardly the “literary” or “artistic” works of Defendants as the Defendants themselves have proclaimed. Instead, “The Hurt Locker” motion picture film and DVD are nothing more than the exploitation of a real life honorable, courageous, and long serving member of our country’s armed forces, by greedy multi-billion dollar “entertainment” corporations, which engaged in the very simple - though unconscionable and unlawful – act of plagiarizing the name, likeness, mannerisms, habits, and intimate and personal life story of Plaintiff Staff Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, for the sole commercial purpose of unjustly enriching the Defendants in the amount of multiple millions of dollars.

After unlawfully using Plaintiff’s name and likeness – without his consent – to make, produce, and distribute a movie about the Plaintiff personally, Defendants further violated the law by unlawfully invading Plaintiff’s privacy and defaming the Plaintiff in several scenes of the movie.


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