Lidia Law Firm, P.C.
Estate Planning & Business Law

Late artist's estate sues over use of images in horror film

A common misconception that many in Edmond may have regarding estate administration is that it is a singular event. While that may be true in certain cases, many times estate administration can be a process that plays out over several years (even decades). This is especially true in the case of those who own properties that are put out for public consumption. Executors and personal representatives in these cases are tasked with ensuring that any intellectual or artistic properties belonging to an estate are not used without authorization (or if they are, that the estate is duly and adequately compensated for their use). 

Oftentimes, people will use protected properties without even knowing that they need such authorization. Such appears to have been the case in the making of the film (which itself is a remake of a classic Italian film). The movies director admitted that the images he used in many of the film's dream sequences were inspired by the works of popular feminist artists. Two such images apparently came to close to resembling two actual works of art produced by a renowned Cuban-American artist. Representatives of her estate took note of this and sued the film's production company. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount, and the images were removed from the film's theatrical version. 

As this example illustrates, artistic and intellectual properties need to be constantly overseen. Those tasked with monitoring the appropriate use of estate properties in perpetuity may need added assistance in guaranteeing that any cases of potential infringement are identified and pursued. One might find such assistance in the form of an experienced estate planning attorney. 

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