Life Story Rights Lawsuits Make Truth Stranger than Fiction

Los Angeles – In February, the director, screenwriter, and entertainment companies involved in The Hurt Locker filed a motion to countersue Iraq war veteran Jeffrey Sarver. Master Sgt. Sarver claims that the movie was based on his own life story within the Army bomb squad and originally sued the group the day before the Academy Awards in 2010.

Now that the countersuit is transferred to California, The Hurt Locker group is using the anti-SLAPP statute to allege their free speech is being compromised and requesting the judge to order Sarver to pay their attorney fees. Sarver claims that he was the inspiration behind the main character Will James, aka Blaster One. The original lawsuit alleged that the movie defamed him and cheated him out of the financial success of the film. The movie’s director was embedded with Sarver’s unit while doing research for a Playboy article, but asserts the film and its characters are fiction.

In Hollywood and the movies, life story rights agreements typically involve a production company paying an individual, and sometimes their relatives, to cooperate and tell them all the details of their life needed to develop a full story. They may divvy up particular life events and also spell out rights for exclusivity, specific projects and media where the story can be shown.

Life story rights include rights related to privacy, publicity, and defamation. The right of privacy includes the right not to be portrayed in a false light, including embarrassing facts. Defamation can be proven if, for example, The Hurt Locker wrecked Sarver’s reputation and caused damages. And since Sarver was not a public persona, unlike a celebrity, his rights to privacy could be the most egregious problem of all grievances in the lawsuit.

The Law Offices of Spotora & Associates in Los Angeles have worked with the best talent, production houses, studios, and distributors and understand the importance of life story rights to make a movie or television show more dynamic. From individuals to big movie productions, protecting their clients’ rights and litigating for their clients ultimate win makes them the go-to Los Angeles entertainment attorneys.

Their managing attorney, Anthony Spotora, is experienced in entertainment contracts, options agreements, as well as representation and royalty agreements.

To learn more, visit

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 10:21 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.