James Bond Fight at Apparent End After Decades of Litigation

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

James Bond has been thrilling readers and moviegoers ever since novelist Ian Fleming invented the secret agent 60 years ago. This popularity means the book and movie franchise is one of the most lucrative in history. And, if there is one thing a lucrative entertainment franchise attracts more than fans, it’s litigation.

Recently, the producer and distributor of the James Bond movies announced they had reached a settlement in a series of legal disputes that have gone on for 50 years. Producer Danjaq, LLC, and distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced they had reached the settlement with the estate of Kevin McClory, who long argued that Fleming should have given him credit as a co-author.

McClory said that he had given Fleming key ideas that later turned up in the James Bond film and novel “Thunderball.” When the novel was released in 1961 without giving any credit to McClory, he filed suit. The parties reached a settlement in that case before the “Thunderball” film was released four years later. However, the parties continued to argue over intellectual property rights for decades. At one point, a court granted McClory the right to produce his own James Bond films, resulting in the 1983 film “Never Say Never Again,” starring Sean Connery, which hit theaters at roughly the same time as “Octopussy,” another James Bond film starring Roger Moore.

The recent settlement appears to put a rest to the long-running dispute. As part of the settlement, MGM and Danjaq purchased the rights to McClory’s work.

As everyone who works in Florida’s entertainment industry knows, behind all the glitz and glamour is a cutthroat business. Many of the legal issues that come up in this business are the same that come up in any other line of work, but many issues common in entertainment law – such as endorsement deals, intellectual property rights and personality rights – are rare in other industries. They’re also notoriously complicated and full of subtlety. It’s important that those in the entertainment industry have legal representation from professionals who understand entertainment law.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “MGM, Danjaq Settle 50-Plus Year Legal Fight Over James Bond Rights,” Eriq Gardner, Nov. 15, 2013

Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!