General News

Supreme Court judges allow Raging Bull lawsuit to proceed

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May 19, 2014 | 11:02am EDT

Judges at the U.S. Supreme Court have granted late screenwriter Frank Petrella's daughter permission to proceed with her copyright infringement lawsuit over classic Martin Scorsese movie Raging Bull. Paula Petrella has been locked in a legal dispute with executives at MGM Holdings Inc. since the late 1990s, amid claims they illegally based the 1980 Robert De Niro picture on a copyrighted script her dad had written in 1963, but she didn't file suit until 2009, demanding royalties from the continued commercial use of the film. Her case was twice dismissed in court in San Francisco, California, citing her long delay in taking legal action. She refused to give up the fight and took her case to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., where a panel of judges overturned the previous ruling, allowing Petrella to renew her lawsuit and pursue her claims. Frank Petrella died in 1981 - the same year that Raging Bull, starring De Niro as real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, won two Oscars.

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