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Heir suing to stop upcoming Broadway production

Many in Woodland Hills may believe that the process of handling one’s estate is a relatively short-term task involving the simple transfer of assets and/or property to designated beneficiaries. While it may be that simple in some cases, others may involve a much more long-term commitment on the part of the parties involved to ensure that an estate’s property is not infringed upon in the future. Whenever copyrighted works or intellectual property are linked an estate, any use of such materials may need to first be given the approval of those with an interest in it. Such parties may even end up having to fight to ensure that their rights of ownership of such properties are respected.

Such a legal battle may be on the horizon after a lawsuit was filed by the heir to a late playwright to block an upcoming Broadway production. The play in question is a stage adaption of the late 1990’s animated musical “Anastasia.” The basic premise of that film was derived from an earlier movie whose producers had secured the rights to use the playwright’s story as the basis of their project. However, those rights were limited to the film production only. Subsequent uses of the story by the production studio for live adaptations have since been challenged by the playwright’s estate. One major difference in this most recent case, however, is that along with contesting the use of the story, the estate also alleges that the creator of pending production actually copied significant portions of the play itself.

For the interested parties to an estate, its properties may represent a significant source of both financial wealth and familial pride. Thus, those needing to protect them may want to enlist the assistance of an attorney in doing so.

Source: Forbes “Lawsuit Threatens Anastasia’s Broadway Debut” Hershberg, Marc, Dec. 21, 2016

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