9th Circuit says ‘Hurt Locker’ protected by First Amendment
In a resounding victory for the free-speech rights of filmmakers, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the 2010 Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker does not infringe the publicity rights of nor defame Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, whose 2011 lawsuit alleged the film was based on his war experiences in Iraq. A federal judge had rejected Sarver’s claims in 2011 and the decision was appealed.
“This is a highly important precedent that will have major implications for the entire film industry,” said KWIKA partner Jeremiah Reynolds, who, along with KWIKA founding partner Dale Kinsella, represented Hurt‘s director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal.