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Hollywood Docket: 'Black Swan' Leaker Pleas; Potential Conrad Black Jurors Quizzed; 'H8R' Lawsuit

A roundup of lawsuits, decisions, and new policy in the world of entertainment and media

Black Swan
IMDB Images
"Black Swan"

Wes DeSoto, a Screen Actors Guild member, has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors for leaking Black Swan and other films onto BitTorrent.

DeSoto, who played a small role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, had his apartment raided by the FBI and was believed to have obtained review screeners on iTunes of Oscar-nominated films including The King's Speech and The Fighter. The feds tracked him down by examining digital watermarks on films circulating on The Pirate Bay.

Prosecutors are recommending via the plea agreement three years of probation and restitution. A judge's sentencing will commence next month.

In other entertainment law news:

  • Jury selection in the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, begins on Thursday. Jurors are being given a 31-page questionnaire, examining their knowledge of prescription drugs and the career of the late singer.
  • Writer James Bryan has filed a $11 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. for allegedly stealing his idea on the forthcoming CW TV show, H8R, which features celebrities going head-to-head with civilians who hate them. Bryan claims to have pitched the show idea in 2003 to entertainment executives.
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment is suing former COO Thomas Emrey for allegedly breaching his contract and fiduciary duties by leaving the company for DineEquity, which operates IHOP and Applebee’s. Universal says his employment contract ran through May 2012.
  • The European Union has adopted an extension of the copyright term from 50 years to 70 years, meaning music by the Beatles won't be entering the public domain anytime soon.

E-mail: eriqgardner@yahoo.com

Twitter: @eriqgardner