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Suing over stolen ideas and scripts is common in Hollywood. In a new lawsuit, one company is attempting to protect summaries of scripts.
The plaintiff is a company called Breakdown Services Ltd., which according to a complaint filed on Friday in LA Superior Court, has been in operations for more than 30 years and works with talent agencies and management companies on a highly confidential basis. The plaintiff’s clients get daily script “breakdowns,” and the product is described as containing “proprietary information of value.”
The defendant in the lawsuit is Adam Seid, who is alleged to have signed up for this service. Seid is now charged with giving others access to the plaintiff’s website, which Breakdown Services characterizes as an attempt to set up a competing business.
UPDATE: Seid responds:
“I have had no dealings with Breakdown Services in the 5 years since I retired from the talent management business. It appears that somebody opened an account with Breakdown Services using my name and credentials, and I have been cooperating fully with Breakdown’s attorneys in the time since this unfortunate incident was brought to my attention via service of legal documents. I am confident that this will resolve peacefully once they have completed their full investigation into this matter. “
Seid appears to have been a talent manager in Hollywood.
The company says that he has been giving actors, actresses and other individual an account number and password to access the Breakdown website.
To prevent the possibility that someone could use the service to describe what casting opportunities are out there in the entertainment industry, Breakdown Services is now going to court.
According to the lawsuit, Seid entered into a written agreement in October, 2009. For monthly payments, Seid would get access to the script summaries. He allegedly also agreed to not copy what he saw or use it to compete against the company.
“Unless restrained by this Court,” says the plaintiff, “Defendants will continue to improperly obtain Plaintiff’s breakdown as a result of which the public generally, and those members of the public in the entertainment industry in particular, will be misled and deceived into believing that they may obtain the identical breakdowns from defendants, and not through contractual relationships with Plaintiff, and/or that the identical breakdowns may be obtained for a lessor price, and/or that the identical breakdowns may be obtained without having to accept Plaintiff’s confidentiality agreement, all to the irreparable damage and injury of Plaintiff’s business and goodwill.”
The company, represented by Steven Krakowsky, is asserting unfair business practices, tortious interference, breach of written contract and money owed. The plaintiff wants at least $1 million for each cause of action.
E-mail: email@example.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner
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