Actor’s Attempt to Stymie Distribution of Several Films Inspires Action for Declaratory Relief Under 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Maverick Entertainment Group, Inc. v. Freeman, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-04459-AT (N.D. Ga., Nov. 8, 2022)

An actor featured in four movies distributed by the Plaintiff sent a cease and desist notice alleging unauthorized use of his likeness in at least one of the films. The actor claimed he had not signed a written contract for his acting services, and sought to stop distribution of the film #Clout.

The Plaintiff, Maverick Entertainment, distributes independently produced motion pictures primarily in digital formats, like streaming services, in addition to traditional media, like television. The Plaintiff alleges the Defendant willingly and knowingly appeared in the productions in question, evidenced by the actor preparing for the role, participating in readings, standing in front of the cameras, and posting about his involvement in social media posts.

To squash this and possible future Cease and Desist demands, Maverick Entertainment seeks declaratory relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 for its rights to distribute the movies in question with the Defendant’s likeness under the Copyright Act.

The case has been assigned to Judge Amy Totenberg.

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