The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Angelina Jolie Copyright Lawsuit to be Transferred Out of Illinois?

Her directorial debut is off to a rocky start. Angelina Jolie's film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" about the Balkan War grossed only $300,000 at the box office. It also resulted in an Angelina Jolie copyright lawsuit.

Croatian journalist James Braddock, also known as Josip J. Knezevic, claimed that Jolie stole the idea from his book, reports the Chicago Tribune. He says that he met with the film's producer three times in 2008 to discuss turning his book into a movie, before Jolie eventually came out with the film.

Strangely, Braddock's lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Chicago and Jolie is now seeking to have the case moved to California.

The venue of the case is probably not going to lead to much of a fight. Braddock's attorney said that the lawsuit was filed in Chicago simply to have it on record before the film came out, reports the Tribune. If both sides agree, they could transfer the case to a federal court in California.

Even if the parties don't agree, Jolie's attorney has come out and said the actress has no ties to Illinois and no portion of the film had anything to do with this state. Generally, the proper venue for a civil case, be it a slip and fall, a defamation suit, or a copyright suit depends upon factors like where a defendant resides and where a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred. As Jolie made clear, there is nothing to tie her to Illinois.

The defense to the Angelina Jolie copyright lawsuit appears to be that the actress borrowed from several sources in developing her movie -- and not one source in particular. Whether this is a valid defense will likely be argued over in a California court.

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