Studio sues porn company
Hollywood’s Universal Studios has filed a copyright lawsuit against a porn production company, accusing it of lifting language, characters and plot from the best-selling erotic book trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey for its own adult films and sex toys. Calling one of the adult movie adaptations of the British novel “a rip-off plain and simple,” Universal’s lawsuit seeks to stop sales of copycat porn movies and to recoup any profits they earn. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and its two sequels have sold more than 40 million copies since first being published last year. Universal bought the rights for a film adaptation earlier this year for a reported US$5 million. The suit was filed jointly in federal court in California on Tuesday by Universal and James’ British company which owns the copyright to the novels. The lawsuit said that Los Angeles-based based Smash Pictures had produced a movie called Fifty Shades of Grey: a XXX Adaptation, which lifted “exact dialogue, characters, events, story, and style from the Fifty Shades trilogy.” Smash Pictures could not be reached for comment. Universal said Smash Pictures had two subsequent movies in production and that one of its subsidiaries had also launched a “play kit” of kinky sex toys called “Fifty Shades of Pleasure.”
Actress loses YouTube case
An actress who appeared in the anti-Muslim film blamed for sparking violence in the Middle East has lost another legal bid to have the trailer taken down from YouTube. A federal judge in Los Angeles denied a motion for injunction on Friday by Cindy Lee Garcia. It was not immediately known whether Garcia’s attorneys would file an appeal. Garcia lost a similar legal challenge in state court when a judge rejected her lawsuit in September. Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a religious fraud and womanizer, enraged Muslims and ignited violence in the Middle East, killing dozens.
Britain stops aid to Rwanda
Britain says it is withholding aid for Rwanda after reports of Rwandan involvement with a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). International Development Secretary Justine Greening said on Friday that the government would not release a ￡21 million (US$33.6 million) payment amid concerns Rwanda is backing the M23 militia. Greening says Rwanda is breaching “partnership principles.” Several armed groups are involved in the resurgent conflict in the DR Congo, which has vast mineral wealth. A succession of rebel groups and warlords has sought a piece of the mining action in the DR Congo. Britain wants to pressure Rwanda to stop the violence in its neighbor.
Key to lobsters’ age found
Scientists have finally figured out how to determine the age of a lobster. Scientists already knew how to tell a fish’s age by counting the growth rings found in its inner ear and a scallop or clam’s age from the rings of its shell. However, nobody knows how old lobsters can live to be. Some people estimate they live to over 100. Before now it was thought that when lobsters, shrimp and crabs molt, they shed all parts of their bodies that might record annual growth bands. Raouf Kilada of the University of New Brunswick and other researchers found that growth rings are found in a lobster’s eyestalk and in teeth-like structures in their stomachs used to grind up food.