ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Violent struggle over spiritual game

Avary If you ever wondered what kind of crime would be too heinous even for the author of such "ultraviolent" nihilist films as Pulp Fiction and Killing Zoe—well, you can stop.  Torture and mass murder are one thing, but don't even think about stealing one of his ideas.

Screenwriter/director/producer Roger Avary (left) has sued Microsoft for bad faith and breach of implied contract, among other things, claiming that the software titan stole his idea for a video game. The weird thing is that it’s not a Pulp Fiction-esqe shoot-’em-up. It’s a yoga video game, under which a "yoga master" leads student through a "virtual fitness studio."

The complaint (the link is on the right side of this blog about the case) is interesting as a textbook illustration of how disputes like this arise—and the overblown language Hollywood people use when they take meetings on "artistic" concepts.  You can learn more about Avary than you’re likely to want to from his web site.

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