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THE BEAV’S BROTHER GETS TOUGH Tony Dow, who played Wally Cleaver in the 1950s TV series “Leave It to Beaver,” has sued TV Land and Viacom International over the alteration of a Wally Cleaver photograph. The altered photo, which shows Wally with tattoos on his upper torso and arm, appeared in magazine and billboard advertisements. According to Dow’s Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, the plaintiff gave permission in 1957 to use his photo to promote the series, but “at no time ever intended such grant of likeness to allow defendants to so negatively alter his image as to portray him in an unwholesome and negative light, quite contrary to the image of the character which he played on ‘Leave It to Beaver.’” The suit goes on to state that, even if Dow did agree with the image alteration, he “would have been entitled to seek remuneration for the use of his altered likeness, which grant was never given.” The use of the altered photo also allegedly converted Dow “into an involuntary spokesperson, without pay.” Dow charges that the altered image exposed him “to hatred, contempt, and ridicule, in that they represented that plaintiff was affiliated, and associated with the type of individuals who would wear such tattoos.” Causes of action include defamation, unfair competition, and violation of common law right of publicity, Calif. Civil Code � 3344 and the Lanham Act. The suit seeks compensatory damages of at least $250,000 and unspecified punitive damages. Attorney Jay M. Coggan of Los Angeles (310-407-0922) is representing Dow. Dow v. TV Land, BC246292. DICAPRIO: KING OF THE WORLD? Charles Evans Jr. has filed suit against New Line Cinema and director Michael Mann over what Evans alleges was his idea for a film about the early career of Howard Hughes. In 1996, Evans obtained an option from Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske for film rights to the book “Howard Hughes: The Untold Story.” Evans claims in his Los Angeles Superior Court complaint that he spent countless hours on the film development project, hired a writer and worked closely on the screenplay, collaborating on five drafts. According to Evans, actor Kevin Spacey began helping him find financing, and Arnon Milchan of New Regency Productions Inc. subsequently agreed to commit to assist in development of the film, with Spacey agreeing to direct. But Evans alleges that Spacey was discharged after Leonardo DiCaprio’s agent, Rick Yorn, insisted that DiCaprio would not work on a film project with a director that DiCaprio had not selected. Evans’ suit states that after Yorn told Evans that DiCaprio wanted Michael Mann to direct, Evans forwarded materials on the project to Mann, who then entered into a deal with New Line to develop the Hughes project. The deal didn’t include Evans. Evans’ complaint alleges, among other things, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. Gerald L. Sauer and H. Wagner of Sauer & Wagner (310-712-8100) filed the suit on behalf of Evans. Acappella Pictures Inc. v. New Line Cinema Corp., BC245825. MOTOWN FOREVER UMG Recordings has sued the music group 702 for breach of contract, alleging that the defendants have repudiated their recording agreement. UMG claims in the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint that the defendants still owe six albums to Motown under a recording contract signed in 1993. The suit alleges that the artists repudiated the agreement in January 2001, arguing that they were excused from full performance by California’s seven-year limit on personal service agreements. But UMG claims that the defendants could have completed their obligations within seven years. UMG is the successor in interest to Motown. Glenn D. Pomerantz and Linda M. Burrow of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (213-683-9100) are representing UMG. UMG Recordings Inc. v. Grinstead, BC245693. VAN HALEN, UNPLUGGED Former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth has filed a consumer class action under the Calif. Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Calif. Civ. Code � 1770 et seq., against VanHalenStore.com. Roth’s suit alleges that the defendants conspired to create the VanHalenStore.com Web site to fraudulently sell official Van Halen and Roth merchandise. Roth claims that he never authorized the sales and has received no royalties. He also insists that the Web site sales damage his reputation and good will with his fans. Roth seeks an injunction against the Web site. Jeffrey S. Benice of Irvine, Calif. (949-261-7863) is representing Roth. Roth v. VanHalenStore.com, BC245268. EXTRA! EXTRA! A class action has been filed on behalf of nonunion extra employees against casting companies, such as Central Casting, that employ the plaintiffs as extras in film and TV productions. The complaint states that the defendants, who account for about 90 percent of the market for employing nonunion extras, have taken an unauthorized five percent commission from the plaintiffs, designated as a “voluntary deduction” or at other times a “processing” fee, plus an unauthorized five percent for the extras’ “bumps” (e.g., additional payments for adverse conditions, delays, or for using special props). The plaintiffs claim that this results in reducing their income to below minimum wage. Maxwell M. Blecher and Donald R. Pepperman of Los Angeles’ Blecher & Collins (213-622-4222) are serving as plaintiffs’ counsel. Heim v. Entertainment Partners Group Inc., BC244936.

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