Filmmaker Angelina Jolie, producer GK Films and distributor FilmDistrict have fired back at a lawsuit accusing them of infringing copyrights by releasing In the Land of Blood and Honey, the actress' 2011 directorial debut about the Bosnian War.
Author James J. Braddock sued weeks before the film was released, claiming Jolie had ripped off his 2007 book The Soul Shattering to create the story (she wrote the script in addition to directing). Braddock also claimed he had met with producer Eric Sarkic about possibly turning his book into a movie and was shocked when Sarkic ended up producing Blood and Honey.
Jolie claimed she came up with the ideas in the movie from working as a UN ambassador. And in court papers filed this week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Jolie, GK Films and FilmDistrict specifically shot down the allegations in the suit.
"Defendants deny that they violated the Berne Convention for the production of Literary and Artistic Works or any other law at issue in this case, including United States copyright laws," the 13-page Answer states. "Defendants further deny that the protectible elements of the Motion Picture and the book entitled "The Soul Shattering" are legally or substantially similar under controlling Ninth Circuit law."
Jolie and the other defendants admit that they didn't receive permission from the author, whose real name is Josip J. Knezevic, but "they deny they were legally required to obtain licensing or permission from Plaintiff," the court papers state.
Jolie, GK Films and FilmDistrict are repped by a team from L.A.’s Reed Smith. Braddock is represented by the Adli Law Group.