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ESPN's Wepner doc

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hondo, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Very good, especially when they used parts of the Rocky soundtrack in clips of the Wepner-Ali fight.

    I am mixed about the merits of Wepner's lawsuit. There are thousands of examples in the movies, books and TV of art imitating life: the recent book about the fictitious golfer clearly patterned after Tiger Woods immediately comes to mind. What about every Law and Order "ripped from the headlines?" What about all the unauthorized books and movies on the Kennedy family?

    Should Stallone have thrown some money Wepner's way early? Sure. But it seemed Stallone went out of his way to say the Wepner-Ali fight was his inspiration. I'm still not sure why Stallone owed Wepner any more than that.
     
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I'm not sure why this is on the journalism board, but I agree about Stallone giving enough credit. Rocky wasn't exactly a biopic. Boxers are just all broke.
     
  3. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Active Member

    As hondo alludes to, it raises real questions about the ownership of all representations-factual and fictional-and who should benefit from them. Many of you on this board complain about readers expecting free access to your stories, while journalists routinely profit from the expectations that sources will give them things for free-access to games, information about themselves, opinions. That is not to say sources are wholly altruistic-they obviously get some intangible benefits, such as publicity-but, clearly, in many cases journalists benefit much more than the source does merely from taking this information and repackaging it.
     
  4. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    When Sly visited Wepner in prison then came out with Copland, that was the point I fell squarely on Wepner's side. I know almost nothing of the legal aspects. I imagine fair use comes into play. That's what what exists in journalism. What Sly did to Wepner seems to reach way beyond fair use.
     
  5. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    First off, Sly stole from a lot of people to make the Rocky movie. The scenes about running up the Art Museum steps and hitting the meat. He got that from Joe Frazier. Frazier didn't get any credit except for a cameo role in the film.
     
  6. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Ironic that Wepner sued Stallone over theft, considering Wepner was involved in an autograph fraud scheme that ripped off Ali and Sly himself.

    http://www.operationbullpen.com/excerpt3.html
     
  7. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Did Babe Ruth's heirs sue Robert Redford for the character Whammer in The Natural or did they sue Tom Berrenger for calling the shot in the final game in Major League?

    I don't think actual events are intellectual property.
     
  8. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I see your point. I remember when Rocky first came out how Stallone first denied using Wepner's story as the basis for the storyline. Through the year's he has changed his story. If he had been honest at the beginning, the Rocky stories might have died so I really can't fault him for being mum.
     
  9. nitrobreath

    nitrobreath Member

    Met Wepner once when pro boxing was first legalized again here in N.C. back in the early 80's, I guess. A colleague and I were waiting to ask him some questions after he finished up chatting with a small group of people that included a dazzling blonde. She sized up his mug and asked, "How'd your nose get like that?"

    "Too many women sittin' on it."

    Wonder how many times he used that line through the years.
     
  10. Pete Wevurski

    Pete Wevurski Member

    Chuck had a role in "Rocky II" but his scene(s) wound up on the cutting room floor. I don't think he knew he had been edited out until the press screening. He was at the screening but I can't remember him being at post-screening presser meal at Gallagher's. Not trying to stir things up; I just can't remember and my clips are in storage across town.
     
  11. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    One thing for sure, he had one of the best nicknames in sports history and it fit him perfectly.
     
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Nitro, did the line work?
     
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