David Halberstadter, a partner in the Entertainment and Media Litigation practice, spoke with the Daily Journal on a lawsuit filed by actor Frank Sivero claiming damages against Fox Television Studios Inc. Sivero alleges The Simpsons character, Louie, is stolen from his Frankie Carbone character in the 1990 movie Goodfellas and that Fox misused his likeness for commercial gain. The Louie character first appeared in a 1991 episode, and according to the complaint, the popular animated series has subsequently used the character 16 times.
David noted that Sivero’s claim could be barred either entirely or in part by the statute of limitations, depending upon whether all of the episodes of The Simpsons in which the character appeared are viewed as a single publication or separate publications. If the latter, Sivero might have at least a limited claim on episodes with Louie that have appeared since October 2012. (“$250 Million ‘Simpsons’ Suit May Have Come Too Late,” October 25, 2014)