Marley documentary subject of lawsuit

Marley documentary subject of lawsuit

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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I Shot the Sheriff, the lead-off episode in the Netflix documentary series ReMastered, which centres around the 1976 assassination attempt on the life of reggae superstar Bob Marley, is the subject of a lawsuit in the United States.

Documents filed in the Superior Court of California on October 11, noted that TJ Barrack and Marc Joubert of the Los Angeles-based Adaptive Studios are suing the executive producers of the Netflix series Jeff and Michael Zimbalist. Barrak and Joubert are contending that ReMastered was their idea and are therefore accusing the two executive producers of stealing their concept for a music documentary.

According to the court documents, in June 2011 Barrack and Joubert pitched ReMastered as a series of hour-long episodes that would be produced and directed by a rotating list of industry personnel. They wanted the Zimbalists to direct an episode.

Barrack and Joubert contend that this court action arises from the “blatant misappropriation, unauthorised use and exploitation of their ideas and concepts as shared with the Zimbalists. They further note that both men were first approached to solicit their input to direct a single episode of the series.

“The episode, entitled I Shot the Sheriff, was described by plaintiffs as exploring 'the controversies and conspiracy theories behind the separate and unrelated shootings in Jamaica of two of the world's most famous reggae stars, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The Zimbalists, who had never before heard the theory that Bob Marley's shooting may have been an attempted political assassination orchestrated by the CIA, were intrigued by the novel subject matter and eager to direct the episode. The Zimbalists further understood that they were merely being pitched as potential directors, not owners and were not authorised to used the Remastered concept and ideas without plaintiff's permission and without compensation to Plaintiffs,” the court documents state.

Barrack and Joubert claim that despite this, the Zimbalists went ahead and “unapologetically stole the Remastered concept, fraudulently represented it as being owned and created by them and are now profiting”. They are therefore bringing the action to recover monetary damages as a result.

I shot the Sheriff premièred on Netflix on October 12. The monthly, eight-part series examines high-profiled events surrounding a particular artiste. The list of acts to be featured includes Johnny Cash, Jam Master Jay, Sam Cooke, and Robert Johnson.

—Richard Johnson

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