Hollywood vs the iPhone

Today's must-have gadget has an application about a fictitious Tinseltown agent – and the real thing doesn't like what he sees

One of the most feared men in Hollywood has begun what is believed to be the world's first legal action over the content of an iPhone application. Ari Emanuel, a wheeler-dealer so vaunted that his clients include Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, Robert De Niro and Keira Knightley, has seen an iPhone game called Super Agent, noted that its less than morally scrupulous lead character bears his own name, and set the legal hounds on its creator, a small computer programmer from Dublin.

Mr Emanuel, who famously inspired Ari Gold, the foul-mouthed agent of the TV series Entourage, has turned the full force of his lawyers on Oisin Hanrahan, an Irish technology entrepreneur whose start-up firm, Factory Six, developed the iPhone game based on the entertainment industry.

His complaint is simple: Mr Emanuel claims the game, in which players adopt the persona of a highly strung Hollywood "ten-percenter" who happens to be called Ari, was crudely inspired by his own career. His lawyers are therefore demanding that Factory Six withdraws it. The dispute has persuaded Apple to halt sales of Super Agent from its store, pending further investigation.

"The game uses the name 'Ari' for the main character, which clearly is a reference to Mr Emanuel, the co-chief executive officer of WME, one of the world's premier talent agencies," reads the original cease-and-desist letter. "[It] clearly intends to capitalise on using Mr Emanuel's and WME's names for the game and possibly mislead the public into thinking that Mr Emanuel and/or WME endorse the game – effectively trading off the goodwill, reputation and fame established by our clients."

Factory Six denies basing its game on Mr Emanuel, and says that Ari was chosen for its protagonist's name because the success of the TV series Entourage, which lifts a lid on power-broking in the film industry, has made it synonymous with the profession. Mr Hanrahan said yesterday: "The name has come to represent Hollywood, and the whole idea of Hollywood, rather than a particular person. We're a very small firm, of just three people, and since Apple pulled it we have had no income."

In 2002, Mr Emanuel's previous company made headlines when it was sued for sexual harassment by a female employee called Sandra Epstein, who claimed that daily life there involved pot-smoking, bullying and sexual frolics on desks. That case was eventually settled on undisclosed terms.

Undeterred, Factory Six says that it will soon launch an iPhone game based on pretending to be the President of the United States. By coincidence, the current holder of that job boasts Rahm Emanuel, Ari's brother, as his chief-of-staff. "I hope he takes it better," Mr Hanrahan said.

The A-list agent: Past and present clients of Ari Emanuel's agency


Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere


Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, Robert Rodriguez, Martin Scorsese


Larry David and Sacha Baron Cohen


Eminem and Fatboy Slim

Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own