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

Actors

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

Film-makers

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

Comedians

Larry David and Sacha Baron Cohen

Musicians

Eminem and Fatboy Slim

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
News
news
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Liverpool - up to £28,000

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...

    Recruitment Genius: Salesforce Developer

    £50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss