The US Supreme Court has agreed to referee a Hollywood legal brawl stemming from the Oscar-winning boxing drama "Raging Bull."

Martin Scorsese's acclaimed 1980 movie starred Robert De Niro as the tortured middleweight Jake LaMotta.

However, a copyright spat has rumbled on for years between the estate of late screenwriter Frank Petrella, whose daughter Paula claims that studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) infringed copyright by reproducing copies of the film.

MGM had already won an appeals court case in California after arguing that Petrella's rights had lapsed after she waited too long to make a claim for them.

The "Raging Bull" case was one of eight selected to be heard by the Supreme Court in its new session in 2013-2014 out of some 2,000 that were considered, the court said. The hearing is scheduled for January 2014.

The Supreme Court remained open on Tuesday despite the US government shutdown triggered by feuding Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

The court has also decided to hear the case of a California motorist who was stopped by police after an anonymous tip from the public. The man, Lorenzo Navarette, was found to have a large haul of marijuana in his car and was later jailed.


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