Warner Bros. Gets Damages, Injunction for Movie Content Infringement
The case is Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., et al. v. X One X Productions, dba X One X Movie Archives, Inc., et al., Case No. 15-3728 (8th Cir., Nov. 1, 2016) (Gruender, J).
Warner owns registered copyrights in the films Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and the cartoon Tom and Jerry. Defendant obtained restored versions of movie posters and lobby cards for the films, and from these publicity materials it extracted then licenses these images for use on a wide variety of consumer products, from shirts, lunch boxes, and playing cards to three-dimensional figurines, water globes, and action figures. The images included Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, and Tom and Jerry. Warner filed suit against AVELA in 2006, asserting copyright and trademark infringement claims under the Copyright Act, Lanham Act, and state law. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment and permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from licensing images from movies owned by Warner.