WB and the Case of Intellectual Property Rights

Ah the internet is all the buzz about WB’s apparent hypocracy. See they filed against a movie titled Hari Puttar because “Warner Bros. values and protects intellectual property rights” and then news came out that Fox has not filed last minute against the Watchmen, in fact they have been trying to get WB to recognize their claim for a couple years now. Before WB even moved forward on production. Seems they didn’t “value intellectual property rights” unless its already theirs. They have no problem crossing the line of OTHER properties, but don’t dare come close to their own.

Fox paid for the rights to the intellectual property of Watchmen, and though WB owns Watchmen, they have a legal agreement with Fox to produce it which Fox alleges is still in place.

IESB.net says:

Stop a film’s release?! Even though WB (allegedly) illegally moved forward on the property when perhaps it wasn’t supposed to? YES! It’s called THE LAW!

I checked around town to nail down when exactly 20th Century Fox contacted WB in regards to Fox’s Quitclaim. I am told it was months before production even started and that Fox made plenty of attempts via e-mail, snail mail and phone to get WB to address the issue.

It’s hard to understand exactly what WB was thinking when they decided to move forward on Watchmen without first taking care of all the legalities. A source close to both studios tells the IESB that, “Fox reached out to WB in 2007, early 2008 and that WB simply dropped the ball, someone over at WB legal didn’t do his job.”

WB may have been caught with their pants down. I originally pointed the finger at Fox saying they were being the bitches starting the lawsuit over the rights to Watchmen at the last second when the WB was making the film over the last year. Well apparently proof comes out that Fox HAS been calling them on it and the WB just ignored them.

But the instinct is to side against WB in their OTHER lawsuit against Bollywood producers releasing a film called Hari Puttar for similiarities to their wizarding mega franchise Harry Potter. Its just not right that WB can (allegedly) violate intellectual property law on one day, and then sue someone for doing it to them the next. But you cant.

It sucks, but it is the law. Just because someone might be breaking one law doesn’t make them immune to the same law. Much like if someone breaks into your house, you might feel legally justified to beat the fuck out of them, but that is still considered assault.

Justice is blind. Not in that it doesn’t see what is happening, but in that it is blind to all other influences that might deviate it from its cause. Justice is the execution of the law. If the law is discarded because you feel bad, then Justice isn’t served.

So while I would agree with you, that if someone was to break into my house and I was home he would pay. Dearly. And I would likely face assault charges. Sounds stupid, but its the law.

The result of the Hari Puttar case will not have any bearing on the Watchmen Case. It sounds like Fox might have them by the short hairs, but that doesn’t mean WB cannot pursue its other legitimate cases.

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16 thoughts on “WB and the Case of Intellectual Property Rights

  1. DC is owned by the WB… however that wasn’t always the case. When another studio wants to do a movie about a comic book (or any adaptation for that matter) they have to go to the owners and buy the rights to it.

    Marvel just recently opened the own studio Marvel Films, before that they would just license out the rights to studios that were willing to pay to have permission to make the film.

  2. AMC, because it infringes on their intellectual property rights. Copyright and Trademark MUST be defended or it loses its value.

    They have nothing against the filmmakers or the movie itself, just the alleged intentional use of a name that is similar to their own property.

  3. Sometimes it seems that lawyers propagate legal issues to justify themselves and pad their income. Someone’s lawyer let the ball drop on this one.

    Then again, I once did catch someone breaking into my car. The really nice police officer said I could not press charges. The perpetrator ended up with a broken collar bone and broken ribs from the fall he took while trying to break into my car…. poor guy.

  4. if watchmen is based 100% on the novel…it will be GROUNDBREAKING.

    for now, well wait till march with that nail biting anticipation…

    “who watches the watchmen?”

  5. You know I think Warner Bros, is doing this on purpose… just to show the INDIANS that when they go to India for Stock Market, they have the proof that they have the power,

    And from there all Indians gonna end up buying stocks…

    So I dont know I think they are doing this for a long run…

    Which is also weird…

  6. Huh. And these companies make a big deal out of people downloading movies or using music or video clips of their properties for minor reasons. It’s not really the same thing but the principle remains: If it isn’t yours or if you don’t have permission, don’t take it or use it. Hypocrisy indeed!

  7. Whatever happens, i’m just glad Fox nevr made it while it was sitting on their development desk for all that time. they would have watered it down so much & ballsed it up for the sake of their key demographic: Soccer moms & dads. Check their resume in that genre outside X1 & 2:
    Fantastic Four & it’s sequel..
    Wolverine (which excs are already cringing at)
    Technically a couple of them aren’t released under the Fox banner, but nevertheless Columbia/Fony & Universal are owned by Murdoch.

  8. I believe the movie will be released no matter what. WB will just cut Fox a huge check and they will share profits. It is not going to make WB happy to do that but it is better than the movie not coming out at all.

  9. This is a very strange situation, Warner Brothers is a multi-billion dollar organization, they should have a big enough legal team to settle this kind of situation long before it becomes an issue.

    That said, this Hari Potter hypocracy angle seems like a cheap shot to me, that indian movie looks like a blatent ripoff, and they have every reason to sue over it, I doubt it was even the same section of the legal department involved in each decision. What’s more, it’s not like Warner outright stole an idea from Fox and called it Watchpeople, it’s just a disagreement over who owns the rights to an existing property, I doubt the Indian studio is even pretending to own the rights to the Harry Potter series.

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