Given how complicated digital rights management can be these days, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Boulder, Colorado-based Starz Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against Buena Vista Television, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, for copyright infringement and breach of contract.
The case stems from recent online content deals Disney has been cutting, particularly one covering pay-per-download rights granted to iTunes and Walmart.com. Starz contends that it has the exclusive licenses for the same movies that are part of the online deals.
The suit, which was filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California last evening, states that there has been a ‘blatant breach’ of previous licensing agreements from 1993, 1999 and extended in 2005. It also notes that over the term of the agreements, Starz has paid Disney more than US$1 billion.
Starz is seeking the profits from Disney’s online content deals in damages.