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Disney dismay after failed fight against rentals

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 23 February 2018

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With such a solid corporation and global reputation, Disney have always been proactive in preventing others in the film industry from capitalising on that reputation without authority.

Disney therefore took aim at Redbox, who are a movie rental company.

Redbox had been buying Disney movie DVD’s, which usually included a link for a digital download of the film.

Redbox were then renting the DVD’s in their kiosks but also re-selling the digital download codes.

Disney did not take kindly to this, issuing a claim of copyright infringement and asking the court to order an injunction against Redbox in respect of this practise.

Disney stated in their claim that the practise could be deemed as copyright infringement as Redbox did not have a business arrangement with Disney and the packaging of the DVDs clearly states that the codes were not to be sold separately.

The matter was heard by California federal judge, Judge Pregerson who ruled in favour of Redbox.

Firstly, the court held that the wording of the packaging of the DVDs regarding the resale of the codes did not create an enforceable contract.

Judge Pregerson then went further and upheld Redbox’s argument that Disney was misusing its copyright by trying to restrict resale of its movies after they had already been sold by Disney.

The case has not yet been dismissed but will be considered at the beginning of March as Redbox has filed a motion to dismiss the claim.

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