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Disney, 20th Century Fox and Paramount’s motion to dismiss copyright claim denied

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 21 June 2018

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Three of the biggest companies in the media world made an attempt to rid themselves of a copyright claim filed against them in respect of 3D animation software, but this was denied.

The matter began in July 2017 when US technology company Rearden filed a claim against Disney, 20th Century Fox and Paramount for copyright infringement of motion capture technology. They also filed a patent infringement claim against Disney.

The technology in question use an actors performance of a character frame by frame to create the 3D animated image. This has been used in many films, including recent successes ‘Deadpool and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.

Rearden claims that the special effect company used by the giants did not obtain a license for his program and therefore committed copyright infringement.

The program has been registered for copyright protection in the US, as well as patent protection.

In February this year, the court allowed Disney’s request to dismiss the copyright claim against them but prevented them from also ridding the patent claim.

However, Rearden filed amended copyright claims in March, which led to the big 3 filing motions to dismiss part of the claim., due to the offending acts being committed by a separate company.

However, the court disagreed and denied the motions to dismiss, agreeing with Rearden that the companies could have ended their contract with the special effect company when the alleged infringement took place and that they should have been monitoring DD3’s acts.

However, a small relief for Disney, as the patent claim was dismissed on that grounds that it could not be shown that Disney had possession or control over the elements of the system which is needed to prove patent infringement.

Yet another success for the small against the mighty, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out.

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