Disney Faces $600K Copyright Damages Verdict For 'Beauty And The Beast' Remake

A federal jury has ordered Walt Disney Co DIS to pay nearly $600,000 for copyright infringement related to its 2017 live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast.”

What Happened:  The jury concluded that Disney used motion-capture technology, owned by Rearden LLC, without permission. The disputed software, MOVA Contour, was employed to animate the face of the Beast, portrayed by actor Dan Stevens, as per Reuters report.

Rearden was awarded over $250,000 in actual damages and Disney was recommended to remit more than $345,000 of its profits from the film, according to Steve Berman, Rearden’s attorney.

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Why It Matters: Originally, Rearden filed the lawsuit in 2017, alleging that an ex-employee stole the Contour technology and handed it over to another company, Digital Domain 3.0. The suit claimed that Disney infringed Rearden’s copyright by collaborating with Digital Domain to use the technology in the film.

Disney denied the allegations, arguing that Rearden did not own the software’s copyright during the production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The company further claimed immunity from copyright infringement based on Digital Domain’s use of the software.

In the legal dispute Rearden LLC v. Disney Enterprises Inc, it is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, with the case number 4:17-cv-04006.

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Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

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