With the GOP poised to take control of both houses of Congress and control of the White House, the entertainment sector is being subjected to what can only be described as a reign of terror.
With an eye on the 2018 midterm elections, the Hollywood &AM Entertainment Association is threatening to sue the entertainment giants it represents, the National Football League (NFL) and the Disney-owned ABC, for “fraudulent use of [its] trademarks.”
The NFL and Disney-ABC both claim that the two companies are violating the Trademark Act of 1946 by using their trademarks in movies and TV shows, which they claim are copyrighted by their parent companies, who own the rights to the characters and settings.
They are seeking a temporary restraining order that would prevent the parties from using their characters and themes in any movie, television show, game, video game, interactive media, or any other media for at least two years, if not longer.
Disney-ABC has also sued the entertainment companies in the past for violating copyright and trademark laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for alleged infringement of its Mickey Mouse trademark.
Disney has also filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles claiming that Warner Bros. Pictures, the film company behind the DC superhero film The Dark Knight Rises, violated its copyright in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice by using its Batman character in the film.
The lawsuit alleges that Warner’s use of the Batman name is “a direct infringement of the copyright in the Batman character, and also a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.”
In addition, Disney and the NFL have filed an action against a third party for allegedly violating copyright in Warner Bros.’ animated feature, The Jungle Book.
Warner Bros., in turn, is accusing Disney and ESPN of using its animated characters in their animated shows.
The Disney-NFL lawsuit is expected to be heard in late January and is the latest action in a growing battle over the use of Disney characters and characters and imagery in entertainment.
Last year, Disney-Fox sued the network for using characters from the Harry Potter franchise, which the network owns, in the animated film Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The complaint alleged that the networks use of Harry Potter characters violated copyright in Harry Potter books and films.
Fox filed a counter complaint last year, arguing that its use of its characters and scenes from Harry Potter was fair use.
Disney and Warner Bros were among the defendants in that case.
In an effort to get Disney-AM and the other entertainment giants to back off of their infringement claims, the studios reached a settlement last year.
The agreement required the entertainment studios to stop using characters and images from the franchises and movies in which the characters appeared, and to stop the use by other companies and to refrain from using Disney characters in any product that was not a product owned by Disney.
The two sides have also reached a new agreement.
Warner said that the parties will work on a plan to resolve the dispute in the coming weeks.
In a statement, Disney said the settlement “represents a significant step toward bringing these claims to an end.”
The agreement also includes a provision that prevents the studios from using the characters or images in any future Disney-related products or services, and the parties agreed to make available to the public any information that they may have about any infringement claims against Warner Bros and Disney.