After an 18-month investigation, the European Union issues anti-trust lawsuit against Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros, as well as Britain and Ireland’s Sky TV. The suit specifically calls into question copyright laws which allow Hollywood studios to sell their content individually to national markets, creating a divided European market in defiance of EU rules, according to the commission. Specifically, subscribers to the Sky TV’s network of channels are blocked from accessing its offerings of films and TV series outside Britain and Ireland. Competition Commissioner Vestager:
European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU. Our EU economy Internet antitrust investigation shows that they cannot do this today. We believe that this may be in breach of EU competition rules. The studios and Sky UK now have the chance to respond to our concerns.
NBC and Warner said they were in talks with the Commission. Fox declined to comment.
Redmayne has been offered the role of Newt Scamander in Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. Scamander is described as a “magiczoologist,” a person who studies magical creatures. Besides Scamander, there are four other main roles — two American girls and two American boys — that the studio is looking to cast.
Warner Bros. releases another trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.
After a fourteen year absence, Spielberg returns to Warner Bros. He is pegged to direct Ready Player One.
We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros. We had an historic series of collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s and have wanted to bring him back for years.
Warner Bros. and WWE issue press release on new partnership for home entertainment distribution. The release reads:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) and WWE (NYSE: WWE) have announced a multi-year partnership for home video distribution of WWE programming that will start on January 1, 2015 and include US distribution rights for physical and digital formats. The new agreement will provide WBHE the home entertainment distribution rights to release new documentaries, match compilations and pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania® and SummerSlam®, as well as a robust catalog of collectible titles throughout the US. The companies have recently worked together on two animated series tied to the Scooby Doo and The Flintstones franchises.
In tandem with its dispute with publishing companies, Amazon stops taking advance orders on select Warner Bros. videos, including Lego: The Movie, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Winter’s Tale, and Transcendence. Amazon has not commented on the dispute, but a spokesperson from Time Warner states:
It is general policy not to comment on contract terms or any other proprietary information having to do with our partners.
Amazon customers complain verbally on the site, that Lego: The Movie and other popular titles are not listed on Amazon’s “forthcoming list” and “Kids & Family” page. The dispute between Amazon and Time Warner will not be resolved until a new contract is agreed upon by both parties.
The actor sues producer Lorre and Warner Bros. studio for $100 million, claiming his firing was a violation of California law:
Pretext for discrimination on account of (his) physical and mental disabilities.
In addition to punitive damages, Sheen’s lawsuit seeks compensation for the remaining episodes in the actor’s $95 million contract, which includes his share of syndication profits. He also seeks payment for the rest of the show’s cast and crew.