Wednesday, September 30, 2009

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Suit Is Dismissed; New York Times, 9/30/09

Dave Itzkoff, New York Times; ‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Suit Is Dismissed:

"A longstanding lawsuit involving royalties for the characters of Winnie-the-Pooh and his lovable, lucrative friends from the Hundred Acre Wood was dismissed in federal district court in Los Angeles, Reuters reported. In a legal dispute that dates to 1991, the estate of Stephen Slesinger, the producer who first acquired licensing rights to the Pooh works and characters from A. A. Milne in 1930, was suing for more than $700 million in royalties it says it was owed by the Walt Disney Company, which acquired the rights from Stephen Slesinger Inc. in 1961. When lower courts threw out that case after the misconduct of a private investigator, Mr. Slesinger’s heirs filed a copyright-infringement suit against Disney. On Friday Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled that Stephen Slesinger Inc. “transferred all of its rights in the Pooh works to Disney, and may not now claim infringement of any retained rights.”"

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