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Headline News Claims Dismissed in Disney Pooh Case

In yet another chapter in the lengthy court case pitting Slesinger family against the Walt Disney Co. over WINNIE THE POOH licensing rights, a federal judge on March 27, 2007, dismissed three claims against Disney, reports THE LA TIMES.

However, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper set aside nine other claims, pending the Slesinger's appeal of a related state court case.

"We're pleased with the court's decision," said Daniel Petrocelli, Disney's attorney.

Headline News Starz Sues Disney Over Movie Downloads

Starz Ent. Llc. filed suit today (Mar. 22, 2007), in Los Angles against Buena Vista Television (BVT), a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., for copyright infringement and breach of contract because Disney recently began to sell for transmission over the Internet the same movies that Disney licensed exclusively to Starz. Starz filed the suit in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

Headline News Communications Vet Feldman Launches New Management Consulting Firm

A new management consulting firm for communications in entertainment industry was announced today (March 19, 2007), Feldman & Partners, to be headed by Bob Feldman, a 25-year communications veteran with experience on both the agency and corporate sides. Feldman recently was the head of corporate communications at DreamWorks Animation SKG.

The firm will offer services in seven distinct areas, relevant to ccos, as well as senior agency execs:* Helping with organizational structure for maximum impact and productivity;

Headline News Carol Burnett Sues Fox Over Family Guy

Comedian Carol Burnett has issued a suit in U.S. District Court against 20th Century Fox, claiming that an episode of FAMILY GUY violated copyright law, her right to publicity and misappropriation of name and likeness. In the "Peterotica" episode, Burnett's "Charwoman" character is represented as Burnett working in an adult film shop. Burnett is seeking damages of more than $6 million.

Headline News Disney Board Finds Pixar Backdated Stock Options

The Walt Disney Co. said today (March 16, 2007) that while stock option awards to some employees of Pixar Animation Studios were backdated, the board's audit committee found, "no one currently associated with the company engaged in any intentional or deliberate acts of misconduct," Disney chairman John E. Pepper said in a statement.

The stock option grants were made to key Pixar employees before Disney acquired the company last year.

Headline News Stan Lee Media Sues Marvel for $5 Billion

Having just emerged from bankruptcy protection on Dec. 6, 2006, Stan Lee Media, today (March 15, 2007), filed suit against Marvel Ent. worth $5 billion. In the suit, Stan Lee Media is claiming co-ownership of all Stan Lee's co-creations for Marvel, including Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk. Stan Lee Media requests half of Marvel's earnings derived from those creations, in addition to damages and legal fees.

Headline News The Foundry Acquires NUKE from D2 Software

The Foundry of London, which recently won an Academy Award for development of the Furnace suite of plug-ins, announced at its 10-year anniversary party last Friday, March 9, that it has acquired D2 Software's flagship NUKE compositing software.

The Foundry also makes Keylight (another Academy Award winner) and Tinder plug-ins, and is the creator and major supporter of the OFX plug-in standard, plug-ins that are currently supported within NUKE.

The following statement can be found on The Foundry website:

Headline News Sony Pictures Imageworks May Shift Jobs to New Mexico

Sony Pictures Imageworks has proposed moving more than 100 jobs from Culver City to New Mexico if lawmakers approve a state bill next week that would make permanent an existing program providing a combined 25% rebate on taxable production expenses, reports THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

A proposed 112,000-square-foot digital facility would be housed within the newly opened Albuquerque Studios. The partial relocation would not only reduce the cost of making vfx and 3D animation, but also ease the burden of the Culver City facility that currently operates at full capacity.

Headline News Viacom Sues YouTube for $1B

Viacom Inc. has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube, seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Additionally, Viacom wants an injunction forcing Google and YouTube from posting clips of Viacom-owned content. The complaint contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

Headline News Disney Shareholders Elect All 11 Directors At 2007 Annual Meeting

The Walt Disney Co. shareholders overwhelmingly elected all 11 members of the board of directors at the 2007 annual meeting on March 8.

New Disney chairman John E. Pepper, Jr. welcomed shareholders to the first annual meeting ever to be held by Disney in New Orleans.

Headline News New Animation Center to Open in Malaysia

Malaysian deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced in Seoul, South Korea the establishment of an animation center in Cyberjaya, reports The center, located in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), will be operated by the Multimedia Development Corp. (MDeC) and will serve as the main platform for Malaysian entrepreneurs in the field to tap into the global market.

Headline News Digital Outlook Launches New Production Arm

London-based online marketing and creative agency Digital Outlook is launching its own production division to develop, produce and distribute character-based intellectual properties online, as well as across all media, including TV, licensing, retail and publishing.

The new studio seeks production partners and creative talent to work with on content and brand creation. The studio already has an active development slate and plans to develop and exploit up to 10 franchises over the next two years.

Headline News New German Rebate System for Film Production

In an upcoming talk in Los Angeles, the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, and the regional film funding body, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, will explain to an L.A. audience how American producers can profit from the new German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) which offers a 20% rebate on every Euro spent. They will also present the advantages of Berlin-Babelsberg as one of Europe's most attractive centers for filmmaking. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel.

Headline News Canadian Actors & Producers Reach New Agreement

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 12:00am

Following several days of negotiations the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA), Association des producteurs de films et de television du Quebec (APFTQ) and ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) announced that they have reached a renewed Independent Production Agreement (IPA).

Headline News Flushed Away Sinks DreamWorks Animation 4th Quarter

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2006. In the fourth quarter, the company reported operating revenue of $204.3 million with a net loss of approximately $21.3 million, or ($0.20) per share on a fully diluted basis. These results bring the full year reported revenue for 2006 to a total of $394.8 million and net income of $15.1 million, or $0.15 per share on a fully diluted basis.

Headline News Sony Launches Imageworks India

Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) has purchased 50.1% of FrameFlow, the visual effects and animation studio based in Chennai, India, for about $5 million. FrameFlow worked on Sonys CLICK last year.

As part of the deal, FrameFlow will become Imageworks India and will work with SPIs main production facility in Culver City, California.

Headline News California Judge Rejects Disney Claim to Winnie the Pooh

A federal judge in Los Angeles rejected an attempt by the Walt Disney Co. to strip rights to the Winnie the Pooh character from the estate of long-time Pooh licensee Stephen Slesinger, according to court documents.

New York literary agent Stephen Slesinger acquired the Pooh merchandising rights from author A.A. Milne in 1930. After Slesinger died, his widow struck a deal with Disney in 1961 to merchandise Pooh and his friends in exchange for royalties.

Headline News RichCrest Animation Now Crest Animation Prods. with Fogelson at Helm

RichCrest Animation, the U.S.-based production arm of CGI animation studio Crest Animation Studios Ltd. in India, changes its name to Crest Animation Prods. and is expanding its business to become a full-service animation studio specializing in the development and production of CGI-animated properties for theatrical, television, home entertainment and interactive distribution. DIC Ent. vet Noah Fogelson joins as ceo of Crest Animation to spearhead the expansion, leveraging a multi-million dollar injection of funds from the D. E.

Headline News Disney-ABC Television Group Renames Television Studio

The Disney-ABC Television Group will rename its in-house production company, Touchstone Television, as the ABC Television Studio, it was announced at the 2007 Disney Investor Conference by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. The announcement was made as part of a company-wide strategy to focus on three core brands, Disney, ABC and ESPN.

Headline News Ubisoft to Build New CG Studio

Ubisoft announced a new phase of development for its operations in Quebec, Canada. The company, which currently boasts more than 1,600 in the province, could invest up to an additional 295.6 million euros over the next six years with the goal of building up a team of 3,000 employees by 2013. This forecast exceeds current development objectives for 2005-2010 by an additional 1,000 jobs.

Headline News Buena Vista Games Now Called Disney Interactive Studios

Disney announced the renaming of its videogame business unit to Disney Interactive Studios at the company's investor conference in Orlando. Disney Interactive Studios' svp/gm, Graham Hopper, commented, "This change reflects our focus on creativity, the weight of Disney content in our portfolio, and the enormous value consumers see in the Disney brand."

Headline News TELETOON Launches a Brand New Look

TELETOON audiences are tuning into a brand new look on the 24-hour animation network. A comprehensive re-brand including the on-air identity, for both the TELETOON daytime programming block and The Detour on TELETOON, the interactive website, all marketing collateral and a new corporate identity was unleashed.

Headline News Silverline Tech to Set Up New Animation Unit

Mumbai-based the Silverline Technologies Ltd. announced it will spin off its animation division into a separate entity called Silverline Animation Ltd., report REUTERS.

The draft proposal suggests issuing four shares of the new entity for every 100 shares held in the company.

Headline News Luxology Launches New Training Division

Luxology has created a new training division that will offer a wide range of comprehensive learning materials for modo users. The first product from the new training division is a comprehensive 17-video series, which covers modeling, texturing and lighting for the iconic Le Mans C9 racecar.

Headline News Aqua Teen Promo Sets Off Terror Scare in Boston

Today (Feb. 1, 2007) Turner Broadcasting System was reeling from a PR nightmare after a guerrilla marketing campaign for the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE feature set off a terror scare in Boston. The Adult Swim marketing department had approved the campaign giving lightbox ads to New York-based guerrilla marketer Interference Inc. The ads were placed in 40 locations throughout 10 cities two to three weeks ago. However, some Boston citizens saw the ads and called police afraid of a bomb attack, spurring 10 hours of traffic jams and closed bridges.