13 years on, Disney enjoys 'Winnieng' feeling

MUMBAI: Number 13 seems lucky for Walt Disney Co. A 13-year legal battle that the Little Big Mouse has been fighting to protect its proprietership over millions of dollars in merchandising rights for the much loved Winnie the Pooh character has been decided in its favour.

A Los Angeles judge ruled in Disney's favour on Monday, 30 March, after finding that "the accusers systematically stole and altered Disney documents to gain advantage at the trial".

The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy Jr., following a weeklong hearing on Disney's so-called "trash motion" to dismiss the case brought by Stephen Slesinger Inc., said that that the Pooh rights-owner had "tampered with the administration of justice" by unlawfully obtaining Disney documents in the case.

The dispute, ongoing since 1991, centered around allegations that Disney had avoided paying royalties to the heirs of Stephen Slesinger by not reporting sales of Pooh merchandise to foreign licensees for years and not paying on other items allegedly covered by their licensing agreement as per various media reports.

Stephen Slesinger purchased the rights from Pooh creator AA Milne in 1929. His widow had licensed the rights to Walt Disney Jr in 1969. The allegation that it backed out of a royalty agreement with the Slesingers was denied by Disney and also stated that losing the case could cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.

$ 6 million is spawned in revenue by Winnie the Pooh for Disney every year, which is more than any other character the company markets.

In February, Disney asked Judge Charles McCoy of the California Superior Court's Complex Litigation Court to throw out the case against it, alleging the Slesingers stole and doctored Disney documents.

The Slesingers denied stealing the documents but did say that they obtained the documents from Disney's "publicly accessible" trash containers.

Bret Fausett, an attorney for Stephen Slesinger Inc. said that the family will file an appeal, saying the evidence presented in the case does not support the judge's decision, according to media reports.

Latest Reads
Sony Yay to launch English audio feeds

MUMBAI: After building a robust content portfolio for their young viewers and becoming the only home-grown kids’ channel in India with five languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, Sony Yay is set to add another feather to its cap by soon launching English audio feeds....

Television TV Channels Viewership
Formula 1 launches OTT platform with two subscription models

Formula 1 (F1), one of the world's most prized sporting properties, launched its over the top (OTT) service F1 TV last month. The platform comes with two service models - F1 TV Pro (Live) and F1 TV Access (non-live) - at different price points.

Television TV Channels Sports
LIVE Coverage of Tour De France on DSPORT this year

LIVE Coverage of Tour De France on DSPORT this year

Television TV Channels Sports
Business news most benefited genre in Chrome DM week 24

With a growth of 1.24 per cent as compared to last week (23), the business news genre marked the highest opportunity to see (OTS) among all categories in week 24. Zee Business gained the highest OTS with 84.3 per cent in six metros, according to the data compiled by Chrome Data Analytics and Media...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Zee TV to launch the third season of 'India's Best Dramebaaz'

MUMBAI: Locked in a see-saw battle with Colors for top billing in the Hindi GEC space, Zee TV has made its latest move. The Puneet Goenka-led channel's latest offering to the Indian audiences is season three of 'India's Best Dramebaaz'. Having enjoyed a successful run during the first two seasons...

Television TV Channels GECs
Sony to soon launch Indian Idol season 10

MUMBAI: Indian Idol, one of Sony’s most acclaimed reality shows, is all set to come back on small screen with its tenth installment. Considering that all its previous seasons have done exceedingly well, there are great expectations this year as well. Sony has released its first promo, captioned #...

Television TV Channels GECs
VIVO IPL: VIVO IPL on Star Sports register highest ever engagement

Revolutionizing the way, the world experiences VIVO IPL, Star India reimagined VIVO IPL in to a six-month fiesta instead of just a two-month tournament. Keeping fans at the heart of the experience, Star India used the confluence of technology, consumer insight, and experience in cricket coverage,...

Television TV Channels Sports
Abhishek Upadhyay joins &TV as marketing head

Abhishek Upadhyay, who headed marketing for OLX, has been appointed marketing head of &TV, the Hindi language GEC channel of Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited (ZEEL).

Television TV Channels People
Saral Jeevan adds three new programs to its prime time offering

Saral Jeevan, a Kannada infotainment channel, is launching three shows today. While one of them is season two of Jnanapada (based on folk songs), the other two programs are based on factual content. With a focus on non- fiction programming like history, mythology, travel and insights from Indian...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories