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Disney accuses Redbox of knowingly violating copyright licenses

Disney has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Redbox, a company that rents DVDs through kiosks nationwide. The court filings make multiple claims against the DVD distributor, including violation of licensing agreements for copyrighted material and copyright infringement.

The combo packs sold by Redbox have caused Disney to file the lawsuit because those products include codes that allow customers to download digital copies of Disney movies. The lawsuit describes Redbox's action as a violation of the licensing terms for the copyrighted material. Disney insists that Redbox has distributed these codes with "full knowledge" that it is not adhering to the licensing terms.

The lawsuit goes on to accuse Redbox of contributing to copyright infringement because the digital access codes enable customers to copy content without permission from Disney, the copyright holder. According to the complaint, the defendant knows that customers can make copies, and the company's actions represent a material contribution to the infringement of Disney's intellectual property rights. A representative from Redbox declined to comment directly on the lawsuit.

In a legal battle like this, the contracts that govern the terms of distributing copyrighted content will come under scrutiny. A person or organization involved in a dispute over the use of licensed material could seek advice from an attorney familiar with contract law and intellectual property. A lawyer could review the applicable agreements and defend the position of the person. Initially, an attorney might strive to work out a resolution through negotiations. If a pretrial settlement cannot be reached, a lawyer could present evidence to support his or her client's agenda in court.

Source: Hollywood Reporter, "Disney Sues Redbox Over Sale of Movie Download Codes", Eriq Gardner, Dec. 1, 2017

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