Hey pallies, here is even more info on the lawsuit over the Dean Martin Show rights. It appears that Guthy-Renker knew since last September about the problem over rights to the Dinoshow. Again, if you wish to see it in the original form, just click on the title of this Dinopost.
NBC sues Palm Desert
05:22 PM PDT on Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
Lawyers for media giant NBC Universal has filed a lawsuit claiming Palm Desert-based Guthy-Renker, an infomercial titan, has been making money off a television show that isn't theirs to sell.
Near acne cream and exercise equipment in the list of Guthy-Renker's products is "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts" DVD collection.
According to the suit, Guthy-Renker, which claims annual sales of $1.3 billion, also began selling "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show" in 2003, which, unlike the celebrity roast footage, contained clips still owned by NBC Universal.
The Aug. 3 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of California accuses Guthy-Renker officials of knowingly selling the variety show DVD collection since September 2006 despite being warned about NBC's copyrights and agreeing to settle with NBC at a July 9, 2006, meeting.
NBC Universal contends that the infomercial company has earned tens of millions of dollars from sales of the DVDs.
Shannon Keller, spokeswoman for Guthy-Renker, said no one at the company was available to comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include Greg Garrison Productions Inc., which acted as producer and director of "The Dean Martin Show." NBC Universal claims Garrison attempted to buy all 235 episodes in 1979 but instead bought 26 episodes in 1980. By the beginning of 2003, Garrison had signed an agreement with Guthy-Renker to distribute "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show," according to the lawsuit.
Three years later, NBC Universal discovered footage it owned was featured in the DVDs.
Ronald L. Blanc, who represents the Greg Garrison Revocable Trust and Black Horse Television Enterprises LLC, and Barrump-Bump Publishing Co. are also named as defendents.
Greg Garrison died in March 2005. A woman who answered the phone at a business identified as Greg Garrison Productions in Thousand Oaks refused to comment. Blanc and officials at Barrump-Bump Publishing Co. could not be reached for comment.
Dean Martin, the comedic crooner and one-fifth of the Rat Pack, hosted his own variety show for nine seasons from 1965 to 1976. He died in 1995.
NBC Universal claims it owns the rights to 235 episodes of "The Dean Martin Show" and portions of at least 86 of those episodes were used in the DVDs later sold by Greg Garrison Productions and Guthy-Renker. The media company hasn't disputed Guthy-Renker's ownership of the celebrity roast footage, said NBC Universal's Nate Kirtman.
Guthy-Renker has held the copyright to the "Best of Dean Martin Variety Show" on videocassette since 2002 and on DVD since 2005, and has held the "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" title since 2004, according to records on the U.S. Copyright Office's Web site.
The company holds the trademark for "Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts," which was approved by The Dean Martin Family Trust, according to records on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The trust still owns the trademark to Dean Martin's name.
Variety Show Squabble
NBC Universal claims footage it owns of "The Dean Martin Show" has been used in unauthorized DVDs sold by Palm Desert-based infomercial giant Guthy-Renker.
235 -episodes of "The Dean Martin Show" owned by NBC Universal
86 - episodes owned by NBC Universal but used in Guthy-Renker's "The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show"
Source: lawsuit filed by NBC Universal