From a PR standpoint, it’s been a strange week for PMC.
On Tuesday, Jay Penske’s operation rolled out a new weekly edition of Variety. But for a variety of reasons (pun intended, sorry), the launch yielded not nearly the boffo media splash it should have.
Now, at the end of a Passover/Good Friday week’s close, there is news of the settlement of a contentious IP theft lawsuit filed by PMC against Hollywood Reporter parent-parent company Prometheus Global Media. In this case, perhaps PMC was readying a big Cesar Chavez Day press release. But instead, Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz this afternoon got to the court documents first, followed by TheWrap’s Lucas Shaw:
When PMC filed the suit, it was seeking more than $5 million in damages, accusing THR of lifting source code from PMC’s site TVLine.com. The two parties settled on $162,500 as well as some other pieces that have not been made public, according to an individual with knowledge of the suit.
Those “other pieces” may be key. Reached via email tonight, PMC attorney Bryan J. Freedman, Esq. of the law firm Freedman & Taitelman, LLP tells FishbowlLA: “It is very rare when a company publicly apologizes for copyright infringement. As a result, we are hopeful that The Hollywood Reporter will join the rest of the Hollywood community and place a greater emphasis on valuing and protecting the rights of content owners. It is unfortunate that it took protracted litigation to make this happen.”
The statement from a Prometheus spokesperson, also provided to FishbowlLA, reads: “The TVline.com issue was the result of an error by an outside consultant, nothing more. As soon as Penske notified the company, the portion of site at issue was taken down. Shortly thereafter, an apology was given. The amount of the settlement speaks for itself.”
Previously on FishbowlLA:
TVLine.com Parent Company Sues Hollywood Reporter for Copyright Infringement
PMC vs. Prometheus, Part 34