By Daniel Davidson
In a lawsuit filed by Atlas Productions, LLC, which made the 2011 movie Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, Netflix, Inc., Relativity Media, LLC, and a Relativity subsidiary, RML Acquisitions III, LLC, are accused of accepting exclusive rights to offer the movie, post-theatre, without handing over any consideration in return.
The 9 page complaint accuses the Defendants of breach of contract, account stated, open book account, unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation, and copyright infringement against Netflix exclusively. Specifically, the complaint (which you can review in its entirety here) alleges that Relativity and RML owe Atlas Productions a total of $1.5 million, pursuant to the complaint, in two installments. None of which has been handed over for those exclusive release rights.
In a review of Netflix’s website, the Atlas movie can be found. The movie can now even be found on Blockbuster’s online store with a whopping three star rating. Could this be a case of Relativity and RLM getting in a little bit over their head and subsequently finding out they have the exclusive rights to sell…dirt (I am purely going off Blockbuster’s review)?
As for the copyright infringement aspect of the case, if Atlas Productions can prove their rights (simply done with a copyright registration), and their allegation that they never received satisfaction for their license agreement, Netflix would have committed copyright infringement. An option for Netflix could possibly be to turnaround and sue Relativity and/or RLM because Netflix is not named as a party to the contract. Just speculating, but it is possible that the two Rs misrepresented that Netflix was able to offer the movie to the public.
This complaint could also be a way for Atlas Productions to flex their muscles and show the Defendants that they weren’t kidding when they asked for their money. Maybe baseball bats will be next? I’m picturing a scene straight from Casino. Cheers.