DVD Sanitizer Saga Continues: Clean Flicks Sues Alleged Pedophile For Claiming Affiliation

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DVD Sanitizer Saga Continues: Clean Flicks Sues Alleged Pedophile For Claiming Affiliation

Fri Feb 01, 2008 @ 07:27PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Cleanflicks Are you ready for this? Earlier this week we posted about the man who ran a business that edited salacious content out of DVDs getting arrested for having sex with underaged girls and using his business as "a cover for a pornography studio." Well, things have just gotten a whole lot stranger.

Now Utah-based Clean Flicks Media, which, if you remember, lost a copyright battle with Hollywood studios over DVD sanitation, is stepping up big-time to try to edit this guy, Daniel Thompson, out of the picture.

The company held a press conference today to distance itself from Thompson and released a timeline of its corporate history showing that the original Clean Flicks business was founded in 2000 by Ray and Sharon Lines.

But they didn't stop there. Clean Flicks Media also filed a lawsuit today in Utah District Court alleging that Thompson is falsely representing himself as a "as a founder, owner, franchisee or dealer of CleanFlicks." The complaint alleges violations of trademark, false designation of origin, cyberpiracy prevention, and tortious interference.

The company acknowledges that Daniel Thompson once played a role in the Clean Flicks business. But according to the timeline, the original brick and mortar store chain owned by the Lines family was largely shuttered in 2002 and 2003. The company sold three of the stores to Daniel Thompson's father, who hired his son as a manager. Apparently, Daniel had a criminal background, and when Clean Flicks found out, they say they notified the father they wouldn't do business with Daniel.

Flash forward to 2006, when, according to Clean Flicks, Daniel Thompson continued to operate a business under the Clean Flicks (also Cleanflix) name, and he later renamed it FlixClub. The two sides have been engaged in a trademark fight for a few years — but up until the time Thompson was arrested by police, he continued to operate a business that purported to take smut out of movies.

Of course, the irony here is how Clean Flicks is going after this guy by invoking a misuse of its intellectual property (trademark) after having fought so hard against Hollywood's claims of copyright infringement.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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