Summit sues to stop 'Twilight' documentary

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Summit sues to stop 'Twilight' documentary

Wed Feb 10, 2010 @ 10:15AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Picture 10 Summit Entertainment has sunk its fangs into a company planning to release a documentary about Forks, Wash., the locale of its hugely successful "Twilight" franchise. 

On March 20, the mega-hit "New Moon" DVD hits stores. On the same day, Summit is planning to release a documentary it acquired called "Twilight in Forks: The Saga of the Real Town," produced by Heckelsville Media.

But according to the complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, before Heckelsville sold Summit the rights to the documentary, it shopped the property around to others and showed a one-sheet to Topics Entertainment, a Washington-based multimedia giant that typically produces educational videos. 

Topics then made its own documentary, entitled "Forks: Bitten by Twilight," allegedly incorporating the Twilight name and font in a similar manner with a quote from "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer: "And there, right where I wanted it to be, was a tiny town called 'Forks.' " 

The competing documentary is allegedly planned for release on March 16 -- a few days before Summit's own "Twilight"-related doc -- in retail outlets such Best Buy, Sam's Club and Target.

"Summit has been informed by such retailers that Topics has rushed its release date to coincide with the release of the 'New Moon' DVD and the Authorized Documentary on March 20, 2010," the complaint says.

Summit is suing for trademark and copyright infringement. The basis for the copyright claim is that "Forks: Bitten" allegedly includes reproduced content from the "Twilight" movies, including the image of misty woods shown above.

The case was filed by Jill Pietrini, Barry Mallon and Paul Bost at LA's Manatt Phelps & Phillips.

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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 [email protected]


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