'Ghost Hunters' producer files $3M royalties lawsuit

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'Ghost Hunters' producer files $3M royalties lawsuit

Fri Aug 27, 2010 @ 09:38AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Ghost-huntersPilgrim Films & Television, the production company behind Syfy's "Ghost Hunters," is suing DVD distributor Big Vision Entertainment for failing to pay more than $3 million in royalties.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, Pilgrim alleges that Big Vision breached a contract signed in June 2005. That deal allegedly granted Big Vision the exclusive right to distribute "Ghost Hunters" on DVD in exchange for 65% of net profits. The term sheet is said to have expired but was renewed by oral agreement.

Pilgrim says that in September 2008, Big Vision entered into an output deal with Image Entertainment, where the latter got to exploit "never before seen" bonus materials in home video format and on digital channels such as iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Sony Playstation and AT&T. Big Vision allegedly permitted Image to deduct from sales revenues its costs and a percentage of the profits. Later the deal was apparently expanded to cover more "Ghost Hunters" titles.

The plaintiff now claims that Big Vision breached the distribution agreement by failing to pay full royalties, making unauthorized deductions and failing to provide a complete accounting.

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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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