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Preminger v. Columbia Pictures Corp.

267 N.Y.S.2d 594 (1966)

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Preminger v. Columbia Pictures Corp.

New York Supreme Court

267 N.Y.S.2d 594 (1966)

Facts

Otto Preminger (plaintiff) produced and directed the motion picture Anatomy of a Murder. Carlyle Productions, Inc. (Carlyle) (plaintiff) owned the rights to the picture. Carlyle entered a series of agreements with Columbia Pictures Corporation (Columbia) (defendant) for distribution of the film. The agreements gave Preminger and Carlyle final cut over the film. However, the contractual language concerning the grant of television rights did not reference cutting or editing. Preminger and Carlyle objected to the cutting of the film for television and brought suit to obtain an injunction against Columbia and Screen Gems, Inc. (defendant), a Columbia subsidiary, to prevent broadcast. Preminger and Carlyle argued that edits would undermine the artistic and commercial value of the film and damage Preminger’s reputation in the film industry. Evidence presented by Columbia and Screen Gems established that minor cuts, especially to accommodate commercials, were the prevailing custom in the television industry.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Klein, J.)

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