Toho wins Kurosawa pics piracy suit

Studio claimed Japanese co. violated copyrights

TOKYO — Tokyo District Court has ruled in favor of the Toho studio in its piracy suit against a company that made and distributed DVDs of eight pics by helmer Akira Kurosawa.

On Friday, the court said Tokyo-based Cosmo Coordinate was violating Toho’s copyrights and ordered Cosmo to pay $78,127 in damages. Toho had asked for $1.3 million.

Cosmo claimed that its Kurosawa DVDs, including the classics “Sanjuro sugata” (1943), “Stray Dog” (1949) and “Ikiru” (1952), were in the public domain because copyright extended to only 33 years after release when the pics bowed.       

The copyright law changed in 1971, extending the term to 38 years after the creator’s death.

Since Kurosawa died in 1998, the court ruled that the pics are protected until 2036. 

Kurosawa worked at Toho from the 1950s to the 1960s, and the company owns the rights to many of his most famous pics.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety