(CN) – An investment firm claims Warner Bros. cheated it out of $6 million in profits on a joint venture to make and distribute 10 TV shows, including episodes of “Dukes of Hazzard” and “Night Court.” Syca Inc. sued Warner Bros. in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Syca claims it signed an agreement with Warner Bros. in 1984 that was set to expire in March 2009. At the end of the 25-years, Warner Bros. was to sell Syca’s interest in the shows to the highest bidder, Syca claims. Syca says Warner Bros. refused to follow through. It claims that Warner Bros. also has kept it in the dark about distribution, profits and taxes for the past 2 years, a move Syca claims is calculated to devalue its investment.
Syca claims Warner Bros. made $602,000 from distributing the TV shows outside the agreed areas, and in specifically “prohibited territories” of Sri Lanka and Russia. It claims that Warner Bros. pocketed the money without paying Syca its share, despite an October letter admitting that it owed Syca $140,000 in distribution fees.
Syca says Warner Bros. used the “blood-red ‘V'” trademark of the joint venture to market the shows, for which it refused to pay Syca.
Syca wants $6 million in damages and a receiver appointed to oversee the sale of the shows. It is represented by Steven Goldberg with Russ August & Kabat.