BROOKLYN (CN) – New Line Cinema sued Koch Entertainment for planning to release a cheap home video DVD called “Beyond The Golden Compass” at the same time as New Line’s release of a $180 million movie, “The Golden Compass,” both based on novelist Philip Pullman’s best-selling trilogy, “His Dark Materials.”
Pullman’s trilogy, adapted from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” has sold 14 million copies around the world in 37 languages, the complaint states. Pullman is British. The first installment of his trilogy, “Northern Lights,” was released in the United States as “The Golden Compass.”
New Line plans to release “The Golden Compass” on Dec. 7. It also owns TV and licensing rights to it, and will release it on DVD in 2008. It claims the defendants, “in a cynical and transparent effort to unfairly compete with and capitalize on the massive publicity and promotional effort attendant to the upcoming release of the Plaintiff’s film … have produced and are marketing and distributing the infringing video”. It claims co-defendant Schwartz & Co. made the cover art of the DVD as a direct knock-off of plaintiffs’ art, including a polar bear and a stylized N, and that the defendants deceptively planned their release to imply that the knockoff product is related to the real one.
New Line wants release of the knockoff enjoined, plus $10 million damages. It is represented by Pryor Cashman in Federal Court. See complaint.