Twin Design /
8 January 2015Copyright

Film companies shake rather than stir in Bond copyright row

Film studios MGM and Universal have settled a dispute over a forthcoming film that MGM accused of copying elements of the James Bond franchise.

The dispute, which centred on Universal’s pending spy movie Section 6, was settled by the two studios, and the film’s screenwriter Aaron Berg, at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday (January 7).

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

“The parties have resolved the matter to their satisfaction,” a statement from the companies read.

The spat over the proposed film began in April last year, when MGM, which produces the James Bond series of films, claimed that Berg’s script copied elements of the Bond franchise.

In its lawsuit, MGM and Danjaq, which owns copyright and trademarks relating to James Bond, claimed that Section 6, which centres on the history of UK intelligence agency MI6, shared similar elements with the film series.

According to the lawsuit, the similarities included “a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by 'His Majesty’s Secret Service,' with a 'licence to kill'. and a 00 (double-0) secret agent number”.

MGM said it is reserving the right to sue Universal again if there is something in the film that it believes infringes its copyright.

Section 6 has no planned release date yet but it has been announced that it will be directed by Joe Cornish.

The 24th James Bond film, called Spectre, is expected to be released towards the end of this year.

James Bond was created by UK author Ian Fleming as part of a series of books, the first of which was published in 1953.

Earlier this week, WIPR revealed that copyright protection for the works of Fleming, who died in 1964, had expired in countries with a ‘life plus 50-year’ term of copyright protection.

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