23 January 2020CopyrightRory O'Neill

Warner Bros sues over paranormal tapes

Warner Bros Entertainment is suing a Canadian woman it says is the “architect” of a fraudulent enterprise distributing unlicensed works related to the late paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The complaint, filed at the US District Court for the District of New Mexico on Tuesday, January 21, said that Vancouver resident Lea Boyd was responsible for selling books, e-books, and MP3 recordings which stole from the Warrens’ 1990 TV series “Seekers of the Supernatural”.

The couple’s accounts of their paranormal investigations are the basis of “The Conjuring” film series, which is produced by Warner-owned division New Line Cinema, also named as a plaintiff.

Boyd allegedly used a series of aliases, such as Taffy Sealyham, Ali Mazuren, and Jane Smith, to conceal her activities.

She also allegedly registered shell companies across the world, such as Galaxtic Media in the UK, which was dissolved in 2016.

Boyd had a “minor role” working on “Seekers of the Supernatural” in the late 1990s, the complaint said.

IP related to the show is owned by the Warrens’ estate, represented by their daughter Judy Spera, also named as a plaintiff.

Spera owns copyright registrations for “Seekers of the Supernatural”, while New Line owns the exclusive life story rights for the Warrens’ life, the complaint said.

The complaint said Boyd was looking to capitalise on the success of the 2013 film and subsequent sequels, which have proven a hit at the box office.

In 2017, author Gerard Bittle sued Warner Bros, seeking $900 million in damages. He claimed that “The Conjuring” infringed the copyright for his 1980 book about the Warrens “The Demonologists”.

Bittle claimed the Warrens had granted him exclusive rights to their life story. The case was settled that same year.

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