Warner Bros secures $2.6m ‘Wizard of Oz’ copyright victory US entertainment company Warner Bros has secured a $2.6 million victory after a decade-long dispute over copyright in images from the films “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz”, as well as short films featuring cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry. Back in 2006, Warner Bros sued Art & Vintage Entertainment Licensing Agency (AVELA), claiming copyright and trademark infringement. AVELA had obtained restored versions of movie posters and lobby cards for the films and extracted images of famous characters including Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow from “The Wizard of Oz”, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from “Gone with the Wind”, and Tom and Jerry. The company then licensed the images for use on lunchboxes, shirts, playing cards, figurines, water globes and action figures, according to the suit. At the district court, Warner Bros received statutory damages of $10,000 per infringed copyright. Based on 257 copyright works infringed, Warner Bros received a total award of $2,570,000. On Tuesday, November 1, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the decision and permanent injunction.
‘The Wizard of Oz’ made its TV bow 60 years ago Nov. 3 In those days before DVDs and downloads, that single yearly presentation — starting on Nov. 3, 1956 — was a day to anticipate, dream about, count down to. For weeks in advance, TV commercials heralded the arrival of Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion. On the big day itself — usually a Sunday night — all plans had to end abruptly at sundown, as we hurried home to prepare for The Big Event. It was no ordinary movie screening. Generally a kid-friendly “host” — Danny Kaye, or Dick Van Dyke — would introduce the movie against an elaborate backdrop featuring a yellow brick road slaloming into the distance. He would remind us not to be afraid of the wicked witch and caution that there was “nothing wrong with your TV sets” — the first part of the movie was supposed to be in black and white. For those of us who had only black and white sets — the majority, until the late 1960s — it was a mystifying remark. Some of us never saw “The Wizard of Oz” in color until we were well into our teens.