Starz sues Disney over iTunes movie sales

Starz Entertainment is suing Disney’s Buena Vista Television unit for copyright infringement and breach of contract, claiming the company is allowing other movie download stores to sell titles that were exclusively licensed to Starz. “Under the terms of the 1993 and 1999 Starz-BVT agreements, extended by BVT in 2005, Disney is prohibited from selling its films for transmission over the Internet prior to Starz’s first exclusive license period and during all of Starz’s exclusive license periods,” Starz says in its announcement of the suit. “Despite this prohibition, the suit notes that Disney has ‘begun to sell over the Internet via services like Apple’s iTunes Store and Walmart.com the very same Disney films licensed to Starz.’ Such conduct, the suit adds, constitutes ‘a blatant breach’ of the licensing agreements between BVT and Starz.”

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