THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. ____________________
ROBERT HUNTSMAN and CLEAN FLICKS
OF COLORADO, L.L.C.,
STEVEN SODERBERGH, ROBERT ALTMAN,
MICHAEL APTED, TAYLOR HACKFORD, CURTIS HANSON,
NORMAN JEWISON, JOHN LANDIS, MICHAEL MANN,
PHILLIP NOYCE, BRAD SILBERLING, BETTY THOMAS,
IRWIN WINKLER, MARTIN SCORSESE, STEVEN
SPIELBERG, ROBERT REDFORD and SYDNEY
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
Plaintiffs, by their attorneys, Sherman and Howard L.L.C., for their Complaint against Defendants, state and allege as follows:
STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION
1. This is a civil action for Declaratory relief arising out of a dispute and controversy between Plaintiffs and Defendants relating to the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101, et seq. This Court has exclusive jurisdiction by 28 U.S.C. §1338(a), which gives the District Courts jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, copyrights and trademarks, and by 28 U.S.C. § 2201.
2. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391 (b), 1400 (b) because Plaintiff Clean Flicks of Colorado, LLC is a Colorado corporation conducting business in Colorado and the actions giving rise to the alleged copyright infringement and resulting dispute between the parties occurred in Colorado.
3. The Plaintiffs are in the business of providing third party edits of commercial movies using a variety of technologies and methods.
4. Plaintiff CleanFlicks of Colorado, L.L.C. (“Clean Flicks”) deploys one or more of available content editing technologies to produce a viewing experience where a member of the viewing public view can view, in the privacy of their own homes, commercially distributed videos with objectionable content removed.
5. Plaintiff Huntsman is an inventor with a pending patent application of a method for allowing viewers to view content edited movies.
6. The Plaintiffs in this action deploy at least three of many possible technologies. Each methodology may have separate legal implications, so a declaratory ruling on each methodology is sought.
7. Plaintiff Clean Flicks utilizes a first generation widely prevalent methodology (hereby called the Clean Flicks methodology for convenience). The Clean Flicks methodology involves targeting a new audience beyond the audience of the original work. This new audience are individuals who are not members of the original audience because the work contains material they, the new audience, find objectionable. Using this methodology, original movies are purchased, and third party edits are made in which objectionable content is deleted or in some cases altered in some other way, to effectively remove content deemed objectionable by a particular targeted viewing audience. The edited version is made available to viewers, and clearly labeled as a content-edited version, both on the packaging and in the presentation with a disclaimer that the work has been edited for content.
8. Three variations of the Clean Flicks methodology include:
a. Methodology Clean Flicks 1A: The original and edited versions are distributed to the viewer together, allowing the viewer to choose to watch either or both versions according to his or her own personal tastes.
b. Methodology Clean Flicks 1B: The original is preserved but rendered inoperable and replaced with the edited version.
c. Methodology Clean Flicks 1C: Movies are purchased by a consortium of viewers who cause an edited version to be made solely for their own personal viewing in the privacy of their own home.
9. In all these methodologies, an original copy is purchased, and there is a one-to-one relationship to the number of purchased original versions and the number of corresponding edited versions.
10. Plaintiff Huntsman has filed a patent application for a second generation editing technology and desires to seek licensees for his technology (hereby called the Huntsman methodology for convenience).
11. Using the Huntsman methodology, unaltered commercial movies and separate content filters are placed in a special viewing apparatus that applies filters at viewing time, allowing the viewer to choose to apply or reject edits at viewing time by way of an enhanced remote control.
12. Using the Huntsman methodology, no copies of the original work are made.
13. The Defendants are directors of motion pictures who object to such third party edits and believe that such edits infringe on their trademarks and copyrights
14. A dispute has arisen between Plaintiffs and Defendants because Plaintiffs disagree that their third party editing of commercial movies violates any trademark or copyright laws and believe that their actions set forth above are free speech and/or fair use and are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
15. Defendants have placed their detailed litigation plans on the internet web site of the Directors’ Guild of America (www.dga.org) and disclosed their plans to seek a permanent injunction to bar Plaintiffs, and other in the industry of third party content editors, from operating. The web site even included the specific names of proposed plaintiffs and defendants for the anticipated lawsuit and a press release announcing the lawsuit.
16. The Plaintiffs, recognizing that they were the targets of this proposed litigation, have a reasonable apprehension that an infringement lawsuit will be filed shortly by Defendants seeking to bar Plaintiffs from operating their businesses. Accordingly, there is an actual, ripe controversy between the parties for this Court to resolve in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 2201 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 57.
WHEREFORE, The Plaintiffs respectfully request the Court enter an Order as follows:
1. A judgment declaring that the practice of providing edited movies to the public for private home viewing using the Huntsman methodology does not offend the U.S. Constitution, 17 U.S.C. 101, et seq., (Copyright Act), or Lanham Act.
2. A judgment declaring that the practice of providing edited movies to the public for private home viewing using each variation of the Clean Flicks methodology does not offend the U.S. Constitution, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq. (Copyright Act), or Lanham Act.
3. For an award of Plaintiffs= costs and attorneys= fees incurred in this action; and
4. For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
PLAINTIFFS DEMAND A JURY TRIAL ON ALL ISSUES SO TRIABLE
Respectfully submitted this ____ day of August, 2002.
SHERMAN & HOWARD L.L.C.
Scott J. Mikulecky, Esq.
90 South Cascade Avenue, Suite 1500
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: (719) 475-2440
Fax: (719) 635-4576
SHERMAN & HOWARD L.L.C.
David N. Schachter, Esq.
633 17th Street, Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 297-2900
Fax: (303) 298-0940
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
Idaho Business Centre
404 South 8th Street
Boise, ID 83702
7824B North Academy Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80920