If there ever was a sweet life to a long-running lawsuit over a legendary film icon, a federal judge in Los Angeles has said basta finito to it: U.S. District Judge S. James Otero recently granted Paramount and Melange Pictures summary judgment against International Media Films Inc. (a tip of the hat to Courthouse News for posting the court notes on the case). IMF had failed to reply to the latest moves in contentious claims over director Federico Fellini’s famed La Dolce Vita, a 1960 narrative of a journalist’s week in Rome.
The court blocked IMF from reproducing, allowing others to reproduce, to perform, display or exploit La Dolce Vita. (The judgment can be found and downloaded here.) The judge said the company could not prepare or authorize any derivative works based on the film starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. The court held that Paramount and Melange owned the film rights, and that IMF had contributorily infringed on those rights. The judgment against IMF: $899,477 in damages, costs, and attorney’s fees.
This case, which has its roots in ownership disputes dating to the Sixties, came into the federal courts four years ago. It was mostly resolved two years ago but has lingered with the defense first claiming that IMF’s owner, president, and only active officer was too ill to participate in a trial; defense counsel subsequently withdrew. IMF since has failed to respond to the court on Paramount-Melange’s motions for summary judgment, which Otero granted.