Universal’s ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Legal Battle With Porn Producer Heats Up

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Universal’s ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Legal Battle With Porn Producer Heats Up
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Universal’s ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Legal Battle With Porn Producer Heats Up

Universal wants the hardcore adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey shut down and stopped immediately as it takes on the producers in court. Following up on their initial trademark infringement lawsuit of late November, Universal City Studios and book rights holder Fifty Shades Ltd filed a request Tuesday (read it here) for a preliminary injunction against Smash, the producers of Fifty Shades Of Grey: A XXX Adaptation. “Plaintiffs ask this Court to enjoin the marketing, sale, and distribution of Defendants’ infringing adaptation of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, a quickly and cheaply produced pornographic work that is likely to cause Plaintiffs irreparable harm by poisoning public perception of the Fifty Shades Trilogy and the forthcoming Universal films,” says the motion filed Tuesday in federal court. An April 1 hearing has been requested on the motion. The plaintiffs claimed in their suit late last year that Smash’s film, which clearly does call itself an “adaptation” in its title, uses “exact dialogue, characters, events, story and style from the Fifty Shades trilogy.” Universal and Focus Features picked up the rights to E.L. James’ best-selling softcore novels in a heated bidding war back in March for more than $3 million.

Universal insists in this week’s motion that despite the sexual nature of the material, its Fifty Shades will be far different from the XXX version. “Defendants’ crude pornographic portrayal of the erotic elements central to the Fifty Shades trilogy fails to capture the unique and delicate balance of provocative sex, emotional romance, and self-deprecating humor that has resulted in a worldwide literary phenomenon. For consumers who view the ‘XXX Adaptation’ in lieu of reading the books or watching the ‘Fifty Shades’ films, or for those who simply learn of the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy’s existence in a hardcore porn format, the reputational damage to these already-controversial erotic novels and films is immeasurable and irreparable,” said Universal and Fifty Shades Ltd in the latest filing. Universal City Studios and Fifty Shades Ltd are represented by Andrew Thomas, David Singer and Lisa Kohn at Los Angeles firm Jenner & Block.

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