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Thu Oct 23 10:03:15 SAST 2014

Universal files lawsuit against ‘Fifty Shades’ porn ‘rip-off’

Reuters | 30 November, 2012 10:16
E L James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, poses for photographers during a book signing in London September 6, 2012.
Image by: NEIL HALL / Reuters

Hollywood’s Universal Studios has filed a copyright lawsuit against a porn production company, accusing it of lifting language, characters and plot from the best-selling erotic book trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey” for its own adult films and sex toys.

Calling one of the adult movie adaptations of the British novel “a rip-off plain and simple,” Universal’s lawsuit seeks to stop sales of copycat porn movies and to recoup any profits they earn.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and its two sequels have sold more than 40 million copies since first being published in 2011. Universal bought the rights for a film adaptation earlier this year for a reported $5 million.  

The suit was filed jointly in federal court in California on Tuesday by Universal and James’s British company which owns the copyright to the novels.

The lawsuit said that Los Angeles-based based Smash Pictures had produced a movie called Fifty Shades of Grey: a XXX Adaptation which lifted “exact dialogue, characters, events, story, and style from the Fifty Shades’ trilogy.

“The first XXX adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize, or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple,” the lawsuit added.

Smash Pictures could not be reached for comment.

Universal said Smash Pictures had two subsequent movies in production and that one of its subsidiaries had also launched a

Play Kit of kinky sex toys called Fifty Shades of Pleasure.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction, unspecified damages, and profits from sales of the movies, which its says are trademark and copyright infringements.

Universal Studios is a unit of Comcast Corp.

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