Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Burdens of Being Rupert Murdoch

It's no secret that life can get very complicated when you're trying to run a big media company these days. Take News Corp. Its film studio is trying to block Warner Bros. from releasing "Watchmen," which Warner Bros. has already produced and plans to premiere in March. One of its newspapers and its law blogger are reporting on the Fox/Warner dispute. And now Nikki Finke discovers that its social networking site is hosting a video promoting the very film that its studio is trying to block:

Watchmen Exclusive

Ah, synergy....

By the way, Finke's statement that Fox has "won" its lawsuit with Warners over the Watchmen distribution rights, is wrong, or, at best, highly premature. All that has happened is that the court has stated that it "intends" to rule in Fox's favor on the issue of who owns Watchmen's distribution rights. The actual order hasn't even been issued yet, and the parties are apparently still heading for a Jan. 20 trial that will determine issues including whether the court will actually enjoin Warners' release of the picture. Warners has already stated that it is "exploring all of [its] appellate options." This one is far from over.

(Note: though I was formerly an attorney at Fox, I had nothing to do with the Watchmen case.)

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