In a ruling on Friday night, the MPAA's Title Registration Bureau said the Weinstein Co could not go forward with the title for its upcoming Lee Daniels' White House drama. In the MPAA's title registry, Warner Bros reserves the rights to the title due to a so-named 1916 short.
But the Weinstein Co. will be allowed to use the title Lee Daniels' The Butler, which the company said it would switch to immediately. The MPAA stipulated that the letters in "Lee Daniels" must be at least 75% the size of The Butler.
Weinstein ordered to pay $400k
Weinstein took his case public in recent weeks, leading to one of the more visible Hollywood clashes in recent years, if over a relatively minor squabble. Weinstein had argued that Warner Bros was attempting to extort from him his percentage of The Hobbit, the three-part franchise Warner Bros is releasing. Warner Bros, in turn, claimed that Weinstein continually flouted the protocol of the title registry.
Friday's decision settled an appeal from the Weinstein Co after an arbitration ruling earlier in the month.
For violating the MPAA's earlier ruling, the Weinstein Co was ordered to pay $400 000 to the Entertainment Industry Foundation and $150 000 to Warner Bros in legal fees. Increased fines will be added if the Weinstein Co doesn't halt all trailers and advertisements using The Butler by Friday.
Though titles can't be copyrighted, a certain number of Hollywood titles are protected by the Title Registration Bureau. The Weinstein Co and Warner Bros voluntarily subscribe to the registry, agreeing to be bound by its rules to prevent public confusion over similarly titled films.
In a statement on Monday, Weinstein said he was "thrilled this has all come to an end."
The film stars Forest Whitaker as a White House butler whose service spanned decades of US presidents. It's to be released August 16.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
In keeping with the theme of this week, we put together five horror movies that you have to see this week. Read More »
Add your review
Among cinema's most storied unfinished works, Orson Welles' final film may finally be released. Read More »
Add your review
New music video!
Did you know?
A scary night!
Guns N' Roses guitarist!
Great gig pics!
GautengJCM Consultants (Pty LTDR250 000 - R340 000 Per Year
KwaZulu-NatalOxyon Human Capital Solutions (Pty) Ltd
LimpopoOxyon Human Capital Solutions (Pty) Ltd
HousesR 1 950 000
HousesR 2 695 000
HousesR 1 750 000