Friday, October 02, 2009


The Weinstein Company which has claimed over the last several months that they have the distribution rights to Lee Daniels' film "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push by Sapphire" has finally lost that battle in a court of law.
A federal judge made it very clear that if Weinstein Co. didn't have a signed contract, which they didn't, they did not have any claims to the film that is scheduled for release on November 6th.
In February, two days after Lionsgate announced its purchase of the film, the Weinstein Co. filed a lawsuit against "Precious" producer Smokewood Prods., claiming that TWC had already made a deal for the title.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald for the Southern District of New York disagreed, dismissing one of four lawsuits the Weinstein Co. has filed in connection with the film.

In a memorandum to dismiss the Weinstein Co. suit, Smokewood attorney Steven Hayes pointed out that TWC did not have a signed contract for a "Precious" deal and, as such, could have no claim on the film. Furthermore, he pointed out that Weinstein used the same argument to wrest "Project Runway" from Bravo to Lifetime.

Judge Buchwald's judgment agreed with his opinion, pointing out that under the Copyright Act, the transfer of distribution rights demands "a signed writing from the copyright owner or its agent."