April 11, 2018
The day after the Walt Disney Co. filed an amended lawsuit against Redbox alleging copyright infringement, the kiosk vendor countered with its own amended litigation.
The suit, filed April 10 in Los Angeles District Court, accuses Disney – and new co-defendant Anderson Merchandisers LLC – of copyright misuse, false advertising, unfair competition and “tortuous interference” regarding its ability to sell digital codes included in Disney packaged media combo packs.
Redbox is seeking antitrust treble (“triple”) damages and injunctive relief against Disney and Anderson Merchandisers.
The kiosk vendor said it filed the countersuit following a Feb. 20 federal court ruling that both denied Disney a preliminary injunction against Redbox and found Disney committed copyright misuse on 20 of its most recent movies.
Disney alleges that the digital codes included in combo packs cannot be sold separately. It filed initial litigation against Redbox last November. Redbox is selling the codes at a significant discount to the retail cost of standalone digital purchases on third-party platforms.
“Disney wants to eliminate low-cost options like Redbox in order to force consumers to pay as much as possible for Disney’s content, even after Disney has already been fully compensated when it first sells that content to a distributor or retailer,” read the complaint.
Redbox said Disney has not only failed to correct its false advertising to consumers but has doubled down on its unlawful campaign against Redbox with the home video release of three recent titles: Coco, Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
“Incredibly, Disney complains that consumers may believe these titles, as well as [upcoming] Black Panther, are somehow inferior to those of other studios simply because Redbox offers them at low prices,” read the complaint. “We look forward to advancing our case to an ultimate victory in court.”