By now you should all be familiar with The Asylum, a company that makes direct-to-DVD mockbusters like The Day the Earth Stopped and Snakes on a Train, starring people like Billy Zane and Richard Grieco, timed to coincide with their blockbuster counterparts. Their business model was working just fine until the distributors The Hobbit (perhaps you’ve heard of it), decided to sue Asylum over its entirely separate movie, Age of the Hobbits. Even worse, Warner Bros just won a temporary restraining order against it. Aw, c’mon, baby, can’t you see Age of Hobbits only acts this way because he loves you?
Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, MGM and producer Saul Zaentz today were granted the temporary restraining order they sought against Global Asylum’s mockbuster Age Of The Hobbits (read the order here). “There is substantial likelihood that consumers will be confused by Age Of Hobbits and mistakenly purchase the film intending to purchase The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“, said federal judge Philip Gutierrez today. “Indeed, Plaintiffs have presented evidence that Asylum’s other films have caused confusion among consumers, who mistakenly purchase Asylum films intending to purchase a different film”.
Here is Warner Bros’ statement:
“This victory underscores the importance of protecting the unique work of our industry’s creative community from companies like Asylum, whose cynical business model is designed to profit from the work of others. Their intent to create confusion in the marketplace on the eve of release of ‘The Hobbit,’ one of the most anticipated films of the year, has met with defeat.”
Oh yeah, because The Hobbit‘s bottom line is really going to suffer at the hands of all the confused aunties trolling Blockbuster going-out-of-business sales for their sick nephews. It’s too bad “OBJECTION! The prosecution is being a total dick right now,” isn’t a valid legal defense.
Hopefully the restraining order is the last victory for these corporate jerks, because The Asylum’s defense seems perfectly valid: