The Hollywood Reporter today reports that Warner Brothers has just been the target of a new lawsuit revolving around last year’s Superman DVD release. The studio is being sued over additional footage and “making of” material that appeared when the 1978 feature “Superman: The Movie” and its two sequels were released on video and DVD last year, according to the publication. Pueblo Film Licensing Ltd., who controls the copyright to the three “Superman” films originally produced by Alexander Salkind, filed suit Monday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, charging Warner Bros. and Warner Home Video with copyright infringement and misappropriation. The suit alleges that Warner Bros. re-edited and altered “Superman: The Movie” by using additional footage not included in the original theatrical release and that on the DVD “Superman: The Movie Expanded Edition,” eight of the 44 chapters include re-edited or altered footage.
As you can see there is much more to DVD than meets the eye. If DVDs sometimes don’t turn out the way you would love them to be, copyright issues like this one or very often the reason. Although the studios have the rights to release these films on DVD for example, typically these rights are very limited and strictly controlled by the original rights owners, who may not always be interested in giving the fans what they want.