Today a judge ruled that Disney would not have to surrender any profits made from the first Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool films. The decision was made after those suing the company failed to prove that the visual effects were the sole motivation for audience members buying tickets to the movies.
Disney came under fire for allegedly using stolen VFX tech to bring its CG characters to life. While the studio is still in litigation and at risk of losing the gross income from its live-action Beauty and the Beast film due to similar allegations, the judge presiding over this particular case concluded that the technology used in each respective film was not a factor in its financial success.
The legal battle began when a software company named Rearden exercised its ownership over a special VFX technology Disney used called MOVA Contour. It’s not that Disney stole the technology, but rather it was improperly licensed.
Why would Guardians and Deadpool get a pass and not Beauty and the Beast? The answer comes down to the promotional material used for each film. Disney admitted that it included a lot more footage enhanced by MOVA to promote Beauty and the Beast.
It’s unclear what will happen next, or when the seemingly final decision in this case will be made, but we will follow this story as it continues to develop.