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Ruling could put 'Watchmen' in jeopardy

Friday, December 26, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns a copyright interest in "Watchmen," potentially jeopardizing the superhero movie's March release.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feess of Los Angeles disclosed the decision in a written order Wednesday, The New York Times and Variety reported.

"Watchmen," based on the popular graphic novel of the same name, was shot by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Fox sued to prevent its release and Feess had set a Jan. 20 trial, but reversed course in writing that Fox at least owns the right to distribute the film.

Fox claims it never fully relinquished its rights to the story from a deal made in the late 1980s. Warner spokesman Scott Rowe declined to comment on the latest ruling.


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