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Universal Sues Smash Pictures for Porn Adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey”

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On Tuesday, Universal Studios and the British company of author E.L. James that owns the copyrights to the trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey,” jointly filed a lawsuit in California against Smash Pictures for producing the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey: a XXX Adaptation.”

The lawsuit claims that the Los Angeles based Smash Pictures made the movie with “exact dialogue, characters, events, story, and style from the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy.”

Universal had bought the rights for a movie adaptation of the trilogy for $5 million and is currently developing the authorized version of the trilogy with Focus Features.

Since its debut in 2011, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its two sequels, written by author E. L. James have collectively sold more than 40 million copies.

While XXX parody adaptations are not uncommon in the industry, the lawsuit claimed, “The first XXX adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize, or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple.”

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The lawsuit clarifies Universal’s claim by observing, “Beginning with the first XXX Adaptation’s opening scene and continuing throughout the next 2½ hours of the film, Smash Pictures copies without reservation from the unique expressive elements of the Fifty Shades trilogy, progressing through the events of Fifty Shades of Grey and into the second book, Fifty Shades Darker.”

Universal also alleged that a subsidiary of Smash Pictures has launched a play kit of sex toys named “Fifty Shades of Pleasure.” Universal’s lawsuit seeks profits from sales of the movies, an injunction and unspecified damages for copyright and trademark infringement.

The lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California, with Jenner & Block representing Universal City Studios LLC and Fifty Shades Limited.

Universal Sues Smash Pictures for Porn Adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey” by
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