Disney Owes Thousands for Infringing Visual Effects Tech To Make “Beauty and the Beast”





A California court on Thursday ruled that The Walt Disney Company used another company’s motion-capture technology without permission.

In its 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, the media giant used MOVA Contour software, a technology owned by visual effects firm Rearden, without proper licensing to render the face of actor Dan Stevens, who played the Beast.

The jury awarded Rearden $250,638 in damages for Disney’s copyright infringement and recommended that Disney pay Rearden $345,098 of the profits it made from the movie, the firm’s attorney confirmed to Reuters.

Rearden first sued Disney in 2017, alleging that one of its employees stole the motion-capture technology and took it to another visual effects company, Digital Doman 3.0, according to Reuters. Rearden argued that Disney infringed on its copyright by working with Digital Domain and using the technology to make Beauty and the Beast.

According to the report, Rearden said because it had worked with Disney using Contour previously, the media giant “should have known that Digital Domain did not have the right to use the technology.”

Disney argued that Rearden didn’t own Contour’s copyright when Beauty and the Beast was in production.

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, which starred Emma Watson and Stevens, was one of the highest-grossing films of 2017, bringing in more than $1.2 billion worldwide.

Rearden declined to comment.

Disney wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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