Screener-ban lawsuit is settled

Independent Filmmakers, which filed and a won a lawsuit against the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s ban on awards-season screeners last year, has agreed to dismiss the suit after reaching a confidential settlement agreement.

In December 2003, a U.S. district judge ruled against the MPAA when it found that the screener ban was probably a violation of antitrust laws and put the independent filmmakers at a disadvantage during the awards season.

It is unclear what policy each studio will take this year in regard to award-season screeners.

Last year some studios sent out tapes to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and other guilds. However, some of those films were later uploaded onto the Internet by movie pirates who had obtained the screeners from members of the academy.


Members of the independent filmmaking coalition say they are pleased with the settlement but that they “will continue to stand ready to act again, if necessary, to preserve a free and fair marketplace,” read a statement on Monday.