In one of those ‘surely you should have expected this’ cautionary tales for big companies, MGM and Fox are being forced to supply over $8 million worth of free digital copies of movies to die-hard fans who bought their 50th Anniversary celebration Blu-Ray/DVD box-set that promised “”all” Bond films.
The two companies will now have to provide free copies of Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983) to all customers who do not opt-out to receive them. The box-set had originally left them out on the grounds that the former was a spoof, and the latter an ‘unofficial’ Bond film that saw the return of Sean Connery to the role 12 years after his supposed final appearance in Diamonds Are Forever, and after both George Lazenby and Roger Moore had taken on the role.
Just over a year ago, fan Mary Johnson sued on behalf of herself and others who bought the Bond 50 box-set that stated on its packaging that it contained “All the Bond films gathered together for the first time”.
Despite MGM and Fox’s insistence that “No reasonable purchaser would expect that a box-set would contain films that are not included on the list of titles clearly printed on its packaging”, US District Court judge Ricardo Martinez took the side of the complaint in a pun-laden statement refusing to dismiss out of court:
“At this time, the Court will Live and Let Die. The Court finds the questions of how a reasonable person would interpret ‘all’ and ‘every’ and what qualifies as a James Bond film remain for the trier of fact to decide. There terms are not unequivocally puffery as a matter of law.”
The trial was called off by the defendants, however, who have seemingly decided that any court costs would vastly outweigh the actual cost of simply providing the films to those who want them. Furthermore, Johnson will receive a $5000 ‘incentive payment award’ from MGM and Fox, presumably with a note attached that simply reads “Now go away”.
Source: Hollywood Reporter