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VFX Firm Orders Disney To Destroy CGI-Made ‘Avengers’, ‘Beauty & The Beast’

By Mikelle Leow, 07 Mar 2018


Video screenshot via Marvel Entertainment

Major filmmakers Disney, Fox, and Paramount, are facing charges made from visual effects company Rearden LLC, who claims to be the copyright holder of a widely-used facial motion-capture technology.

The lawsuit was recently adjusted on Tuesday, and now, Rearden has requested for blockbusters like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Beauty and the Beast, to be destroyed because they rely on a software that has the ability to—for instance—transform actor Dan Stevens into the ‘Beast’.



According to Hollywood Reporter, the firm had successfully convinced a judge that a Chinese studio and Digital Domain 3.0 had stolen the technology behind its ‘MOVA Contour’ software. The accomplishment eventually pushed it to pursue other users who were apparently using unauthorized derivatives of the copyright.

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The studios, in turn, argued that if the creation of CGI characters was considered a wrongful use of the technology, then users of Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop couldn’t possibly be owners of their own work.

Agreeing with the franchises, US District Judge Jon Tigar explained, “The Court does not find it plausible that the ‘MOVA Contour’ output is created by the program without any substantial contribution from the actors or directors.”

“Unquestionably, the ‘MOVA’ program does a significant amount of work to transform the two-dimensional information captured on camera into three-dimensional [outputs]… But this cannot be enough, since all computer programs take inputs and turn them into outputs.”

In an updated complaint, Rearden asserted that Disney is so dependent on facial motion capture, the technology has become “the lion’s share of the creativity,” and that producers and directors of these CGI films have—in a sense—claimed ownership over its effectiveness.


[via Hollywood Reporter, video via USA Today, cover image via Marvel Entertainment]
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