A legal battle over the Taiwanese rights to “Looper,” “Hope Springs,” “Magic Mike” and more than 900 films has ended in a settlement between Asian film distributor CatchPlay and film buyer Studio Solutions Group and its principal Johnny Lin.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a judge has ruled that CatchPlay is the actual licensee of the distribution rights for the films in question.
The lawsuits between the companies dragged on for more than a year, prompting waves of allegations and counter-charges. The dispute kicked off after Studio Solutions tried to revoke all of CatchPlay’s distribution rights to the films it helped it license. CatchPlay, which is backed by Cher Wang, the billionaire founder and chairwoman of smartphone giant HTC, struck first, accusing Studio Solutions and Lin of fraud and self-dealing.
In counter-claims, Lin and Studio Solutions argued that CatchPlay was illegally shouldering them out of the Taiwanese market and alleged breach of contract, defamation and other offenses.
“We are pleased to have our license rights confirmed,” CatchPlay’s Executive Director Daphne Yang said in a statement. “We can now focus our resources on expanding the company’s business.”
The rights for the films include theatrical, pay TV, broadcast TV and video-on-demand distribution.
It is a public relations victory, as well as a financial one for CatchPlay, one that could help the company in its ongoing litigation with its former general manager Wayne Chang. CatchPlay maintains that Chang violated his fiduciary duties and engaged in shoddy accounting practices. In its suit against Studio Solutions, it also alleged that the film buyer worked in concert with Chang to convince CatchPlay to pay for films that were never produced.
“In our dealings with Wayne Chang, the former general manager of CatchPlay, mistakes were made that resulted in significant business disruptions and damage to CatchPlay,” Lin said in a statement. “For that, I am deeply sorry.”
For his part, Chang has denied any wrongdoing and in a Facebook post translated by Film Business Asia claims that he tried to install more accountability and safeguards into CatchPlay’s business practices.
Alex Weingarten, an attorney for Lin, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.