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Summit Sues Twilight.com Owner for Copyright Infringement

Studio says the operator of the crude fan merchandise site is fooling people into thinking his is the official Twilight website

Summit Entertainment is suing the owner/operator of twilight.com, claiming the primitive fan merchandise site violates its copyright. 

Summit claims that Tom Markson is illegally using “Twilight” trademarks and copyrights “and leading consumers to believe that they had reached the official ‘Twilight’ motion picture website.’”

It’s a fairly unimpressive-looking website that mostly links to Twilight merchandise on Amazon.com.

But Summit doesn’t want consumers to go to the site, thinking they’ve arrived at something sanctioned by the producers. (The official “Twilight” website, incidentally, is www.breakingdawn-themovie.com)

In its lawsuit, Summit complains that Markson’s site includes copyrighted material that Summit owns, and claims that Markson profits off of it.

Summit also claims that Markson has posted links to unauthorized Twilight contests and "fake casting calls."

Summit says it has been after Markson to stop using the “Twilight” material since April 2009, to no avail. (That month, Jill Pietrini, of the Los Angeles law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, sent Markson a “cease and desist” letter.)

Finally, this month, the company sued Markson in federal court.

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Sept. 2, Pietrini wrote that Markson’s acts “are likely to damage Summit irreparably.”

She asks for a jury trial and for the Court to order Markson to take down copyrighted material. It also asks for money damages, including three times the amount of profit Markson made from the website.

Markson did not return calls for comment.

Summit protects Twilight fiercely.

In August, the company sued the person it believes leaked pictures and video from the unreleased “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn."

The first three “Twilight” movies have grossed more than $1.8 billion worldwide. The next, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” will be released Nov. 18. The final film in the franchise comes out one year later.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.