It seems like those entertainment industry lawyers who are so focused on not letting any of those college kids "steal" anything forgot to check who actually owned the rights to the Dukes of Hazzard concept in a movie. Rick Klau points out that the original TV show was actually based on a movie very few people have heard of called Moonrunners. However, when it was licensed to become the TV show, the producers of Moonrunners kept the movie rights. In fact, it was Warner Brothers who had the rights for the TV show, but forgot they didn't have the rights for the movie. It was only well into the marketing of the film that Warner Brothers was informed by the original movies' rights holders that they were infringing. A judge even barred them from promoting or releasing the movie -- a process they had already started. All that meant that Warner Brothers had to cough up $17.5 million at the very last minute in order to keep the movie on schedule. Yes, that's $17.5 million for the rights to a movie that most people don't even know exists. Yet, somehow, it seems unlikely that Warner Brothers will use this lesson to realize that intellectual property laws sometimes go overboard.
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