“Twilight” producers seek damages from unauthorized fan site

Summit Entertainment is suing the owners of what it claims is an illegal fan website for the “Twilight” vampire movie series. Summit blames the website’s owner for copyright and trademark infringement, and for pretending to be an “official” movie website.

The owner of twilight.com has not commented on accusations that the website is robbing the intellectual property and profits of Summit Entertainment.

The lawsuit contends that twilight.com allows online fans to believe they have reached a website containing producer-authorized movie information and merchandise. Many of the merchandise links on twilight.com are directly connected to Amazon.com.

Summit’s suit says the owner of the twilight.com website has used copyrighted movie material to make a profit. It accuses the “unofficial” fan site of containing links to unsanctioned movie contests and false “Twilight” casting calls.

Summit Entertainment officials declare they have been trying to shut down twilight.com for more than two years. The company’s legal representatives sent a “cease and desist” notification in April 2009, which Summit says twilight.com’s owner ignored.

Summit filed a federal intellectual property suit in early September seeking damages equal to three times the profits of twilight.com. Last month, Summit opened another suit against someone they believed pre-released “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” videos and promotional pictures.

Producers say they do not want fans to mistake twilight.com for the official “Twilight” movie website – www.breakingdawn-themovie.com. The fourth movie in the “Twilight” series, “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” is set to release in two months. A fifth is planned for 2012. The first three have netted a combined $1.8 billion.

Source: Reuters, “Summit Sues Twilight.com Owner for Copyright Infringement,” Joshua L. Weinstein, Sept. 7, 2011