Twilight Related Domain Name and Content Crackdown

According to two different sources, Summit Entertainment is cracking down on websites that are allegedly putting up content on their sites that make it look as though they are official representatives of the Twilight Saga movies.

The first case involves the URL According to LA Weekly,

If you responded to a casting call that was posted on the Website, and have been wondering when you’re going to get that life-altering phone call telling you to prance around with Edward and the gang … don’t hold your breath.

It seems we may have a huckster in our midst.

According to a lawsuit, first reported by Courthouse News Service, the company Summit Entertainment, which produced and distributed the Twilight movies and owns a ton of Twilight-related trademarks, is suing the man behind the apparently duplicitous Website.

Summit, which produced such films as “The Hurt Locker” and “American Pie,” claims that Tom Markkson registered the domain name back in 1994, some 14 years before the first Twilight movie was released.

After the movie became a success, however, Markkson began posting material related to the film – copyrighted material, says Summit.

The company accuses Markkson of posting links to unauthorized movie contests and fake casting calls, “leading consumers to believe that they had reached the official Twighlight Motion Picture website.”

The next action involves the site According to Domain Name Wire,

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is coming to theaters this November.

But before vampires duke it out on screen, a fight has already broken out over the film’s domain name: the creators have filed a complaint against the owner of in an effort to get the domain name. The complaint was filed with National Arbitration Forum…Although the domain name is likely to be transferred, there are a whole host of web sites that discuss the new Twilight film and us the name in their domains. Among the results on the first page of Google when I search “Breaking Dawn Movie” are three blogs:,, and My guess is the studio leaves all of these fan sites alone…it just wants to promote the film.”

Unlike the first case which seems to be an ongoing suit, this second case just seems to be the matter of Summit trying to buy up URLs that could be associated with the movie. It’s perhaps somewhat surprising that they waited this long to do this.

Wyck Godfrey Speaks Out About The Hacker and Breaking Dawn Rating

Twilight producer Wyck Godfrey spoke to at the TV Critics Awards.

“It’s very important for people to understand that when you hack into people’s private e-mails and private systems to steal material that is not yours, that you’re going to get punished. It’ll work itself out. What happens with this, the material already got out. There’s nothing we can do about that. I do think it’s about just sending a message that in this day and age, you can find that stuff out through your own computer systems and experts who can track that stuff.”

See more on Hollywood News

Via Twilightish

Official Response From Summit Entertainment to Daiana Santia’s August 4th Press Conference Claims

We just received the following from Summit Entertainment


First and most important this is NOT about greed or the Studio wanting to bully a woman from a small town in Argentina – rather, it is about stolen material that is private and sensitive which was obtained by illegally accessing private/secure servers as well as personal email accounts.  Ms. Santia’s actions came to light after these materials began appearing on the internet towards the end of March, 2011.  Since Summit learned of Ms. Santia’s involvement in late May 2011, Summit has been in contact with Ms. Santia and her representatives with no resolution or further good faith efforts on their part, thus the only alternative left was to pursue legal action to ascertain that Ms. Santia no longer holds the images and video in any shape or form.  Prior to said action the studio clearly communicated to Ms. Santia and her representatives that a press release would be distributed naming the actions being taken as well as naming her specifically.

·         Summit’s first meeting with the Santia family occurred on May 31, 2011 at which point the studio was told they would fully cooperate.   A subsequent meeting took place on June 8, 2011 with Ms. Santia and her lawyer at which time Ms. Santia confessed to the intrusions.  It is also important to note that Ms.Santia is 24 years of age.  The family was contacted as a group as the IP address used was registered under a family name.

·         Specifically on June 8, 2011 Ms. Santia confessed in the presence of her attorney that she accessed servers and email accounts via a systematic attack — stealing photographs, unfinished images and video footage over several months.  Additionally there is indisputable evidence linking her directly to IP addresses that were used in the unauthorized access. Her actions appear to be premeditated and not done on a whim, but rather using technology and tactics that require thought as well as time and skill.  Because Ms. Santia decided that she does not want to cooperate, Summit has been unable to settle this matter privately with Ms. Santia and her representatives in Argentina.

·         Ms. Santia claims to have deleted the stolen materials off her lap top as well as her family’s desktop computer, however both common sense and historically similar cases have proven that a defendant’s word cannot be taken as final.  Additionally, Summit must confirm the extent to which Ms. Santia shared the materials with others.  

·         When first approached by Summit, Ms. Santia’s representatives indicated their willingness to permit Summit to review the computers.  Based on this communication, Summit flew technical experts to Posadas, only to have Ms. Santia renege on their offer after the arrival of these experts.  To this day, Ms. Santia has refused to cooperate in giving Summit access to these two computers to verify for itself that the images and footage have in fact been deleted, and to confirm the extent to which files were shared.  We do not feel this is an unreasonable request but rather a prudent move to protect the IP and the studio.  Additionally the studio has made an offer to have representatives chosen by Ms. Santia present when the computers are searched in order to protect the Ms. Santia’s privacy relating to anything else that is not related to this particular situation as they are of no interest to the studio.

·         Had Ms. Santia cooperated Summit and its representatives would have worked with her to reach a compromise that would not necessarily involve legal action in Argentina and the United States.

Woman Accused Of Stealing Breaking Dawn Images Holds Press Conference

Daiana Santia, the woman from Posada, Argentina that Summit Entertainment named as a hacker in the leaked Breaking Dawn images, held a press conference today to protest her innocence.

According to the following sources: La Voz de Misiones (second article), Los Andes Online, Notecine,

  • Daiana Santia claims that she only saw images while surfing the web. She claims not to have sent images to anyone, not to have logged in any where to see them, and denies having the technical knowledge on how to hack anything. She claims she did nothing more than many fans did and just viewed images on the Internet.
  • She and her family (her father Hector is also named in the legal papers filed in California, presumably because the bill for the Internet is in his name) claim that over the last month they were harassed by movie producers demanding to see her hard drive. She claims through her attorney that she would not turn over her computer because of the personal items that are on it and because she is innocent.
  • Her attorneys claim that any legal action should go through Argentine courts first and Argentine authorities should investigate. Specifically mentioned is the Technology Crimes Division based in Buenos Aires.
  • Via her attorney, it was stated that the Santia family is considering a counterclaim against Summit Entertainment for harassment and defamation of character

If you understand Spanish, you can watch and listen to the press conference at this link.

Breaking Dawn Court Case Information: Other Defendants

Summit LogoAccording to public documents the case has additional defendants(highlighting ours):

Court Case Number: 2:11-cv-06310-ODW -SS
File Date: Monday, August 01, 2011
Plaintiff: Summit Entertainment LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Dennis L. Wilson, David K. Caplan, Christopher T. Varas of Keats McFarland & Wilson LLP
Defendant: Daiana Santia, Hector Santia, John Does
Cause: 17:501 Copyright Infringement
Court: California Central District Court
Judge: Judge Otis D. Wright, II
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal for discovery

Hector Santia has not currently been cited in the Summit press release as to what his suspected involvement is. In the Eclipse case, part of what initially happened was that the person to whom the Internet service was registered was initially served until it could be established specifically which person with access to that Internet service had actually done the hacking and had actual knowledge of illegal events.

Also interesting is the listing of John Doe defendants. This too happened in the Eclipse case. Initially, the online aliases of of illegal image distributors were listed along with John Does. In other words indicating that perhaps there were others who assisted in the hacking whose specific identities were not known at the time of the filing. However, when those individuals were identified months after they too were then named in the case.

The final interesting piece is that Judge Otis D. Wright, II is the same judge who presided over the Jordan Scott vs. Stephenie Meyer case. In that case, which was ended in the favor of Stephenie Meyer, Scott claimed that Stephenie Meyer had based Breaking Dawn on her novel The Nocturne.

Summit Entertainment Identifies Breaking Dawn Pirates

According to The Hollywood Reporter and EW, Summit Entertainment has issued a press release identifying those who stole and leaked images from Breaking Dawn onto the Internet earlier this year. According to both sources:

“Summit’s release ID’s Daiana Santia of Argentina as having been involved in a group that stole photos, unfinished images and video of Breaking Dawn, which will be released in two parts beginning in November. Summit’s four-continent crusade involved the services of investigation firm Kroll Inc. and law firm Keats McFarland & Wilson, which located Santia and others in the northern Argentina town of Posadas. Civil actions have been filed in the U.S. and Argentina, along with a criminal action in Santia’s home country.

“While we very much appreciate the legions of committed fans of the franchise and encourage them to create community online, we cannot ignore that property was stolen,” says David Friedman, Summit’s executive vp and general counsel. “It is not fair to the majority of fans that want to see the final chapter of the Twilight Saga film franchise fully realized by the filmmaker and dedicated cast and crew to have these images out and available on the Internet.”

See THR and EW

Earlier this year the photos in question circulated the web starting with sites and Twitters in South America. The images then spread to English speaking sites and Twitters and from there the images went global.

Given that last year Summit Entertainment prosecuted the person who broke into their set photographer’s server and stole all the still images from Eclipse (six leaked online), fans shouldn’t find this latest action too surprising. In the Eclipse case Summit spent several months building a case and tracking the IP addresses attached to the leak. The trail eventually lead to Sweden where the person responsible was found and prosecuted with the full help of that country’s authorities.

Whereas a studio may occasionally turn a blind-eye to limited footage from an event like Comic Con or a pre-screening going online because that was finished product meant for public consumption, they will always go after material that is stolen from what amounts to online breaking and entering.

Other studios have taken similar measures and jail time has resulted from such cases such as the Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie.

Mixed Results in Summit Music Lawsuit Case

Remember when we told you back in February about a musician who attempted to market his songs to Twilight fans and had his music pulled?  It sparked legal action, and  now there’s more to the story.

According to Reuters:

“Matthew Smith, created “Eternal Knight” in 2002, several years before the “Twilight” novels and films appeared in the marketplace. But late last year, Heart engineered a bold marketing campaign to make his music popular. He posted the song on YouTube and had it for sale in iTunes and other outlets. He paid to promote the song in movie theaters for 28 weeks and — perhaps most controversially — he commissioned CD cover art that showed a moon similar to “Twilight’s” logo with a note that the song had been inspired by the “Twilight” saga.

Summit’s lawyers seemed to think this was an attempt to trade off its intellectual property in a brazen effort to reach “Twilight” fans, so they registered takedowns at various websites. The song was removed.

Heart then sued, claiming that he had a legitimately copyrighted song and Summit was committing fraud and misrepresentation and interfering with his relationships with vendors.

In a decision last week, Ohio federal judge James Carr dismissed Heart’s allegations that Summit committed fraud and induced emotional distress because Heart couldn’t sufficiently show a cause of action and enough specificity in his injury.

But Judge Carr allowed Heart’s main allegations to continue — that Summit sent a takedown notice even though it didn’t have any copyright interest in Heart’s song.”

See more on Reuters

Bath & Body Works Takes Summit To Court Over Twilight

Summit LogoAccording to Yahoo:

Bath & Body Works is suing the distributor of the “Twilight” films, hoping to get a declaratory judgment that its “Twilight Woods” line of lotions, shower gels and other products doesn’t infringe the trademark on the hit vampire franchise.

This might be the best toiletry-related lawsuit since Johnny Carson’s estate won a permanent injunction to stop “Here’s Johnny Portable Toilets” in December.

The retailer says it’s under threat from Summit Entertainment because its lotions and other bathroom products allegedly rip off the design and color palate of “Twilight” promo materials.

Confusion in the marketplace? Summit allegedly thinks so. Now Bath & Body Works has beat Summit to the courthouse to stake its claim in federal court in Manhattan.

“The term ‘Twilight’ is used so as to evoke the idea of a particular time of day when the sun is just below the horizon, illuminating the landscape,” the lawsuit says. “Whereas defendant uses the term ‘Twilight’ to refer to defendant’s teen vampire saga.”

Summit is currently involved in a myriad of legal action connected to the Twilight Saga:

Blockbuster not paying for Eclipse DVD’s
Musician who tried to connect his music to Twilight.
The scout who found Twilight wanting more money
Legal action surrounding the illegal distribution of Eclispe photos.

There was also previous legal action regarding the Bella’s jacket and the Twilight perfume that reused a bottle design from another company.

Musician Sues Summit Entertainment Over Twilight Tribute

Summit LogoIt’s really starting to seem like it’s official Twilight movie lawsuit month and someone forgot to tell us. Here is the latest in legal action surrounding the Twilight movies:

“An Ohio musician with ambitious plans to have his music heard by fans of “The Twilight Saga” is now suing the film’s distributor, Summit Entertainment, for standing in his way.

Matthew Smith, who works under the moniker Matt Heart, created a song entitled “Eternal Knight” in 2002. This past November, Heart engaged in a bold marketing campaign to connect the song to new audiences.

He posted the song on YouTube and sold it via iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and other sites. Most audaciously, he says he negotiated to distribute and promote the song in various movie theaters for 28 weeks, hoping to reach an estimated 5 million viewers via an agreement with Screen Vision, which sells ads in theaters around the nation.

But Heart got into trouble when he commissioned a CD cover for “Eternal Knight” indicating it was inspired by the “Twilight Saga.” The cover art shows a moon and uses a similar typeface to that of “Twilight’s” movie poster.”

This one has a lot of twists and turns to it. It’s not as obvious as it may seem. Check out the rest of the report on Reuters.

Summit Entertainment Having Problems With Blockbuster Video

According to Home Media Magazine, Summit Entertainment is having a problem getting paid from Blockbuster video ( the company has filed for Bankruptcy protection) over Eclipse, Hurt Locker, and Red DVDs.

“Specifically, Summit last November shipped Blockbuster 426,180 DVDs (excluding widescreen) of Eclipse for unit prices ranging from $6 to $20.20 each, in addition to 92,290 copies of the film on Blu-ray Disc (excluding widescreen) for unit prices from $6 to $23.99 each.

Summit, which claims Eclipse was the fourth-biggest home video release of 2010, contends Blockbuster has generated $8.3 million in rental revenue from the shipments.

The studio also has outstanding invoices for 1,710 copies of The Hurt Locker on Blu-ray for $23.99 each, and 1,620 copies of Robin Hood Unrated Blu-ray/DVD combo for $24.99 each.

Separately, Summit last month shipped Blockbuster 294,990 DVD copies (including special editions) of Red at prices of from $6 to $18 each, and 66,480 Blu-ray copies of Red at prices of from $6 to $23.99 each.

In the complaint, Summit said it is “a relatively small company, not one of the ‘Big Six’ media conglomerate ‘major’ movie studios” that it says can more easily accommodate delayed payments.

“It will be a significant hardship for Summit if this receivable is not paid,” read the complaint.”

See the whole story here.

EDITED :Reuters is also now commenting on the story.

“Blockbuster representatives spoke with Summit’s management on a January 28 conference call about unpaid bills for DVDs including the “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” which was Summit’s second-most popular DVD and No. 4 among all studios last year.

“To Summit’s surprise and dismay, the debtors informed Summit that the debtors would not pay Summit with respect to products that were shipped post-petition (after the bankruptcy filing) because the debtors lacked the funds to do so,” said a court document.

Summit’s president, Stephen Nickerson, said in a court document that Blockbuster will take in $8.3 million alone from the “Eclipse” DVD and he called the unpaid bills a “significant hardship” for the small studio.

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September, weighed down by its debts and stung by video-on-demand and competitors such as mail-order pioneer Netflix Inc and Redbox Inc, a Coinstar Inc unit that rents movies through kiosks.”

It would appear that Blockbuster obtained the discs well after it filed for protection, at least 3 months. So a question for all you lawyers out there, how does that affect Summit? Did Blockbuster make a deal in bad faith, or is this standard Bankruptcy procedure that Summit should have understood?