(CN) - Sony and StudioCanal violated a Swedish movie producer's copyright over a the movie "A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy," co-starring "Beverly Hills, 90120" heartthrob Luke Perry by distributing a technically shoddy version of the movie that was missing music and effects without the company's permission, the producer claims in court.
Swedish company Midsommarfesten claims in federal court in Los Angeles that California-based film producer Elan Entertainment agreed to pay 50 percent of the production and promotion of the film and cover the administrative costs of running Midsommarfesten. The company seeks at least $212,000 in damages.
Swedish corporation Midsommarfesten formed in 2009 to produce the movie "A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy," directed by Ian McCrudden.
Elan falsely presented itself as the owner of the movie when it appointed California-based StoneBrook Entertainment as the movie's sales agent without seeking approval from Midsommarfesten's board, as was required under their agreement, the Swedish company claims.
Elan allegedly told StoneBrook that Elan owned all rights necessary to authorize StoneBrook to sell the film. But Elan knew that was "blatantly false" since Elan had assigned its rights in the film to Midsommarfesten, according to the complaint.
Despite reminding Elan that Midsommarfesten owned the movie rights, Midsommarfesten says Elan entered the sales agreement anyway.
In April 2010, Midsommarfesten claims it emailed StoneBrook saying it was the sole owner of the film rights and that it should be involved in any sales agreement. In March 2011, Midsommarfesten claims it demanded that StoneBrook cease acting as Elan's agent altogether, but to no avail.
Instead, Midsommarfesten says Elan signed distribution agreements with multiple companies, including a subsidiary of Sony and StudioCanal Limited, a UK distributor.
The company says the movie's market potential was severely and irreparably damaged, claiming that since Elan did not have access to the film's high definition master or soundtrack, some buyers rejected the film presented by StoneBrook due to the movie's perceived poor quality.
Midsommarfesten contends that it again told StudioCanal it was the sole owner of the film, but that StudioCanal continued to distribute the film without authorization.
Midsommarfesten says Elan still owes about $117,000 on the production deal in its claims, including copyright infringement and breach of contract.
The Swedish company is represented by Lincoln Bandlow and Brianna Dahlberg of Lathrop & Gage in Los Angeles.