Disney Beats Back Claims in DVD Copyright Dispute

Written July 26, 2019

The US District Court for the Central District of California on July 18, 2019, held that that Disney’s agreement with distributors to forbid downstream sales to Redbox does not violate copyright law. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC v. Buena Vista Home Ent., Inc., C.D. Cal., No. 2:18-cv-00677, order entered 7/18/19.

Redbox, a video rental service, buys Disney DVD “combo packs” from big-box and grocery stores. These “combo packs” include digital movie codes that allow the buyer to watch the movie through a Disney website; Redbox began selling the codes in 2017. Disney then allegedly pressured distributors to stop selling to Redbox. Redbox sued and the Court dismissed their antitrust allegations, but allowed their false advertising claims to continue.