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    Judge Dismisses Some Claims – The Music news

    A New York judge has trimmed Warner Bros. Discovery‘s lawsuit looking to enforce the company’s exclusive streaming rights to South Park on HBO Max.

    Justice Margaret Chan on Tuesday found that Paramount didn’t violate any state consumer protection laws because the complaint revolves around a “private contract dispute” that allegedly caused WBD to overpay for certain rights in the $500 million deal and “not conduct that has caused harm to consumers.” She concluded that Paramount didn’t engage in what WBD called a “campaign of verbal trickery” that muddled understanding of who held the exclusive rights to the series when it debuted South Park: Post Covid and South Park: The Streaming Wars on Paramount+.

    WBD in February sued Paramount, South Park Digital Studios and MTV Entertainment, alleging that a $500 million licensing deal reached in 2019 for the exclusive streaming rights to the existing 23-season library and 30 new episodes was breached. It claimed that some of the South Park specials and other related content was diverted to Paramount+ to prop up its own fledgling streaming platform.

    Paramount, in turn, fired back with its own counterclaim for breach of contract, arguing that WBD is claiming violations of terms that weren’t agreed-upon in the deal. It sought $52 million in unpaid licensing fees, though the countersuit was dropped last month.

    Dismissal of the claim centering around allegedly deceptive practices was premised on Chan’s finding that Paramount never made false statements as it relates to its description of some South Park specials, which WBD claimed were part of the original package of content it licensed. She pointed to evidence that consumers could distinguish that Paramount+ was the exclusive home of two South Park movies per year while Max housed the series’ back catalogue.

    “Although plaintiff may take issue with defendants” characterization of the Post-COVID Content and Streaming Wars Content as ‘events’ or ‘movies’ as an attempt to circumvent the terms of the 2019 Agreements, defendants” literally true public representations are not actionable,” Chan wrote.

    Additionally, Chan dismissed a claim that Paramount didn’t act in good faith because it overlapped with WBD’s breach of contract claim. She said they allege “the same injuries and damages against the same party.”

    WBD still has remaining for breach of contract, tortuous interference with contract and unjust enrichment.

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