Flickchart vs. MovieWeb

22 Apr
2011

As many of you may know or have heard, the website MovieWeb.com revealed a feature named “Face-Off” on Saturday, April 16th with a descriptive blog post, “Movie Face-Off Is Here!“. We were alarmed to discover that this feature was not a unique take on ranking or rating films, but instead a rather obvious duplication of the concept, functionality, user interface, and formatting of Flickchart.

We wholeheartedly welcome fair competition and innovation, but when faced with what is plainly obvious to us and others that MovieWeb has knowingly copied, reproduced, and duplicated what we have worked to perfect over the years and refer to it as their own new idea, we feel their attempt is neither morally right, nor is it legal. MovieWeb has never contacted us formally or informally to indicate interest in licensing the use of Flickchart Рwhich we would have certainly considered if approached, as we would of any potential business partners.

After consideration of our options, we, with our lawyers, sent MovieWeb a letter, fax, and email informing them of their infringements of our intellectual property rights, their breach of contract of our terms of service, and indication of their unfair competitive practices. We also supplied several visual examples of this duplication to MovieWeb (see below). MovieWeb was asked to remove the offending features from their site, but have refused.

As a result, we plan to file suit against MovieWeb seeking statutory damages, actual damages, punitive damages, disgorgement of MovieWeb’s profits, injunctive relief, and an award of attorney’s fees and costs.

We’d like to sincerely appreciate our friends, fellow professionals in the film community, and the users of Flickchart for your heartfelt support.

You can click the thumbnails below to review the examples of MovieWeb’s infringement, and our legal communication to MovieWeb, for yourself.

UPDATE – 12:35 Eastern, Saturday, April 23, 2011:

MovieWeb has since been attempting to superficially change their interface to look less like Flickchart. Click the thumbnail to see the changes:

http://blog.flickchart.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Flickchart-v-Movieweb.pdf

  • JRM

    Sue their ass.

  • Erik

    Go get ‘em, guys.

  • Nigel Druitt

    Shameless.

    I wish you guys the best of luck in this fight, Nathan.
    Such a shame that you should have to have such a fight on your hands.

  • Erik

    Sorry for commenting a second time, but I just got done reading the document and looking more carefully at the screenshots.

    It was obvious they were copying Flickchart before, but I had absolutely no idea just how bad it really was. It’s disgusting.

    I gotta say though, I hadn’t even though about the “breach of contract” issue. Nice.

  • ottobud

    So sad to see you have to do this, but good on you for taking action! I support you guys 100% in your claim. All the best.

  • http://www.rowthree.com Jandy

    It sucks that it had to come to this (and that they did it in the first place), but now that it has, go kick some legal ass! We’re behind you all the way.

  • kingofpain

    One almost has to wonder if the apocalypse of humankind is upon us when people like those at Movieweb can be confronted with irrefutable examples of their wrongdoing and actually refuse to acknowledge it. I think I’ll go pick up a copy of War & Peace, change around a few sentences and re-title it “Conflict & Tranquilty” and claim it as my own. Or maybe copy the Mona Lisa, but give her blonde hair and call it Mandy Lindstrom.

  • http://travismcclain.blogspot.com Travis McClain

    As all of us understand when comparing two similar movies that the first one we see establishes the baseline for the match. The second movie needs to seriously establish its own identity in order to avoid being dismissed out of hand. Wyatt Earp is generally respected, but Tombstone gets all the love. Everything else being equal, it would still come down to this: Val Kilmer was amazing and the best anyone has said about Dennis Quaid’s performance as Doc Holliday was that it was different from Kilmer’s.

    You can’t even make that claim on behalf of MovieWeb.

  • Al Topich

    Note for note, it’s the exact same thing. They even have the pie charts. It’s just sickening how lazy and unimaginative these MovieWeb goons are. I’m sure at the end of the day, karma will give them their just deserts.

  • http://www.flickchart.com/mrjeffwright mrjeffwright

    This is wrong in so many ways… Sue the f**k outta them, guys!

  • http://sirstuckey.wordpress.com/ Ryan Stuckey

    Their imitation is so obvious it’s almost laughable. Hopefully this ends quickly and tidily.

  • http://www.twitter.com/scottEweinberg Scott Weinberg

    I am not a litigious guy by nature, but this is bald-faced theft. I hope you get results.

  • http://www.twitter.com/isavedlatin89 Josh Brunsting

    It’s rare that I get up in arms about a subject, but I don’t think I’ve seen such a case of blatantly egregious as what MovieWeb has done here. Go kick their ass, and get what you deserve!

  • http://twitter.com/aeghast [A]

    Go get ‘em, tiger(s)

  • http://twitter.com/jertown Jertown

    This is astonishing. It’s hard to believe that there are people who steal/copy work from others and claim it as their own. In an age where there is so much potential and so many available tools for creativity, how does someone turn to theft? Laziness. Shameful.

    I’m behind you guys as well. :)

  • Anonymous

    Blatantly obvious that they took the interface layout, design and ideas directly from Flickchart. It surprises me that they refused to take down the feature from their site. They are going to lose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ScottFL386 Scott Annese

    The changes still look the damn same….

  • Npcraig

    Wow. I signed up for moviewebs thing and now read this. It is a exact copy of yours. I’m shocked someone thought they could actually release this and think it would fly.

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