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 – which 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: