I am one of the few females I know that didn’t see the appeal in the Fifty Shades of Grey series; potentially because I haven’t had time to engage in recreational reading since the summer of 2011 (which was before law school). Anyway…although I chose not to engage in the racy reading material, thousands of other women nationwide did push the books to best seller’s lists. As with many best-selling novels, there is usually a Hollywood blockbuster to follow, although in this case it isn’t exactly what fans had in mind.

The original holder of the copyright of the E.L. James novels is Universal Pictures, though it seems that a low level pornography, Smash Pictures, company took it upon themselves to produce their own version of the series, entitled Fifty Shades of Grey: a XXX Adaptation, which appears to parody the raunchy BDSM novels. Universal and Fifty Shades Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Smash last November claiming that Smash engaged in a "willful attempt to capitalize on the reputation of the book." In fact, plaintiffs allege seven causes of action in their original complaint ranging from copyright infringement to unfair competition.

The lawsuit apparently alleges that Stuart Wall, vice president of Smash Pictures was vocal about his intentions to rip off the book and create a XXX version of the story and its “S&M themed romance.” Universal did not take this lightly since Fifty Shades is in the process of becoming a motion picture. Universal says that Smash’s adaptation is not a parody or a ridicule of the original, “it is a rip-off, plain and simple.”

It appears that Smash has recently stipulated to settle the case and pay a confidential amount to Plaintiffs in addition to a permanent injunction regarding the copyright and trademark infringement claims alleged in the suit.

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