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Judge: 'Deep Throat' Owners Can't Stop 'Lovelace' Release

“We are relieved that common sense prevailed,” Millennium president Mark Gill said in a statement.

Lovelace' (2013)
"Lovelace"

A Linda Lovelace movie can open as planned this weekend despite a copyright lawsuit from the makers of Deep Throat, a federal judge has ruled.

Lovelace is set to be released on Friday via The Weinstein Co.'s Radius label and Millennium Films. But on Tuesday, Arrow Productions, which says it owns rights to Deep Throat, sued TWC, Millennium, Eclectic Pictures and United Entertainment, claiming copyright and trademark infringement, because the new film uses more than five minutes of footage from the classic 1972 porn movie without a license or permission. As part of the suit, Arrow sought an injunction as well as $10 million in further damages.

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But in a ruling on Wednesday, a federal judge cleared the movie for release.

“We are relieved that common sense prevailed,” Millennium president Mark Gill said in a statement. “The suit was completely unwarranted. We believe this case was an insult to the legal safeguards in place maintaining our right to freedom of speech. It was without merit on every level. Arrow Productions’ complaint was transparent about its desire to control discussion about Deep Throat -- a film they describe as a 'watershed' in American popular culture -- and to hinder projects that would compete with theirs. The law does not support either of these motives.”

The ruling does not end the lawsuit; it merely denies Arrow's attempt to get a restraining order to stop the film from being released. (Here's THR's analysis of the case.)

"Radius couldn't be more pleased the world will finally get a chance to see Linda's real story unfold onscreen in Lovelace," said the label's co-presidents, Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, in a statement. "Never again will she be silenced by the producers and distributors of Deep Throat."