10:54am PT by Eriq Gardner
'Poultrygeist' Is German For Movie Distribution Heist
When it comes to love of horror schlock, no country beats Germany. The Germans have not only given us filmmakers like Uwe Boll and Timo Rose, but now we learn that they have imported such fare as Poultrygeist, Night of the Chicken Dead and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. The American distributor of these films, however, alleges a different sort of horror -- the films were broadcast on German TV without proper license.
Troma Entertainment, which has been in the B-movie business for nearly 40 years, is suing Centennial Pictures, Pan Global Entertainment, and two individuals for allegedly acting "under the cloak of authority" to license the above-mentioned titles.
Troma says it owns the copyright on Poultrygeist. In 2009, Troma allegedly authorized the defendants to negotiate an agreement to distribute the films in Germany, but only with approval and a license fee.
According to the complaint filed in New York federal court on Thursday, the defendants licensed the films for German Pay TV without authority, and one defendant is said to have communicated to another, "We can always say that the deal did not come through. We don't have to reveal the company."
Allegedly, the defendants bought DVDs of the film off of Amazon and delivered them to a German TV movie network. Troma is seeking maximum statutory damages for copyright infringement.