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Upfront: COPS in Court

The COPS: Too Hot for TV case took another turn at press time as an L.A. Superior Court judge ruled that Barbour/Langley Programs, San Diego-based Real Entertainment and Scott Barbour were in contempt of court for 'intentionally and willfully' violating an...
January 1, 1998

The COPS: Too Hot for TV case took another turn at press time as an L.A. Superior Court judge ruled that Barbour/Langley Programs, San Diego-based Real Entertainment and Scott Barbour were in contempt of court for ‘intentionally and willfully’ violating an earlier injunction. In June of 1997, the same court had issued an injunction prohibiting Barbour/Langley, Real or Barbour from using any of the money or assets from the joint venture created to market the video COPS: Too Hot for TV and other cassettes featuring out-takes from cops.

The original injunction was issued as part of a bigger legal dispute between L.A.-based Marketingworks and Barbour/Langley, Real and Barbour. In 1996, Marketingworks president Charles Salmore formed a joint venture with Barbour/Langley Programs to devise a marketing strategy for the sale of cops videocassettes. COPS: Too Hot for TV went on to gross over US$30 million. According to Marketingworks’ legal representative Roy Silva of Anderson & Bennett, there was a contractual agreement that 25% of profits were to go to Marketingworks.

In February, 1997, Barbour/Langley seized control of all the assets of the joint venture and sued Marketingworks, alleging wrongdoing. Marketingworks denied the charge and launched a cross-complaint, asserting that Barbour/Langley’s takeover was an attempt to avoid paying Marketingworks its share of the profits. According to Marketingworks, the June 1997 injunction was an effort on their part to keep the cash from disappearing.

In the latest ruling, the L.A. court found that Barbour/Langley, Real Entertainment and Barbour had violated the injunction by using a customer list without Marketingworks’ consent. The customer list contains 600,000 names, telephone numbers and addresses of consumers who had purchased the cops videotapes.

Marketingworks presented witnesses who testified that Barbour had given the list to telemarketing company Real Marketing Services (a subsidiary of Real Entertainment), and that Real had solicited at least 100,000 of those people by phone to have them purchase a set of videotapes.

Sentencing for the contempt of court charge was set to happen December 31, 1997. According to Silva, no court date has yet been set for the action brought by Barbour/Langley and Marketingworks’ counter-complaint, but he is confident the case will go to trial. David Fink, on behalf of Barbour’s legal representation at White O’Connor Curry & Avanzado, had no comment.

In Upfront:
-Newsbriefs
-For the record
-ITV Restructures factual department
-New Tenders from C4
-COPS in Court
-French Language DTH Launches in U.S.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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