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June 27, 2017

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Catchplay wins preliminary injunction against SSG

The China Post--Catchplay Media Holdings (威望國際) announced yesterday that the company on Oct. 11 had obtained a preliminary injunction from a U.S. federal court, which ordered Studio Solutions Group (SSG), Catchplay's former agent for purchasing films, not to terminate any of Catchplay's rights to distribute and release its films in Taiwan. SSG may also not relicense films to any third parties.

According to Catchplay Executive Director Daphne Yang (楊麗貞), the preliminary injunction was a legal victory for Catchplay against SSG and protects the rights of Catchplay to release its films, ensuring Taiwanese moviegoers will be able to see them.

The ruling said the court believes Catchplay is likely to prevail on its breach of contract claims against SSG.

According to Yang, after the company filed criminal charges against its former General Manager Wayne Chang (張心望), SSG started to demand Catchplay pay certain amounts of money and threatened not to provide the movie content.

The executive director stated that in August SSG demanded Catchplay pay US$5 million as a settlement payment and announced that SSG had terminated Catchplay's rights to 950 films. In September, SSG relicensed the rights of "Dredd," "Looper," and "Lawless" to Media Development Corp. (MDC, 媒體發展公司), a company established by Chang.

MDC immediately claimed that they had obtained the rights of these three films and started applying for permits to release the movies, Yang added.

Except for the lawsuit against SSG in the U.S., Catchplay also filed a lawsuit against MDC in Taiwan for the rights of the three movies, the result of which Yang estimated will come out by October.

According to the executive director, Catchplay can provide legal documents to prove that the company had paid all required costs to obtain the rights of the three movies, while MDC cannot.

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