Confustion about rights to Republic releases

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Lambert, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Okay, Artisan has been distributing Republic Pictures' releases for quite some time now on DVD.
    I keep reading in various threads that Paramount now owns rights to Republic films. But I'm confused as to whether or not Artisan is still involved at all, on any level.
    Biggest example is Twin Peaks. Artisan just released Season 1 (S1). Prior to that Warner Bros. was said to have the US rights to the Twin Peaks pilot. Then it was said that Paramount now owns those right, as discussed in a quote below from another thread. It sounds like Paramount now owns -all- the rights to Republic films and properties. BUT...isn't *Artisan* supposed to be releasing TP S2 (and what they call "S3", but is really S2-post-arrest of Laura Palmer's killer)?
    What exactly is the situation with rights to Republic properties?
    Here's the quote I mentioned. It's from this thread about The Prince and the Showgirl, actually:
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Highlander has the Republic logo on it, yet is now owned by Anchor Bay, me confused more [​IMG]
     
  3. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    OK, let's clear some things up once and for all...

    Republic was bought by Spelling Entertainment in the early '90s. When Republic ceased production again shortly after, the television unit was consolidated into WorldVision Enterprises (Spelling's own television unit), while Republic continued to function as merely a distribution company. When Spelling consolidated its divisions, the WorldVision home video division fell under the Republic banner (rather than continue to operate as different companies with the same owner). Republic itself became, as it is today, an in-name-only distribution company overseeing a huge library of 3,000 films and television series.

    Now what part does Artisan have to play in this? After the Spelling consolidation and Republic got out of the production business, they decided to find a new distributor/licensor for their product, so Artisan reached a multi-year deal to distribute all of Republic's backlog. That certainly does not mean Artisan owns the Republic library outright. All Republic material is still released under the Republic label...Artisan is a distributor only.

    In 1999, when Viacom acquired the portion of Spelling Entertainment it did not own previously, Republic became wholly-owned by Viacom, which is why Republic today is "a Paramount/Viacom company".

    Republic functions today as a distribution company which has, among its holdings, the home video rights to 80% of Spelling's television output (including "Twin Peaks"), "It's A Wonderful Life", most of the NBC, Quinn Martin, and early United Artists libraries, the Max Fleischer animated output (including Betty Boop BUT not Popeye and Superman), and nearly all Republic serials and feature films. The theatrical distribution rights are under the Paramount Classics banner.

    As for "Highlander"...Republic owned the video rights until last year. "Highlander" itself is owned by StudioCanal (through its acquisition of the Thorn EMI library--EMI originally produced the film). Anchor Bay owns the video rights to "Highlander" now as they have struck a new licensing deal with StudioCanal.

    Hope this settles things.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I believe with high confidence that the answer is Artisan will still be releasing season 2 (2/3). The reason is that they have a long term license (I think they're in the 2nd year of a 7 year contract) for distribution on the Republic Pictures material (I think they got the license on everything that RP had rights to). Because Artisan is an independent third party with contract rights in place, a shift in the rights of ownership in the underlying material (if there was one) should not affect their distribution rights whatsoever.

    This does not, however, automatically, get Artisan the pilot to Twin Peaks, because Republic didn't have the domestic rights to the pilot when the Artisan deal was inked. I'm certainly not privy to the details of their agreement, so there's a possiblity that things that come back into the fold are covered by the license, but I don't know that for a fact. If it isn't covered, then Artisan has no rights to it.

    The question that I still have is whether it's actually Paramount that has the rights to the pilot, or Republic, a Paramount/Viacom company. The Neff interview said Paramount, but that could have just been shorthand for the Viacom congolmerate. It's not clear to me how Paramount would have ended up with these rights (at the time Twin Peaks was made, recall, Republic and Spelling/Worldvision were not yet part of the Viacom family) unless they went out and bought them from Warner. So still plenty of unanswerable questions, I'm afraid. I think Martin Blythe may have to step in and straighten this out for us, if anyone can.
     
  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Well, that helps a bit though. Thanks! To each of you!
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I just have one question. Republic issued Santa Sangre on VHS. Who owns it now? I'd love to have this movie on dvd...
     

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