Shout Factory Is Very Close To Licensing The Susan Hart Films
Backstory: Actress Susan Hart married James Nicholson, co-founder of American Int’l Pictures back in the 60s. When he died she got the rights to some of AIP’s film. Those include It Conquered The World, Invasion of the Saucer Men (later remade into Attack of the Eye Creatures), I Was A Teenage Werewolf, Amazing Colossal Man and Terror From The Year 5000.
In the late 90s, Susan started enforcing her claim on these films and hasn’t allowed them to be license or released in any format, holding up their corresponding official MST3K episode releases under Rhino and later Shout. she’s very litigious and notoriously hard to work with. She has never, ever licensed her films out and will sue at the drop of a hat.
In 2015, Shout released a documentary about AIP on Volume 34. In late 2018, Susan sued because the documentary included stills of the movies she owns the rights to. It went to Federal Court Susan Nicholson Hofheinz v. Shout Factory, LLC et al
• Susan sued Shout, Ballyhoo and Shout owner Jordan Fields.
• The case went to mediation and nothing came of it.
• Shout, et al., filed a Motion For Summary Judgment, arguing Susan: A) Has not proved ownership or renewal on the copyrights of said films. B) The clips used were under Fair Use. and C) Susan has not sought to actively protect her works, as a quick Google search will show YouTube uploads of the full films she claims Shout infringed on. Meaning she isn’t actively protecting the copyright on her works.
• Susan shortly thereafter filed a notice that she and Shout had reached a settlement in principle.
Since then, 4 Motions for Extension have been filed asking the court for more time to negotiate between the two parties to reach a final consummated settlement.
The most interesting things in the final, most recent motion for extension, which states why there have been so many of these, states that in December shout ask Susan for 2 years license for physical releases. And that both parties are working out how to come to an agreement on this request, and that both parties want to agree.
Both parties filed a FOURTH Motion for Extension on 2/7/20. In it, they state that: As of this week, the material terms of the longform written agreement have been finalized and that the agreement is partially executed, but they need more time to finish execution and commence performance of the agreement. And request extension to March 13th.
B-movie author and historian Tom Weaver posted to a forum recently that he spoke to Susan on the matter and that she gave nothing to Shout and that the whole thing is a total fabrication.