AnimeNewsNetwork today reported that there is a legal battle ongoing between North American anime licensor/publisher Funimation Entertainment and a number of other companies including John Ledford (Founder of A.D. Vision), A.D. Vision itself, AEsir Holdings, Section23 Films, Valkyrie Media Partners, Seraphim Studios, Sentai Filmworks, Sentai Holdings and Switchblade Pictures over a breach of contract in relation to A.D. Vision titles. It is claimed that they are seeking an amount of approximately 8 million dollars (Including interest, costs and attorney fees) over what they claim to be a breach of contract.
Funimation claims they had a contract with ARM (A third party licensing company) to pick up 30 of the former ADV titles during July 2008, and allege they became a creditor of ADV when they licensed these titles with ADV owing ARM money. It is also alleged that the company avoided paying the debt and instead sold its assets to several companies for “below market value” in an attempt to avoid paying the debt. Or essentially, they want the court system to have the 2009 sale of ADV’s assets declared void through trial by jury.
BUT, it turns out that the other companies are not just stepping down, with Sentai Filmworks, Seraphim Studiosm, Sentai Holdings, Valkyrie Media Partners, Switchblade Pictures, AEsir Holdings and Section23 Films filing a counterclaim to dispute these charges. They claim that among many other things that they do not have a contract with Funimation and therefore are not liable to them. Also that the companies did not exist when Funimation acquired rights from ARM to enforce ADV’s contract and finally that the lawsuit was filed after the two-year statute of limitations and that Funimation was not involved with the original contract thus cannot file for direct damages.
The companies are asking that the court declare Funimations contract is not a valid argreement binding on the defendants and that the companies owe no duties or performance to any obligations to Funimation, as well as a request for all their legal fees and expenses to be paid. However we will not be hearing much on this battle in the short term… with the pre-trial meeting set to take place on October 5th 2012.
Section23 provided a statement to AnimeNewsNetwork about this matter:
Funimation’s lawsuit is completely without merit or basis and we look forward to proving it when we have our day in court.
Source for this article was the following AnimeNewsNetwork article HERE.