The Hollywood Reporter trade magazine reported on Monday that plaintiffs Asatsu-DK (ADK) and TV Tokyo will pay US$8 million to the American production company 4Kids Entertainment as a part of their settlement. 4Kids had announced last Thursday that there was an amicable settlement of the lawsuit between the company and ADK and TV Tokyo over the license of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property.
The lawsuit was filed by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems last March, accusing the North American media distributor of “underpayments, wrongful deductions, and unmet obligations” and stating that 4Kids owed the companies US$4,792,460.36.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that ADK and TV Tokyo had accused 4Kids of making “an agreement with Funimation Productions to exploit the [Yu-Gi-Oh!] series on home video before conspiring to hide much of the income from the Japanese companies.” However, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman ruled that Funimation was a distributor, not a sublicensee, noting that it is common for home video companies to use outside companies to physically manufacture and distribute home video products.
Chapman added that in regard to the alleged 4Kids underpayment that led ADK and TV Tokyo to cancel their licensing agreement with 4Kids, that ADK and TV Tokyo‘s “purported basis for termination – 4Kids’ failure to promptly pay the royalty underpayment reflected in the audit – was improper because the amount owed to Plaintiffs, if any, was nowhere near the US$4.819 million amount asserted in the termination letter and the purported notices of breach.”
4Kids will continue to have the rights to distribute the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise outside of Asia.
Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.