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Turner will temporarily halt colorization of RKO films

By HOWARD GANTMAN

LOS ANGELES -- RKO Pictures Inc. has reached an agreement with Turner Entertainment Inc. that temporarily halts the colorization of the studio's black-and-white films, an RKO attorney announced Monday.

David Gerber, representing RKO, said a motion for a preliminary injunction against Turner Entertainment and Color Systems Technology Inc. barring the colorizing of 10 films was withdrawn following the agreement, reached Friday, to put a federal court suit on temporary hold.

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The agreement calls for the issue to be resolved following the outcome of a federal court case in New York in which Turner Entertainment sued RKO and the studio filed a counter-suit.

In both the Los Angeles and New York lawsuits, RKO accused Turner Entertainment of copyright infringement and the 'unauthorized reproduction and adaptation through colorization' of the films, Gerber said. Color Systems is a co-defendant in Los Angeles but not New York.

In the New York case, attorneys for entrepreneur Ted Turner's entertainment company claim RKO is withholding material crucial to colorization, Gerber said.

Attorneys for Turner Entertainment and Color Systems were not available for comment Monday.

The use of computers to color black-and-white films has become a major controversy in the entertainment community with many noted actors and directors criticizing the technique.

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The following films were included in the Los Angeles suit: 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' 1939; 'Allegheny Uprising,' 1939; 'Tall in the Saddle,' 1944; 'Back to Bataan,' 1945; 'Badman's Territory,' 1946; 'Return of the Badman,' 1948; 'Fort Apache,' 1948; 'Mighty Joe Young,' 1949; 'Every Girl Should Be Married,' 1949; and 'Big Sky,' 1952.

The suit also asks for damages of at least $10,000 per film, the surrender of colored tapes of the films and any profits from marketing the colored versions.

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