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“Happy Days” lawsuit survives motion for summary judgment

Cast of the classic sitcom can continue seeking merchandising money from CBS

The happy days are over, and the disgruntled days are here to stay. Cast members from the hit ’70s sitcom “Happy Days” are suing CBS Broadcasting Inc., which owns the show, over money from merchandise they claim never to have received. The main issue in the case is whether the actors—Marion Ross, Don Most, Anson Williams and Erin Moran, as well as the widow of cast member Tom Bosley—should get royalty payments from “Happy Days” DVDs.

On Tuesday, a judge denied CBS’s motion for summary judgment, allowing the suit to continue. "[The] defendants have not met their initial burden of showing that plaintiffs are not entitled to merchandising royalties for the use of their likeness on DVD sets sold to consumers," the court wrote.

CBS claims that under an agreement with the Screen Actors Guild, it is allowed to reuse photos from “Happy Days” without making additional payments to the actors.

Unless the case is settled, it is scheduled to go to trial on July 17. However, settlement doesn’t seem to be on the table as far as the plaintiffs are concerned. "We didn't come this far to then all of a sudden stop,” cast member Most told CNN. “It was a big victory for us today, so we're prepared to go all the way."

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