Fifty Shades XXX lawsuit settled out of court

The legal battle between mainstream movie studio Universal and porn studio Smash has been settled out of court. Smash caved. The porn guys will permanently pull Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation from distribution and pay an undisclosed sum to the rights holders. (Every major online porn shop had dropped the title months ago anyway.)

Porn parody has long enjoyed strong legal protection. Will this lawsuit result change anything? I doubt it. Smash got themselves in trouble by repeatedly characterizing their work as a faithful “adaptation” rather than a “parody”, and by using large chunks of dialogue unaltered from the books. Parody without permission is protected, but straight adaptation is not.

Fifty Shades-ploitation has been a popular trend in the porn biz over the last year. For the most part, this has involved slapping “Fifty Shades of …” on assorted compilations, reissues and S&M loops. Two standouts in this trend:

Fifty Shades of Hentai and Fifty Darker Shades of Hentai from Adult Source Media. Making your Fifty Shades knockoff as a cartoon is one way to avoid any confusion with the original.

Fifty Shades Of Dylan Ryan, an all-girl version directed by Madison Young for all-girl studio Filly Films. They originally wanted to call this Fifty Shades of Grey: The Lesbian Edition but thought better of it.