In case you haven’t heard Martha Hart, the widow of Owen Hart, has filed a lawsuit against the WWE for their continued usage of Owen’s name & likeness, apparently sparked by the recent release of WWE Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology.
The DVD was released by the WWE in April of this year and is now being sold worldwide. Apparently prior to this Martha Hart filed an injunction to prevent the Canadian release of “Hart & Soul”, which was later denied by Ontario courts. She objected to the usage of Owen Hart’s image and story being featured in the set.
The WWE have responded to these claims explaining that they are well within their legal rights to feature footage of Owen Hart as it is copyrighted material owned by the WWE.
The upcoming WWE Raw: The Beginning Seasons 1 & 2 DVD will feature Owen Hart matches, and by a rough count Owen Hart matches & references have been featured in more than 10 fairly recent WWE DVD releases such as:
– Greatest Stars of the 90s
– The Best of Raw: 15th Anniversary
– Most Incredible Steel Cage Matches
– The History of the WWE Championship
– Bret Hitman Hart: The Best There Is…
– Edge: Decade of Decadence
– The Twisted, Disturbed Life of Kane
– The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment
– Triple H: The King of Kings
– The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin
Whilst all of these DVDs featured Owen Hart appearances, it is most likely that Martha is coming down on the recent “Hart & Soul” DVD (rightly or wrongly) due to it retelling the story of Owen Hart’s tragic death and featuring him more prominently than previous releases.
This lawsuit could actually be worse for DVD collectors then the whole Benoit mess.With Benoit atleast he can be found on DVDs of Complete PPV cards, but if Martha gets her way it sounds like this could force the WWE to cut Owen out of future PPV releases. They have yet to finish the Survior Series set from 1997 on, and I have always hoped one day they would release a set of all the King Of The Ring PPVs on DVD.