Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Saturday, 21 March 2009

Beatty sued over rights to Tracy

Warren Beatty
Beatty played the detective with the yellow mac in 1990

Actor and director Warren Beatty is being sued over the rights to comic strip character Dick Tracy.

Tribune Media Services said Beatty "wrongly claims" to have exclusive film and TV rights to the police detective.

According to court papers, Beatty has "made no productive use" of the rights for over a decade, causing them to revert to Tribune.

Beatty bought the rights in 1985 and went on to act in and direct an Oscar- winning 1990 film by the same name.

The movie also starred Dustin Hoffman, Madonna and Al Pacino.

The row over the rights to the iconic character has been brewing since 2006.

In November last year, Beatty took legal action against Tribune Media Services, claiming he had begun work on a Dick Tracy television special, which should preserve his rights to the character.

Tribune has accused Beatty of producing the special solely for the purpose of preserving his rights.

The company, a unit of bankrupt newspaper publisher Tribune Co, said the economic benefits of the property was potentially worth millions to the company and its creditors.

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