Warren Miller Banned From Producing Ski Films

by Brandon Quinn | October 18, 2010

Perhaps the most famous name in the ski film industry, Warren Miller, has been legally prevented from making or appearing in new ski films. Miller is 86 years old and began filming ski videos in 1949; he was a revolutionary film maker that forever changed the exposure of the sport. His films were inspirational and entirely original; every Fall a new film came out as the ski season approached. This tradition has continued to the present day.

In the late 1980’s he sold out to a company that created Warren Miller Entertainment (WME), and it has been using his name as the brand name on its films ever since. Miller has had little to do with the films that bore his name for the last couple of decades. Earlier this month a court ruled against him in a bitter legal dispute over the use of his name and whether he can appear or do voice-overs in ski films again. Miller’s legal woes stem from a voice-over in another ski film by Level 1 Productions called “Refresh”.

An arbitration panel in CO ruled that Warren Miller could make films and use his name, but he could not have anything to do with ski industry films. It also ruled that his appearance in “Refresh” did not harm Warren Miller Entertainment (WME) and so denied the breach of contract claim.

Warren Miller issued the following statement to the media about the situation: “As most of you can imagine, I greatly prefer spending time on a snowy mountain to being stuck defending myself in arbitration, but it was worth standing up for what is right and I am glad the panel found that I did not breach any contract. For WME to say or imply that they have exclusive rights to my name, personal endorsement, voice, and likeness for all endeavors is both legally false and totally absurd. I have not been involved with my old company’s films in any capacity for many years now and I will not work with WME again.”

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