A judge has hit New Line Cinema with a $125,000 fine after the studio failed to preserve documents and e-mails it had been ordered to save as part of a legal dispute with director Peter Jackson over the accounting for earnings from the first part of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
Jackson has sued New Line over the accounting for DVD sales, foreign box office tickets and other proceeds from the Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen J. Hillman ordered New Line in July of last year to provide sales and licensing documents. But he found that the studio instead has been continuing to purge documents and e-mail messages on a regular basis, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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