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Case over Golden Globes rights headed to trial

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal judge on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit by the organizers of the Golden Globe Awards, setting up a trial later this year to decide who will broadcast the star-studded show for most of the remainder of the decade.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank issued a tentative ruling Monday denying a bid by show producer Dick Clark Productions to dismiss the case. She will now decide who owns the broadcast rights during a trial scheduled to begin on Sept. 6 in Los Angeles.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the Globes awards, sued DCP and its new owners last year, claiming they sold broadcast rights to NBC through 2018 without proper permission.

They claim the rights to the show were sold for less than they were worth, and that DCP and Red Zone Capital Partners only had rights to produce the show through 2011. The judge will have to review several contracts entered into over the years between the HFPA and DCP to decide who owns the broadcast rights.

The organization had sought a trial date this summer that it can negotiate a new television deal and possibly find a new producer if it wins.

Other claims of copyright infringement and seeking an accounting of profits will be decided later.

"We will continue the fight to reclaim all of our rights" said Philip Berk, president of the roughly 90-member HFPA.

"Now that their attempt to evade responsibility for their bad-faith conduct has been rejected, we look forward to presenting our evidence at trial - and to establishing once and for all that no sale of any rights connected to the Globes is possible without the HFPA's participation and consent," the association's attorney Linda J. Smith said in a statement.

Dick Clark Productions said it would wait until the judge's final written ruling is issued before commenting.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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