By Sam Dallas

Just one day shy of Mao’s Last Dancer’s American run, its producer Jane Scott announced she was taking legal action over the Aussie distributors.

Scott, one of Australia’s most respected producers, said in a statement on Wednesday that Village Roadshow and Hopscotch failed to pay royalties after releasing the DVD without the Ripguard copy-protection technology, describing it as “a major error”.

When Scott (Shine) detected the error, Village and Hopscotch agreed to replace the DVDs, however now the “distributors are attempting to deduct half the DVD recall costs from the producer’s – and therefore the investors’ – royalties, despite the DVD master being delivered by the producer to Village Roadshow exactly to their written specifications”.

No further comment was, or will be, made by Scott.

Directed by veteran Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant), the film, about Chinese-Australian ballet dancer and stockbroker Li Cunxin, raked in more than $15 million on 2513 screens after it opened in October last year.

The film opened yesterday in selected US cinemas.

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