Early on in the movie industry, the Sherman Antitrust Act had been attempted to be used by individuals against copyright violations and other issues such as larger chain movie theaters impeding the success of independent theaters and movie producers. The suits had been shot down in most cases on the grounds that the law had not been written to address disadvantageous business environments.
Throughout the 1930’s however, there was a certain amount of self regulation in the movie industry. Codes of fair competition as well as the Hayes Code were starting to be implemented.
The Department of Justice also began looking into some common practices of larger production companies. Block-booking, the practice of licensing, or offering for license, one feature, or group of features, upon condition that the exhibitor shall also license another feature or group of features released by the distributor during a given period came under scrutiny.
Although the suit was filed in 1938 the first decision was not reached until 1946. This forced many changes in the movie industry and some felt this truly ended, “The Golden Age” of Hollywood.