Screenplay Wars: Rogue Justice?

February 7, 2017 at 12:00pm2:00pm
Beverly Hills Bar Association
Lawry's The Prime Rib

100 N. La Cienega Blvd.

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Despite the strong likelihood that the claims will be summarily dismissed and attorney's fees awarded, lawyers regularly file copyright infringement suits claiming that the latest motion picture or television series was copied from their clients' literary creations. The history of these cases raises questions of whether (a) aspiring screenwriters and their counsel tend to overreach in claiming infringement of ideas, scenes-a-faire, and otherwise unprotected elements of their works, or (b) the customary rejection of screenplay infringement claims is the result of unspoken judicial hostility to them. The presentation will focus upon the evolution of the concept of "substantial similarity," the element that generally proves fatal to these claims.

Robert F. Helfing - Partner, Sedgwick LLP; Adjunct Professor of Copyright Law, Southwestern Law School
David Aronoff - Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Jay Dougherty - Professor of Law and Director, Entertainment/Media Law Institute & Concentration Program, Loyola Law School