Film Producer Allegedly Plagiarizes Screenwriter’s Script


Copyright ExpertThis case involves a freelance screenwriter who attended a film festival in the hopes of selling a script he had been working on. The screenwriter networked with a producer who seemed very interested in reading the script. Following the event, the producer requested to read the script in full. The screenwriter met with the producer to exchange the script. After reading the script, the producer informed the screenwriter she had elected not to move forward with the script. The following year, the producer released a film with a plot line nearly identical to that of the screenwriter’s original script without the writer’s knowledge or authorization. It was alleged that the producer plagiarized the screenwriter’s script. An expert in copyright laws with particular experience in the entertainment industry was sought to determine if the film was substantially similar to the screenwriter’s original script.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience with intellectual property and copyrights in regards to the entertainment industry (i.e. films, screenplays, etc.).

Expert Witness Response

My teaching and research focus on (inter alia) the legal standards for the establishment of copyright liability, including the evidence and legal standards relevant to substantial similarity analysis. Case law and statutes related to the entertainment industry are the resources that I most often use in this work. I am able to review the materials and offer an opinion.

Expert Bio:

This highly qualified expert holds bachelor’s degree from an ivy league university and a JD from a southern law school. His areas of expertise include intellectual property, copyrights and trademarks, contracts, and law and technology, in which he frequently publishes and lectures on. His scholarships have appeared several recognized law journals and publications. He currently serves as a professor of law and associate dean at a major law school. He is also the founder and former director of the school’s intellectual property institute.

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