3 Count: New Girl, Old Idea

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1: Fox, WME, Peter Chernin Sued for Allegedly Stealing TV Pilot Script for ‘New Girl’

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that two screenwriters have filed a lawsuit against Fox, talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME) and others alleging that the new Fox show New Girl is a copyright infringement of a show idea that they had developed and shopped around.

According to the plaintiffs, Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold, New Girl is based on their proposed TV series Square One. The two claim to have created the idea based on Counts’ real-life experiences and, in 2008, sent a solicited copy to WME partner Adam Vernit, who then introduced them to David Karp, who would become their agent. The show was then shopped around by WME’s by all of its agents.

According to the plaintiffs, the similarities between the two series are striking, including the use of Zooey Deschanel as the lead. In fact, they claim that the only differences between the two stories were “nothing more than transparent attempts to hide the defendant’s blatant plagiarism.” Fox has not responded to the lawsuit but the suit claims that it previously offered a $10,000 settlement.

2: Playboy Sues Harper’s Bazaar Over Racy Kate Moss Photos Claiming Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Nick Hill at Contact Music reports that Playboy has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Heart Communications, the publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, after Harper’s allegedly used Playboy-owned photos of supermodel Kate Moss without their permission.

According to the lawsuit, Harper’s provided photos through a link in an article that read “See Kate Moss’ Full Fab Playboy Spread” with the text “Save yourself a fiver. Here’s Kate Moss’ NSFW spread from Playboy.” The magazine then linked to an outside site that had posted the infringing images.

The links have been removed but Playboy is still demanding $150,000 for each of the “infringed work”. The total comes up to $1.35 million. The photo shoot was part of Playboy’s 60th anniversary celebration.

3: Sarah Palin loses bid to move copyright lawsuit against her to Alaska

Finally today, Daniel Beekman at The New York Daily News reports that the North Jersey Media Group, a New Jersey-based newspaper publisher, has won the right to keep its lawsuit against Sarah Palin close to home, with a New York judge ordering it moved to New Jersey and not Alaska.

The group filed the lawsuit against Palin and her political action committee over the use of an iconic 9/11 photograph, the firefighters raising the flag over the rubble, on her Facebook page and website.

Palin had sought to either have the case dismissed or moved to her native Alaska. However, the New York judge instead ruled that the case should be moved to New Jersey. The suit seeks unspecified damages.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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