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First off today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that the Walt Disney Company has settled a lawsuit filed by filmmaker Kelly Wilson that alleged a trailer for the film Frozen was an infringement a short film she had released previously.
Wilson’s film, entitled The Snowman, featured a snowman battling a gang of rabbits on a frozen lake for his nose. A teaser trailer for Frozen followed a similar theme with the character Olaf battling a reindeer for his nose. The lawsuit not only claimed that the teaser trailer was an infringement, but that the Frozen character Olaf was very similar to the snowman character in The Snowman.
Disney had attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed but the judge found enough similarities between the works to allow the case to go to a trial, which was scheduled for October. However, the two sides have now reached a settlement, bringing an end to the case. The terms of the settlement, however, have not been disclosed.
Next up today, Joe Otterson at The Wrap reports that Universal Studios has failed in a bid to have a judge toss a lawsuit over the film The Purge.
The lawsuit was filed by screenwriter Douglas Jordan-Benel, who claims that the film is based on his screenplay Settler’s Day, which he sent to Universal through his agents. Though Jordan-Benel’s initial complaint was dismissed on the grounds that there was no evidence Universal saw his screenplay or made any kind of contract (oral or otherwise), the court granted him leave to amend his complaint, which he did.
The amended complaint included greater detail about how his agents were connected with the director of the film. That was enough for the judge to give the green light for the case to move forward, including both on contract and copyright infringement grounds. The judge did dismiss the case against various production companies because the new claims didn’t show they had access to the original script. However, the rest of the lawsuit moves forward and is seeking some $5 million in damages.
Finally today, Kate Taylor at Entrepreneur Magazine reports that painter Maya Hayuk has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks alleging that artwork used in Starbucks’ recent mini Frappuccino campaign is similar to her work.
Accoridng to Hayuk, she turned down an offer from 72andSunny, Starbucks advertising agency, to work on the campaign but says she was surprised to see that, when Starbucks launched the campaign, it used similar colors and tones to a series of paintings she produced.
Starbucks said it is investigating the allegation. In the meantime, the lawsuit is seeking some $750,000 in 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.