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First off today, Kyle Jahner at Bloomberg Law reports that Walt Disney Co. has won a motion to dismiss in the lawsuit over the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The lawsuit was filed by two writers and a producer that claimed the first Pirates film, which was released in 2003, was based on a screenplay they sent to Disney in 2000. However, the judge determined that there were fundamental differences between the two works and that any similarities between them could not be protected by copyright.
According to the judge, the main purported similarity between the two, the idea of cursed pirates, was one that stemmed naturally from the genre and was not protectable. As such, he granted Disney’s motion to dismiss, tossing the case before it was able to head to a trial.
Next up today, Minyvonne Burke at NBC News reports that Ariana Grande is being sued by a New York-based photographer who alleges that the musician posted two of his photos on Instagram without his permission.
In one of the photos, Grande was wearing a great sweatshirt with the word “Sweetener” on it. She posted the photo with the tagline “Happy Sweetener Day!” in order to promote the release of her then-new album Sweetener. According to the photographer, he is the sole rightsholder in the image and her use of it was an infringement.
The case is actually the latest in a growing line of celebrity lawsuits over Instagram posts. In January, model Gigi Hadid faced a similar case against a New York agency that claims she used images they own the rights to on her social media accounts.
Finally today, Johanna Armstrong at The Daily Journal reports that, in Fergus Falls Minnesota, a planned stage performance of Mulan, Jr. has been scrapped as Disney has withdrawn their license for the play.
Mulan, Jr. was to be a production by A Center for the Arts’ Children’s Theater. The company was planning three shows and was in the process of set design when Disney contacted them to let them know their license was withdrawn. The reason given was because of an upcoming production of Mulan Live, though it’s unclear if that is a stage play or a TV production similar to other Disney “Live” events.
As a result of the change the group will be switching to Shrek, Jr. It will have three productions with three different directors and casts. Auditions will be held later this month.