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Disney Sued Again Over Allegedly Stealing Zootopia

February 14, 2018 | Posted by Joseph Lee

As we reported last year, screenwriter Gary L. Goldman’s company Esplanade Productions sued The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries over Zootopia, claiming copyright infringement and “breach of implied-in-fact contract”. That lawsuit was eventually thrown out in federal court last summer, but Goldman is trying again. Deadine reports that Esplanade has filed a new suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, once again claiming that Disney stole his “artwork, dialogue, characters (both character traits and designs), themes, settings, and plot structure.” They also claim that Disney “even took its title, Zootopia.”

Goldman claims that he pitched the idea to Disney in 2000 and 2009. However, the side-by-side comparisons and claims of sit down meetings weren’t enough to convince the federal court judge at the time.

US District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote on July 11: “In this action, as in every action, it is the plaintiff’s obligation to allege sufficient facts, if proved true, to permit a jury to rule in the plaintiff’s favor. Esplanade has not met that burden here. The allegations themselves actively obfuscate the details of the infringement.

They are appealing in federal court and trying the case again in state court. Esplanade is once again supported by the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP lawyers, who worked on the first case. A lot of the same language of that lawsuit has been copied over to this one. They’re hoping that the change of venue will help their case. It is seeking damages, an injunction and a look at Disney’s books for the film.

The lawsuit states: “Although The Walt Disney Company rigorously acts to protect its own intellectual property, it apparently has developed business policies and a corporate culture that accept and encourage the unauthorized, and uncompensated use of others work.

Disney has yet to comment on this lawsuit.

article topics :

Disney, Zootopia, Joseph Lee