Screenwriters Claim Sony Copied Their Plot For A Video Game

from the judge-explains-basics-of-copyright-law dept

The entitlement some people feel because someone else had a somewhat (but not really) similar idea to what they had, and then actually executed on it better, is really astounding. For years, we've seen people claim that various filmmakers, TV producers and authors had "stolen" their ideas and sued over it. These lawsuits almost never get anywhere. In almost every case, the similarities between the stories are marginal at best, and clearly were developed independently. It's just that the creator of the less-well-known work is jealous of the success of whoever came up with a better version that got a lot more attention.

Apparently, those kinds of lawsuits are now moving to video games as well -- as two screenplay authors tried to claim that Sony copied their screenplay for its game, God of War. Of course, both the video game and the screenplay are apparently based on ancient Greek mythology, which, you know, are sorta in the public domain by now, and the general concepts are rather pervasive in an awful lot of modern storytelling.

No matter. The screenwriters insisted that the gamemakers must have seen their screenplay. Thankfully, the judge is having none of it:
"No one can own the basic idea for a story. General plot ideas are not protected by copyright law; they remain forever the common property of artistic mankind."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Public Domain

    apparently based on ancient Greek mythology, which, you know, are sorta in the public domain by now

    Doubtful. Greek mythology only goes back a few thousand years. That's much less than forever minus one day. Plus, the mythology was given by the gods in many cases, and since gods are immortal, it's not even life plus 70 years yet. If the writers of the screenplay licensed the IP from Zeus then they would have a good case here.

     

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      Anonymous Poster, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

      Re: Public Domain

      The sad thing is, some people will think you're absolutely serious.

       

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

      Re: Public Domain

      But Greek gods can die, that's how Zeus got to where he is. Since he hasn't shown himself for a vary, vary long time, I'm sure he's presumed dead legally.

      I want to see the movie that these people claim that GOW ripped off. Is it anything like it, with all the blood and sex?

      Hay, GOWIII comes out next week, coincidence?

       

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      Johnny Canada, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

      Re: Public Domain

      Greek mythology.

      That is just a few years shorter than the IP on Mickey Mouse

       

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    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    and when i cant shit cause you own the toilet paper

    then what cause the toilet, the paper and the act and method of shitting will be patented and copyrighted and ill need about 20 coins to put in some machine to do it and they WILL have cameras to watch and make sure i pay.

    fraking lawyers and there actor lobby idiots and the entire SO CALLED industry is insane

     

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    •  
      icon
      Greevar (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

      Re: and when i cant shit cause you own the toilet paper

      Welcome to Techdirt Digg.com user. We appreciate your insights. Have a good day.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re: and when i cant shit cause you own the toilet paper

        Re-read the original post out loud, using your best "Groundskeeper Willy" lunatic scream. Works for me.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

      Re: and when i cant shit cause you own the toilet paper

      I read that three times and I'm still scratching my head. FAIL.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    If it makes them feel any better, it would never have been made.

     

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    Dean Landolt (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    more popular != better

    "It's just that the creator of the less-well-known work is jealous of the success of whoever came up with a better version that got a lot more attention."

    One nit with this assertion: more popular != better...just sayin'...

     

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      Alan Gerow (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

      Re: more popular != better

      Depends what your criteria are for what would make one "better" than the other.

      To some, being able to talk to other people about a product (i.e. popularity vs obscurity) could definitely make a product "better". A common culture counts for a lot to many people.

       

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    Bruce Partington, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Like Buchwald v. Paramount never happened.

     

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    Rakisak (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    the god of war series is great. I'm waiting to get my hands on the third one.

    There's a movie about Kratos? I wanna see it.

     

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    Kaotik4266 (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    That's a beautiful quote from the judge at the end!

     

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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 4:40pm

    Sony, Style Without Substance

    What happened to the Sony which used to produce quality products and supply good service? Today they produce pretty junk, have crappy service.

    It seems that all companies sooner or later fall from grace.

    Look at IBM, a ghost of their former self.

    HP which started as an inventor of significant things who morphed to be better at Dell's business model then Dell.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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      identicon
      dorp, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

      Re: Sony, Style Without Substance

      Look at IBM, a ghost of their former self.

      You must be stuck in 1995. In 2010, IBM is a powerhouse in many different fields that cannot be touched by any of their competition.

      It's funny to see that your nonsense signature matches up to your nonsense post in length.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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