Fox Sues Woman For $15M Because She Aggregated TV And Movie Scripts She Found Online

from the ouch dept

In the latest example of copyright law gone mad, it appears that Twentieth Century Fox is suing a woman for $15 million, because she aggregated various scripts she found online as a resource for screenwriters (like herself) to learn from. The key issue is that apparently one of the many, many scripts she had put together was of a movie that is still in production, and Fox doesn't want anyone to see it. Apparently she was told of the lawsuit by "private investigators," who questioned her for two hours (it's not clear why she didn't throw them out or refuse to answer their questions).

Of course, those who support the current copyright regime will note that these scripts are, in fact, covered by copyright. However, it's difficult to claim that these scripts are somehow likely to act as a substitute for the actual movie for anyone. It's hard to see any losses from such a collection, frankly, but thanks to the fun of copyright law and statutory damages, actual harm doesn't much matter. All that matters is a giant Hollywood corporation has sued a struggling screenwriter for $15 million because she thought she was helping other screenwriters by aggregating example scripts she found elsewhere online for them all to learn from.

Filed Under: aggregation, copyright, scripts
Companies: 20th century fox, fox, news corp.


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  1. icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 29 Nov 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Not copyright, trade secret

    As a struggling screenwriter myself, you can get your hands on any script of any movie at any time, and it's been that way for a number of years. It hasn't hurt the movie industry (if anything it's helped), and it's a joke that a studio would sue anyone for this.

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