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. identicon
    v00d00m4n, 29 Nov 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Bustards suing wrong person, they just found 3.whipping-girl

    Damn i knew that FOX have some idiots who cant handle their own franchises well and cant keep good level of security of their IPs, but its news for me that they are so stupid to use some innocent woman as scapegoat for fault of others.

    Actually by any normal law, she is innocent - she wasnt source of leak, she just found script online, and she was not aware that this script is leaked and in-production, it wasnt she who published this script originally, she just republished copy that someone else published before.
    She only could be a witness to help find original source of leak, she cant be sues, so i believe she have all legal rights to sue-back FOX company for using her as scapegoat, wasting her time, nerves and money instead of searching for real source of leak.
    And if judge would not be dumb like many other USA judges i heard of, she would have more chances to get 1-5 millions of compensation from FOX rather than FOX could have anything from her.
    FOX actions could be compared to this:
    Someone stolen item, and sold it to you, when you was not aware it was stolen - FOX sued you for stoling it from them, but you not thief, you just victim of circumstances and they need to investigate fist before suing. But in this case FOX surely knows that you not thief, and when they know it and suing you its kinda sort of crime like slander\backbite because they they deliberately accused an innocent person and was aware of this - thats pretty clear criminal intent of FOX.

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