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.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 29 Nov 2010 @ 8:55am

    Re: Not copyright, trade secret

    Is there such a law? I could understand violating an NDA, but that definitely doesn't apply here. Plus, why would she be in violation of a trade secret law (if one does exist), she didn't disseminate the script, she got it from someone else who disseminated it already. Shouldn't they be the one in violation? Plus the lawsuit is for copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement.

    This is the problem with Copyright law, it encourages fixing of the symptom not the problem. Someone leaked a script Fox didn't want out, so they sue the person who happen to find the script, not the person who is truly responsible.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.