In a recent article for The Hollywood Reporter, Gregory Korn provides insight on the frequent occurrence of story theft claims in Hollywood.
The article notes that story ideas are generally not protected unless there is some sort of agreement, and that the absence of an agreement can oftentimes result in a copyright infringement claim from plaintiffs who argue that their work was stolen from a pitch meeting or pitch sent through email. Gregory shares that in many cases, defendants agree to review work as a favor, only to end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit down the line if they come out with any future work that is relatively similar. In order to avoid these types of lawsuits, Gregory suggests that industry professionals should be honest about what types of projects they are working on.
“It’s pretty frequent that somebody will take a pitch and it turns out they’re already working on something that’s pretty similar to it,” Gregory shares. “There’s a moment in time where you have to decide whether to be candid about it or hold your tongue. Be honest about it and disclose it right out of the gates. ‘We have something similar. We can’t take the pitch, or we can’t discuss this further.’ If you don’t, you can end up defending yourself years later.”
Read the full article here.