Disney likes to Sue People

and other copyright stuff

Copyright. You see copyright symbols on almost every product, brand, or item one buys in a store. Businesses put copyrights on their goods to prevent other people or companies from using their logos and ideas. Sometimes, companies illegaly bypass copyrights, using other company's property to make money. This usually results in a lawsuit, some of which can be worth millions and billions. Here are a few stories of copyright infringement, and their resulting lawsuits.

Stan Lee Media vs. Disney Inc.

Stan Lee Media sues Disney over copyright infringement. Stan Lee creator of the most iconic super heroes had sold his rights of them to Marvel Inc. and he never really had full copyrights to these characters and merchandise. These characters brought such a large source of income, billions of dollars. Disney purchased Marvel which now contained Stan Lee’s super hero creations in 2009. Stan Lee Media who really had owned the rights to the super heroes sued Disney for their productions of the super heroes they really owned. Stan Lee media at the least wants to share the profits that come the the movies and merchandise based on the comics. The case still has not yet been decided.

-Dustin Mapes

Disney sues Dish Network

The Walt Disney Company filed a copyright law suit in May of 2011. Disney studios claims that Dish Network has been screening movies like Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland to Dish customers free of charge(through the Starz channel), without Disney's consent. Dish claims that they pay hundreds of millions dollars for the right to distribute Starz content, which include the Disney titles. This lawsuit was filed by Disney with the intention of protecting their intellectual property. They obtain copyrights on their movies, and retain the right to protect their products.

-Evan Strack

Youtube and Viacom Butt-Heads

In the spring of 2010, 2 media giants pursued eachother in a legal court. The media giants being the internet titan that is Youtube and the tv producers Viacom. Viacom made the claim that Youtube had an obligation to remove all copyrighted material from their websites. Youtube rebutted that they only had an obligation when the material was identified by the copyright holder. Since Youtube removed videos requested by copyright holders, the judge sided with them. This story turns out to be quite ironic. Viacom had been secretly uploading promotional video, often lowering the quality to feint piracy. They did such a good job of disguising them, that Viacom would request Youtube to take videos down, later realizing they put them on and asking Youtube to reinstate those videos.

-Evan Strack

Mandeville-Anthony Danced with Disney

On July 28th, 2011, Walt Disney Company was under fire from Jake Mandeville-Anthony. Mandeville-Anthony was a UK screenwriter who previously was the copyright owner of two works-“Cookie and Co.” and “Cars/Cars Chaos.” He brought a suit against The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, and Pixar Animations Studios for the copyright infringement he accused them of in their works-“Cars,” “Cars 2,” and the series “Cars Toon.” He believed that they used his work to create their version of his story.

The court ruled in favor of Walt Disney. Mandeville-Anthony did not give sufficient evidence that Disney and Pixar had used or copied any of his works. There were too many differences between the two works in the storyline and the characters to give Mandeville-Anthony any chance of a solid case against them. The court ran an “extrinsic test” which focuses on any articulable similarities between the plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events. After this, the court noted that to state a claim for copyright infringement, a plaintiff must allege that the respective works at issue are substantially similar in their protected elements. After answering plaintiff’s complaint, defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings on both plaintiff’s copyright and contract claims. The court granted the motion and dismissed both claims without leave to amend.

-Andy Kretler

On July 28th, 2011, Walt Disney Company was under fire from Jake Mandeville-Anthony. Mandeville-Anthony was a UK screenwriter who previously was the copyright owner of two works-“Cookie and Co.” and “Cars/Cars Chaos.” He brought a suit against The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, and Pixar Animations Studios for the copyright infringement he accused them of in their works-“Cars,” “Cars 2,” and the series “Cars Toon.” He believed that they used his work to create their version of his story.

The court ruled in favor of Walt Disney. Mandeville-Anthony did not give sufficient evidence that Disney and Pixar had used or copied any of his works. There were too many differences between the two works in the storyline and the characters to give Mandeville-Anthony any chance of a solid case against them. The court ran an “extrinsic test” which focuses on any articulable similarities between the plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events. After this, the court noted that to state a claim for copyright infringement, a plaintiff must allege that the respective works at issue are substantially similar in their protected elements. After answering plaintiff’s complaint, defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings on both plaintiff’s copyright and contract claims. The court granted the motion and dismissed both claims without leave to amend.

-Andy Kretler

In Conclusion....

Copyright laws are in place to protect creator's, entrepreneur's, and other innovative businessmen's creative ideas. The idea of copyright is a good one, but copy rights can be abused, used to extract money from creators with abstractly similar ideas as the ones copyrighted. Copyrights are broken all the time, which is unfair to the creators and writers. These result in lawsuits, in which copyright owners seek monetary compensation for abuse of their ideas.