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"Disturbia" Makers Sued for Copyright Infringement

Posted: September 10th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
"Disturbia" Makers Sued for Copyright InfringementSubmit Comment
Dreamworks, its parent company Viacom Inc, and Universal Pictures are accused of copyright infringement and breach of contract for making "Disturbia" without first obtaining permission from the copyright holders, stated the new lawsuit, which claims that the plot from Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1954 film "Rear Window" was stolen.

Steven Spielberg, a Dreamworks founder, is named as a defendant. The film grossed about $80 million at the US box office.

According to the lawsuit, filed by the Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, the basis for Hitchcock's 1954 film was "Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint," a short story by Cornell Woolrich. Hitchcock and actor James Stewart obtained the motion picture rights to the story in 1953. The lawsuit argues that Dreamworks should have done the same.

"What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly, legitimately and legally, (they) have done surreptitiously, by their back-door use of the 'Rear Window' story without paying compensation," the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, "Disturbia" and the "Rear Window" story are "essentially the same." Both are murder mysteries beginning with a man who, while peering from his window, witnesses strange behavior in the home of his neighbor.

The protagonist in all three of the works behaves in essentially the same way, interacts with similar characters and the plot unfolds in basically the same way, the lawsuit said.

"In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the 'Rear Window' story," the lawsuit said.

Click here to read our "Disturbia" review.

Source: Reuters


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Displaying 5 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
Johnny Neat writes:
on September 10th, 2008 at 3:57:02 PM

Who didn't see this coming?
bacci40 writes:
on September 10th, 2008 at 6:40:51 PM

duh but sh*t...shia aint no jimmy stewart
solidkryptonite writes:
on September 10th, 2008 at 8:58:49 PM

Almost every idea has been done and re-done. There was elments of this same story in What Lies Beneath, an episode of The Simpsons, an episode of Tales From The Crypt, etc... but no one sued them. The lawsuit says the movies are "essentially the same", the key word in all of this is "essentially". I could see if the story was exactly the same and had the same characters. I think the stories are different enough that it shouldn't be copyright infringement.
James.Speed writes:
on September 11th, 2008 at 2:25:37 AM

Rear Windos is one of my favorite films ever. With all do respect to Shia LaBeouf, he indeed, is no Jimmy Stewart. I enjoyed Disturbia however.
seveltoto writes:
on November 15th, 2017 at 9:07:12 AM


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