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Hallford v. Fox Entertainment Group, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-13-2013
Case #: 12 Civ. 1806(WHP)
William H. Pauley III, United States District Judge
Full Text Opinion: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2012cv01806/393295/29/

Copyright: In order to determine substantial similarity between a television show and a screenplay the court compares the stories' plot and sequence, characters, themes, setting and pace, and total concept and feel.

Opinion (Pauley): Everette Hallford sued Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. and others, claiming that the television series “Touch” is substantially similar and infringes his copyright in his screenplay “Prodigy.” Prodigy is the story of a journalist and an autistic boy who can see the connection between seemingly random events. Touch is about a man who is a baggage handler and whose son who cannot communicate. The son has an ability to see people’s destinies and how they need to connect. The Court compared separately the plot and sequence, the characters, the themes, the setting and pace, and the total concept and feel of the works; and ultimately found that the works were not substantially similar. For this reason the Court GRANTED the Defendants’ motion to dismiss.