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Court Affirms Disney’s `Zootopia’ Didn’t Violate Copyright (1)

April 25, 2019, 4:03 PM

The Walt Disney Co.'s 2016 animated hit “Zootopia” didn’t copy protectable elements from a Hollywood producer’s pitch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed.

Esplanade Productions Inc., run by writer and director Gary L. Goldman, said in a 2017 copyright suit that Disney pilfered elements from his pitch for a movie, “Looney,” and a broader franchise of shows labeled Zootopia. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the case, finding the works not substantially similar. The Ninth Circuit agreed.

The case highlights that courts may dismiss copyright lawsuits before they reach summary judgment...

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