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Fox Searchlight Wants Win in ‘Shape of Water’ Copyright Appeal

March 12, 2019, 9:30 PM

Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. is hoping the Ninth Circuit agrees with a trial court that the Academy Award-winning Guillermo del Toro film “The Shape of Water” doesn’t infringe the copyright of a 1969 morality play for high schoolers.

The opposite result would upend decades of copyright law that require a two-part extrinsic and intrinsic evaluation of the works at issue, Fox said in its response brief, filed March 11.

At issue on appeal is whether the trial court properly applied the extrinsic test, which requires trial courts, not fact finders, to look at certain objective factors, like setting, or the...

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