Ninth Circuit Shapes High Bar for Copyright Dismissals

June 23, 2020, 10:16 PM

The revival of a lawsuit against the makers of the award-winning movie “The Shape of Water” represent another Ninth Circuit shot across the bow to judges itching to dismiss copyright cases quickly.

David Zindel adequately alleged that Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. copied aspects of his father’s play, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said in rejecting a lower court’s finding that the play and movie weren’t substantially similar. The four-page decision comes months after an even shorter reversal in which the circuit revived a lawsuit against Taylor Swift. That lawsuit had been dismissed because the alleged similarity...

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