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You Guys Were Right

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
You Guys Were Right#0
Posted: 8/11/04 at 3:51am

Disney and Shyamalan Face Plagiarism Lawsuit

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan and The Walt Disney Co. are bracing themselves for legal action, after a children's author declared similarities between her book and new movie The Village. The Village, the latest thriller by Shyamalan, stars Joaquin Phoenix, Sigourney Weaver and Adrien Brody and has proved to be a hit at the American office. But now that much-needed success - Disney has endured a string of flops this year -has been marred by publisher Simon & Schuster Inc's announcement it is reviewing its legal options against the company and Shyamalan. Last week, reports circulated that The Village's plot and surprise ending were parallel to Margaret Peterson Haddix's first book Running Out Of Time, published in 1995. Haddix says she heard about the similarities last week when fans - and then journalists - began calling and emailing her and her publisher to ask if she had sold the book to Shyamalan. She claims she has never spoken to Shyamalan or to Disney, adding, "It's certainly an interesting situation. I'm just examining what my options are." A joint statement from Disney and Shyamalan's Blinding Edge Pictures says: "(We) believe these claims to be meritless". Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Tracy Van Straaten adds, "This is a children's book that sold more than half a million copies and won prizes, so it's not an obscure book for us." Shyamalan has previously battled a copyright lawsuit brought by a Pennsylvania screenwriter who claimed the plot from his 2002 film Signs mirrored his unpublished script Lord Of The Barrens.
"The stage is where I live and come alive and act out all the things that go on in my life. It's not just what I do for a living, it's my shrink and my love affair. No one in my life has ever or ever will kiss me on the mouth like this lover called my relationship with my performance."
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re: You Guys Were Right#1
Posted: 8/11/04 at 4:30am
It'll be interesting to see what happens. It's getting harder and harder to prove copyright infringement, although it is obviously happening all over the place.
Gypsy - Betty Buckley
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re: You Guys Were Right#2
Posted: 8/11/04 at 9:32am
Actually, it's not much harder to prove copyright infringement, it's just a lot easier to sue for it, even if there isn't a case.

Without knowing the book and the movie specifically, this doesn't seem like copyright infringement, just a weird creative coincidence. She has to prove Shamylan stole the idea consciously which is difficult because, in most cases like this, it isn't true. Anyone can write a story *like* that and not be guilty of copyright infringement, it's only the specifics of each story that become a legal question.
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re: You Guys Were Right#3
Posted: 8/11/04 at 11:40am
I read the book in sixth grade and I just saw the movie a week ago. Everything in the first half was completely different in the movie but in the end it really made me think of that book, minus the "monster". The movie kinda ends the way the book begins with the girl running out to get medicine.

I agree it must be a coincidence because why would Shyalmalan want to steal an ending from a children's book?
Thou giveth fever.
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re: You Guys Were Right#4
Posted: 8/11/04 at 11:49am
Hey, I read the book, and since I remember the books ending I don't have to go see "The Village" now!
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re: You Guys Were Right#5
Posted: 8/11/04 at 1:14pm

Everyone that read the book was comparing the Village too it, I never would have guessed that there were that many similarities- I never read it.