Copyright Infringement; NBCUni

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Ever wonder why most production companies do not permit the submission of unsolicited treatments, scripts, outlines, etc.?

In a recent case that was filed in the Central District of California, the judge dismissed the plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim of substantial similarity related to a veterinarian themed sitcom.

DuckHole, Inc. v. NBC Universal Media LLC et al. centered on the claim that a treatment for a sitcom entitled PETS was substantially similar to the NBC show, Animal Practice, which, at this time, is cancelled.

To summarize the court’s opinion, “a show about an animal hospital is itself too generic to be protectable, and the elements that DuckHole alleged to appear in Animal Hospital were scenes a faire flowing naturally from the generic idea of a show about an animal hospital.  In their expressions – even in the expression of the Halloween costume contest and pet eating chocolate story fragments – the works were ‘wholly different,’ containing ‘no similarity, much less substantial similarity.’”

For a more detailed read, you can check out fellow legal bloggers over at CDAS, HERE.

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