Trademark News & Screw-ups Zootopia copyright battle continues; writer that is suing Disney details plot similarities

Copyright does not protect ideas or general concepts. It protects specific expression of such ideas. In disputes like this, the question the court needs to answer is whether the subsequent script was an unauthorized reproduction of a previously created literary work (which amounts to copyright infringement) or merely the use of an unprotectable idea (which does not amount to copyright infringement). While courts may be suspicious to the timing of the plaintiff's resurfacing with their claims against what is now the 2nd highest movie ever, with gross sales of over $1 billion, the fact that the plaintiff waited until they were sure the defendant made a fortune does not by itself mean the infringement didn't happen. One thing is certain: if it ever gets to trial, the decision would be a thriller to read. Just imagine the judge analyzing the differences between "small, cute, furry, female, prey animals, who are outsiders to Zootopia"!

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