Someone is suing Steven Spielberg, claiming that the Shia LaBeouf movie Disturbia copied the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window and also the short story on which the movie was based. From the AP:
NEW YORK – A lawsuit claims Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures Corp. ripped off “Rear Window” when they made the movie “Disturbia.”
The copyright infringement lawsuit, filed Monday in Manhattan, says “Disturbia” copied a short story Cornell Woolrich wrote in 1942 and the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie that starred James Stewart and Grace Kelly and was based on the story.
Woolrich died in 1968. The rights to “Rear Window” were sold to Sheldon Abend, who died in 2003. His estate brought the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
Now, the legal system is a tricky labyrinth designed to confuse and discourage anyone who hasn’t mastered the ins and outs of its jargon and pageantry. I’ve taken the liberty of guiding you through the legal arguments, step-by-step, after the jump:
PROSECUTION: Your honor, have you seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window?
PROSECUTION: Then we present for your consideration the trailer for Disturbia. We would have shown you the whole thing to solidify our case, but we did not want to waste your time and we believe 30 seconds is enough to prove our point.
DEFENSE: Your honor, this is ridiculous. Please show me where in the little-seen, cult classic Rear Window, a film my client Steven Spielberg has never even heard of, where is there a plucky Asian friend with a backpack? Clearly this entire case is ridiculous and Mr. Hancock? Is it Hancock? Clearly Mr. Hancock is just looking for publicity.
JUDGE: Ew. Overruled. I sentence you to jail.