Disney sued for copyright infringement over Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

PTI

Nov,17 2017 17:51 47 IST

Los Angeles: Disney has been sued for copyright infringement over the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Screenwriters Lee Alfred II and Ezequiel Martinez Jr and producer Tova Laiter, filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Colorado alleging that the studio committed "willful infringement of plaintiff's original copyrighted expression of themes, settings, dialogue, characters, plot, mood (and) sequence of events contained in an original spec screenplay entitled Pirates of the Caribbean."

A still from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Disney

A still from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Disney

The writers alleged they submitted the script to Disney executive Brigham Taylor in August 2000, while working on Red Hood project.

"The opportunity to have a major film studio, such as defendants, take a screenwriter's original spec screenplay and turn the work into a major motion picture is the ultimate dream. A Lee Alfred II and Ezequiel Martinez Jr almost realised that dream.

"... This dream quickly turned into a nightmare, when their original work, 'The Screenplay' was intentionally copied and commercially exploited by defendant's, creating a billion-dollar franchise, with no credit or compensation to Alfred or Martinez," states the lawsuit, according to Deadline.

However, the documents also state that Taylor had "suggested that the idea of a film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride had been suggested over the years.

"Themes, settings, plot, several characters, and dialogues from 'The Screenplay', some practically verbatim, have been copied by the defendants into Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and in every subsequent sequel, including the 2017 release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.