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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lost: Lawsuit?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 Posted by Chris Tung , , No comments
Over at IGN, I read this article about Lost being sued by a Mr. Anthony Spinner. Mr. Spinner claims that he offered the show to ABC multiple times, but they continually passed on it. Now, the critically acclaimed Lost is reaching its final season, but the lawsuit that Spinner attempted to file when the show first premiered is finally being moved to the courts.

My problem with this lawsuit is the compilation of "similarities" that TMZ have acquired to show that the possibility that Mr. Spinner might actually be correct [HERE]. Among the list are character similarities [Survivor suffers from a drug addiction] and plot similarities [Airplane headed to Los Angeles crashes into a tropical, jungle-like environment], but I find these to be a bit weak especially the one about an "ethnic minority character" or even when the character similarities that Mr. Spinner is attempting to set up [Spinner's Butch being Lost's Sawyer] begin to fall apart when Butch begins to be paralleled to Sayid. Wasn't Butch supposed to be Sawyer?

As the list goes on, more double character parallels begin to appear throughout the list, and then you start to wonder if Spinner really has a case here. Although both concepts share a similar name, Spinner never copyrighted his television concept "Lost" so he can't be upset if ABC chooses to use that as the title of the series. And although the characters have similarities, Jeffrey Lieber [the original creator of ABC's Lost] wrote the script the way he saw it. Just because he created a Doctor, a rebel (or "trailblazer"), a female crook, and a military man in his concept of Lost doesn't mean that he stole the concept out from under Spinner.

It seems like this is another one of those lawsuits where a disgruntled creator finds similarities between his concept and one that is doing extremely well. Similar to Harry Potter and Larry Potter or "Da Vinci Code" and "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail". Never has a prosecution won, and I see this lawsuit ending the same because a creator owned concept is just that. You own the idea and you do your best to pitch it to places, but if someone has a similar idea but writes, plots, scripts, or pitches it better than you...THEY WIN. Regardless of similarities, unless they pick up word for word and begin to plagiarize, I don't see these lawsuits ever having the victory for the prosecution.

(Hell...Larry and Harry Potter had the SAME LAST NAMES and that one couldn't even win)

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