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Case 2:14-cv-02989-RSWL-SS Document 1 Filed 04/17/14 Page 1 of 13 Page ID #:1

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Steven T. Lowe SBN 122208 steven@lowelaw.com Kris S. LeFan SBN 278611 kris@lowelaw.com LOWE & ASSOCIATES, P.C. 11400 Olympic Blvd., Suite 640 Los Angeles, CA 90064 Telephone: (310) 477-5811 Facsimile: (310) 477-7672 Attorneys for Plaintiff Stephen Hendricks UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION

STEPHEN HENDRICKS, an individual, Plaintiff, v. BBC AMERICA, INC., a Delaware corporation; TEMPLE STREET PRODUCTIONS, a business entity, form unknown; TEMPLE STREET PRODUCTIONS (US) INC., a California Corporation; DAVID FORTIER, an individual; GRAEME MANSON, an individual; JOHN FAWCETT, an individual; and DOES 1 to 50, inclusive, Defendants.

CASE NO. : 2:14-CV-02989 COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. 2. COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT BREACH OF IMPLIED CONTRACT DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

PLAINTIFF in the above-captioned action hereby alleges as follows: 1. At all times mentioned herein, Plaintiff STEPHEN HENDRICKS (Plaintiff) was

an individual residing in Los Angeles County, California, and the sole author of a wholly original screenplay entitled Double Double (Double Double). JURISDICTION AND VENUE 2. This action arises under the Copyright Laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.

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COMPLAINT

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101 et seq.) and the common law of the State of California. 3. This court has exclusive jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. 1331 and

1338 in that this action involves claims arising under the Copyright Laws of the United States. To the extent that this action is based on related state claims, the Court has supplemental jurisdiction thereto under 28 U.S.C. 1367. 4. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391 and 1400 in that

Defendants transact business in the county of Los Angeles, State of California. PARTIES 5. At all times mentioned herein, Defendant BBC AMERICA, INC. (BBC) is a

Delaware corporation doing business in Los Angeles, California. 6. At all times mentioned herein, Defendant TEMPLE STREET PRODUCTIONS

(Temple Street Productions) is a Canadian company, form unknown, doing business in Los Angeles, California. Temple Street Productions has a business address at 1524 E. Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica, California 90404. 7. At all times mentioned herein, Defendant TEMPLE STREET PRODUCTIONS

(US) INC. (Temple Street Productions (US)) is a California Corporation, doing business in Los Angeles, California. Temple Street Productions has a business address at 1524 E. Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica, California 90404. 8. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned herein, Defendant DAVID

FORTIER (Fortier) is an individual doing business in Los Angeles, California. 9. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned herein, Defendant GRAEME

MANSON (Manson) is an individual doing business in Los Angeles, California. 10. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned herein, Defendant JOHN

FAWCETT (Fawcett) is an individual doing business in Los Angeles, California. 2


COMPLAINT

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11.

Defendants BBC, Temple Street Productions, Temple Street Productions (US),

David Fortier, Graeme Manson and John Fawcett shall be collectively referred to as Defendants. 12. Plaintiff is unaware of the true names and capacities of the Defendants sued herein

as DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, and for that reason, sues such Defendants under such fictitious names. Plaintiff is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that such fictitiously named Defendants are responsible in some manner for the occurrences herein alleged, and that Plaintiffs damages as herein alleged were proximately caused by the conduct of said Defendants. Plaintiff will seek to amend the complaint when the names and capacities of such fictitiously named Defendants are ascertained. As alleged herein, Defendants shall mean all named Defendants and all fictitiously named Defendants. 13. Plaintiff is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that Defendants at all

times relative to this action, were the agents, servants, partners, joint venturers and employees of each of the other Defendants and in doing the acts alleged herein were acting with the knowledge and consent of each of the other Defendants in this action. Alternatively, at all times mentioned herein, each of the Defendants conspired with each other to commit the wrongful acts complained of herein. Although not all of the Defendants committed all of the acts of the conspiracy or were members of the conspiracy at all times during its existence, each Defendant knowingly performed one or more acts in direct furtherance of the objectives of the conspiracy. Therefore, each Defendant is liable for the acts of all of the other conspirators. THE PROTECTED WORK 14. Plaintiff repeats, alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 13 as

through fully set forth herein. 15. In or about 1998-1999, Plaintiff authored the wholly original screenplay entitled, 3
COMPLAINT

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Double Double (the Screenplay). Thereafter, on January 5, 1999, Plaintiff registered Double Double with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) (attached hereto as Exhibit A) and on August 21, 2000, registered the same with the U.S. Copyright Office, registration no. PAu 2-534750 (attached hereto as Exhibit B). 16. In or about October 2004, Plaintiff called Temple Street Entertainment and was

told by an assistant to email David York (York) a summary of Plaintiffs Screenplay. On or about October 14, 2004, Plaintiff emailed David York of Temple Street Entertainment a one-page summary of his Screenplay to which David York replied via email (a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit C) on or about October 20, 2004, directing Plaintiff to send his Screenplay to Temple Street Entertainment, to the attention of Defendant David Fortier (Fortier). On or about October 20, 2004, Plaintiff submitted his Screenplay to Defendant David Fortier of Temple Street Entertainment (which later became Temple Street Productions). At that time, Fortier was Co-President at Temple Street Entertainment. The purpose of said submission was for consideration for production of a movie or a television series. Thereafter, Plaintiff emailed Defendant Fortier on or about November 9, 2004 to inquire whether Temple Street Entertainment was interested in Plaintiffs Screenplay. In response, Plaintiff received an email (a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit D) from Defendant Fortier on November 15, 2004, stating Temple Street Entertainment and Defendant Fortier were going to pass on Plaintiffs Screenplay. DEFENDANTS INFRINGEMENT OF PLAINTIFFS DOUBLE DOUBLE SCREENPLAY 17. On or about March 4, 2013, Plaintiff discovered that BBC America was airing a

new television series entitled, Orphan Black (the Series) containing inter alia the same, unusual core copyrightable expression as the Screenplay; i.e. the clandestine development of 4
COMPLAINT

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clones and the resulting journey of the protagonist to discover her origins. Plaintiff also discovered that Defendant Temple Street Productions (formerly Temple Street Entertainment) produced the Series and that Defendant David Fortier, Co-President of Temple Street Productions, is Executive Producer of the Series. 18. Defendants Fawcett and Manson are credited as sole creators of the Series.

However, in a published interview dated May 31, 2013 (attached hereto as Exhibit E), with Defendant Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg (Schneeberg), Co-President of Temple Street Productions, Fortier and Shneeberg indicate that they are substantial creators of the Series. Fortier stated that Temple Street Productions received a sort of spec script for the Series from Manson and Fawcett that was developed significantly with Fortier and Schneeberg over about four (4) years. In the same interview, Defendant Fortier stated that Fawcett and Manson were friends of ours and guys that we have always wanted to work with and that Fortier had been looking for projects to work with them on. Fawcett also formerly directed episodes of the Temple Street Productions television shows Queer As Folk from 2002 to 2005 and Being Erica, while Manson was a writer on former Temple Street Productions show Being Erica. 19. According to Fawcett in another published interview dated July 24, 2013 (attached

hereto as Exhibit F), the Series was allegedly pitched as a film, as was Plaintiffs Screenplay. 20. The similarities between the Series and the Screenplay are so substantial that it is a

virtual statistical impossibility that the former could have been created independently from the latter, including inter alia, the following: CHARACTERS (a) Joanne (Double Double) vs. Sarah (Orphan Black) i. Both protagonists are young (early 20s), attractive women who want the same thing: to understand who they are and where they come from. 5
COMPLAINT

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ii.

Both protagonists are adopted, raised by someone other than their birth parents.

iii.

Both protagonists begin the story not realizing they are anything other than who they are told and therefore think they are.

iv.

Both protagonists begin the story in a place of relative comfort with their origins.

v. vi. vii. viii. ix.

Both protagonists come from modest means. Both protagonists are not leaders or great thinkers. Both protagonists are reactive rather than aggressive/proactive. Both protagonists are vulnerable, smart, and truth-seeking. Both protagonists are initially conveyed as being human, but whether they are human or clone remains questionable.

x.

Both protagonists survive extreme threats and attacks. Their survival skills increase throughout the story.

xi.

Both protagonists are at the mercy of the world in terms of not having the skills or tools necessary to confront their creators and pursuers on equal ground.

xii. xiii. xiv.

Both protagonists become resourceful. Both protagonists become capable detectives. Both protagonists appear very human in their needs, reactions to the world, and desires even though they might not be human.

(b) Professor Nuclay (Double Double) vs. Dr. Aldous Leekie (Orphan Black) i. Both characters are ruthless, unfeeling and ambitious men who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. ii. Both characters come from privileged backgrounds. 6
COMPLAINT

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iii. iv. v.

Both characters are highly educated. Both characters are cold, detached and calculating. Both characters, either by their own hands or with the help of hired guns, are killers of both clones and humans.

vi.

Both characters are involved in highly confidential cutting edge cloning experiments that directly impact the protagonists.

(c) Jason (Double Double) vs. Felix (Orphan Black) i. ii. iii. Both characters are attractive men in their early 20s with a touch of nerd. Both characters assist the protagonist on her quest. Both characters put themselves at risk and try to protect the protagonist throughout. iv. v. Both characters are vital confidants. Both characters are devices to help us access the internal thoughts and feelings of the protagonist. (d) Lucas (Double Double) vs. Mrs. S. (Orphan Black) i. Both characters serve the function of a friend who holds the key to the protagonists origins. ii. iii. iv. v. Both characters withhold this information from the protagonist. Both characters act as a mentor to the protagonist. Both characters act as a trickster as they are not what they seem. Both characters are believed by the protagonist to be friends.

(e) Joanne Clone Two (Double Double) vs. Helena (Orphan Black) i. ii. Both characters are clones of the protagonist. Both characters kill for a fanatic overseer (Nuclay in Double Double and 7
COMPLAINT

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 xi. x. ix. v. vi. vii. viii. iv. iii. ii. 21. iii.

Tomas in Orphan Black). Both characters resent what they were turned into by their overseers. In addition to the foregoing, the articulable similarities between other elements of

the Series and the Screenplay are substantial, including the following: (a) Plot: Both Double Double and Orphan Black follow the same unique plot: i. In the present day, a young female protagonist, who is raised by people other than her birth parents, begins a quest to discover her origins. The protagonist is jolted by a death (her parents in Double Double and an unknown woman identical to her in Orphan Black) and the subsequent discovery of cloning and being a clone. The protagonists birth certificate is a key clue that makes her suspicious about her origin. The protagonist is being watched by her corporate creators, and is soon on the run from them. While evading them, the protagonist investigates her birth origin. The protagonist discovers that she is an orphan clone. The protagonist discovers that she has sister clones. The protagonist learns that she was created as an experiment to see how a clone develops in the real world. Those related to the experiment are being pursued and killed off by a clone assassin. Anyone who discovers the secret project is immediately on the hit list in both. The protagonist is tormented by her lack of identity. 8
COMPLAINT

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xii. xiii. xiv. xv. xvi.

The protagonist turns to the ones she loves with the hope of starting a new life. The protagonist has to fight for her survival. The protagonist is hunted by the authorities. The protagonist is hunted by the aberrant scientists. The protagonist is watched by people who monitor her (Lucas in Double Double and Paul in Orphan Black).

xvii.

The protagonist develops a romance with the man who protects and helps her (Jason in Double Double and Paul in Orphan Black).

xviii. xix.

The protagonist has to deal with other clones as they search for their origins. The protagonist rebels once she discovers the truth and has to fight against the forces that created her.

xx.

Other similar plot points include mistaken identities, chase scenes, involvement with characters the protagonists cannot trust and those in power who want them dead, quests to discover ones past and highly questionable acts of science.

(b) Theme: i. Both works are of the Science Fiction genre and fall into the Thriller and Action categories. The question of whether cloning is humane and what it means to be human is an integral theme of both scripts. The clandestine, somewhat ethically questionable experimental abuse by science is highlighted in both scripts. Both examine the impact of science on human beings. The desire to observe human clones and their reaction to different environments while keeping the truth about their origin a secret from them occurs in both scripts. The recurring theme of clones reproducing is also present in both.

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COMPLAINT

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(c) Setting: i. Double Double is set in the present day in the suburbs and moves to an urban setting. ii. Orphan Black is set in the present day and moves between suburban and urban settings. (d) Mood and Pace: i. Both Double Double and Orphan Black are dark. Both protagonists go through plot and character points that are bewildering, restless, determined, horrific and sad. There is a general mood of fear and dread in both. The element of solitude is present in both--being alone against it all, despite having friends, family and mentors. ii. Both Double Double and Orphan Black are fast paced action thrillers that quickly become a frantic race for survival and search for the truth while avoiding the pursuing authorities and antagonists. (e) Dialogue: i. In both works, the dialogue of the protagonist is simple, not academic and full of questions. In both works, the dialogue of the protagonist moves from warm to stressed and back. (f) Sequence of Events: i. The sequence of events in both works is also very similar. The sequence of events in Double Double is a straight, linear trajectory with no flashbacks or repetition and the use of parallel plots (i.e: in the stories of Joanna and Dr. Clark Goodle, a scientist experimenting with clones). The sequence of events in Orphan Black is also a straight, linear trajectory with no flashbacks or 10
COMPLAINT

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repetition and the use of parallel plots (i.e.: in the other clones stories and Sarahs daughters story). The foregoing is a non-exhaustive list of similarities. FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Violation of the Federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq - Against All Defendants) 22. Plaintiff repeats, alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 to 21 as

though fully set forth herein. 23. In or about 2013, Defendant BBC America began broadcasting Orphan Black

crediting Graeme Manson and John Fawcett as the creators thereof. 24. As alleged hereinabove, the named Defendants have infringed upon Plaintiffs

copyright by copying wholly original elements from Plaintiffs Screenplay Double Double, without any permission, in Orphan Black. 25. Upon information and belief, Defendants have thereafter intentionally broadcast,

distributed, published, and otherwise exploited the Screenplay without authorization, in violation of Plaintiffs rights. 26. Upon information and belief, Defendants have intentionally violated the Federal

Copyright Act, Title 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., entitling Plaintiff to all damages and remedies provided by the Act. 27. Upon information and belief, Defendants continue to infringe upon Plaintiffs

copyrights, causing Plaintiff irreparable injury and damage. Said infringement entitles Plaintiff to actual and statutory damages, injunctive and other relief provided by the Copyright Act. SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Breach of Implied Contract Against All Defendants) Plaintiff repeats, alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 to 27 as 11
COMPLAINT

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though fully set forth herein. 29. Defendants show, the Series, a science fiction thriller series, which aired on BBC

America, utilized Plaintiffs key ideas. 30. By virtue of Defendants acceptance and utilization of the services and ideas of

Plaintiff, an agreement was implied-in-fact to pay Plaintiff the reasonable value of those services and to credit Plaintiff as creator and executive producer thereof, and to employ Plaintiff in connection therewith consistent with custom and practice in the entertainment industry. 31. Plaintiff performed all covenants and conditions required of him pursuant to said

implied agreement. 32. Defendants breached said agreement by utilizing and profiting from Plaintiff's

ideas without compensation or credit to Plaintiff, and without hiring Plaintiff. 33. As a result of the foregoing, Plaintiff was damaged in an amount according to

proof in excess of $5,000,000.

WHEREFORE Plaintiff prays, ON THE FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF 1. For a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from infringing

the copyrights of Plaintiff in any manner. 2. 3. For actual damages and profits in excess of $5,000,000 according to proof. That Defendants be required to pay to Plaintiff such damages as Plaintiff has

sustained in consequence of Defendants infringements of Plaintiffs copyright and to account for: (a) All gains, profits, and advantages derived by Defendant by his or her infringement

of Plaintiffs copyright or such damages as the court shall deem proper within the 12
COMPLAINT

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provisions of the copyright statute, but no less than $5,000,000; (b) That Defendants deliver up to be impounded during the pendency of this action all

copies of said infringing work as in its possession or under its control and deliver up for destruction all infringing copies and all plates, molds, or other matter used to make infringing copies. 4. 5. 6. For statutory damages, costs, and attorney fees. For an accounting. For declaratory relief to credit and pay Plaintiff as a creator and executive

producer of Orphan Black, and to credit and pay Plaintiff as a creator and executive producer on all future broadcasts, DVD releases, licenses, etc. of Orphan Black, without exclusion. ON THE SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF 7. For actual damages in excess of $5,000,000 according to proof. ON ALL CLAIMS FOR RELIEF 8. 9. For costs of suit and interest. For such relief as is just and proper.

Dated: April 17, 2014

Respectfully, LOWE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

By:

Steven T. Lowe Kris S. LeFan Attorneys for Plaintiff

Kris S. LeFan

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