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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Madagascar idea stolen?

   
Author Topic: Madagascar idea stolen?
knowledge
IE # 258
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http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/0514_madagascar_wm.pdf

You know, if this is true, it will just sicken me. Creators of ideas like myself and many others here need to be rewarded for the ideas we pitch and not just ripped off. Another friend of mine pitched an idea to DW's while a certain exec was there, and soon thereafter an identical project was being shopped around by this exec and eventually made into a feature. Just not right.

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SoleilSmile
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It would be horrible if true. Madagascar was Dreamworks' best film in my opinion.

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Doodles
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It would also be business as usual for Hollywood.
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toonstruck
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Interesting, but not surprising.

If Davis and his lawyers can show that they really sent that material to DreamWorks prior to any development on the project being done there. Well, then it should be pretty clear.

However, I have a feeling that DWA will show that they had been working on the story prior to that. Whether true or not.

This stuff happens too often. I hope that Davis wins if his claims are real.

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KevinO
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Funny, I didn't know Dreamworks was a Delaware company.

Wasn't this a topic some time ago too? Like last year?

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-FP-
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Bunches of companies incorporate in Delaware, because Delaware's laws let 'em get away with murder:

Delaware has a separate court system for corporate law that doesn't involve juries. The advantage of this is that companies don't have to worry about juries deciding corporate cases. Instead, a judge who is familiar with corporate law overseas the case.

Was this MADAGASCAR suit in the news already? I remember the MATRIX thing and some others...

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tstevens
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The person specifically named as Joseph Davis's contact at Dreamworks was Leslee Feldman: she appears to be a casting director. As near as I can tell, she has worked on all of Dreamworks animated films (though oddly enough her IMDB profile lists every film except for Madagascar!)

This one looks like it is for real. The Co-Council listed in the suit is a specialist in intelectual property out of New York while the lead council is a lawyer out of Miami with experience in commercial litigation. Usually most of these claims are pretty lame and involve lunatic artists. This one seems to have much more going for it than most.

However, I can't find anything on Joseph Davis. It is hard to say if he is the artisitc dynamo that the suit claims.

Has anyone ever heard of this guy?

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KevinO
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I would like to know, that if he created his property in '96 then submitted the work (apparently to DW) in '99 or thereabouts why did he register the copyright in Feb 2008 according to the lawsuit? To get the suit going I figure.

I'm not for either side really. If it was stolen or derived then the artist(s) should win but if not they shouldn't.

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KevinO
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Funny, not one mention on the New Yorker list of contributors either like the suit claims.
New Yorker Contributors

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tstevens
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I was wondering the same thing about the Copyright. All I can figure is that he is finally trying to make it official. From the way I have understood it, Copyright literally takes hold from the moment of creation so even if you do not seek an official copyright you still technically own it.

As for the New Yorker, I checked that one as well: he isn't listed as being an artist on thier CartoonBank site. However that doesn't mean that he couldn't have done some work for them at some point.

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toonstruck
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If I'm not mistaken, the plaintiff just needs to provide evidence that his idea came before DWA's, and that DWA had "access" to his idea prior to when they began development. Of course DWAs defense will be that they began working on it before the idea came to them.

If what Davis says is true, then they certainly had "access" and the fact that he submitted something (was it a script?) then he has copyright at the time of creation. The whole official 2008 copyright is a little fishy, but I'm sure the lawyer suggested this for some reason.

Whenever you send something to a studio, they generally make you sign something saying that you acknowledge that they may be working on something similar or even identical. Since it doesn't sound like he went through an agent, but this Feldman character, it sounds to me like he has a case.

This will probably settle out of court for a few million. Craziest thing is that a judge could make them halt the release of Madagascar 2!

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SNAKEBITE
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fuk the pitch. produce. be their competition not their food.

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Charles
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Gives a little more credence to my long held contention that Kung Fu Panda was directly influenced by Stephen Silver's property Wildlife Force when he was pitching it around town earlier in this decade. Still going to be a great movie none the less.

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mojodesign
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In a multimedia law class I once took, the teacher (and practicing lawyer) told us that yes, you do own the copyright to your creation as soon as you've created the work. But what registering your copyright does is that it gives you certain added rights. For example, you can sue for legal fees. Apparently if you have not registered your work, you cannot include your legal fees in whatever compensation it is that you're asking for. You can still get compensation, just not for your legal fees.

-Jose Saenz

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oogieboogie
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How come he isn't suing Wild Life? Oh yeah, that didn't make any money.
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Charles
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If he pitched it to Disney, he'd have a case. Similarity and accessability need to be established for a successful infringement arguement. My guess would be that he's suing Dreamworks since he presented it to that studio through the connection he had. The way both studios have copied each other's themes over the years, it's a surprise something like this hasn't happened sooner.

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Jasen
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Does anyone know anything about Steve Oedekerk pitching there?

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PHIL
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quote:
Gives a little more credence to my long held contention that Kung Fu Panda was directly influenced by Stephen Silver's property Wildlife Force when he was pitching it around town earlier in this decade. Still going to be a great movie none the less.
I knew I recognised it from somewhere!

As for the copyright issues I think it is just to strengthen the accusation against DW and prove that Davis has the work in his possession. It would be a the recommendation of the lawyer (Probably to stop DW filing a lawsuit against him). Yes, he probably should have copyrighted the work before handing it over to a large corporation like DW but I don't expect he thought anything of it after getting rejected.
I wonder at what point Disney stole the idea? I'm guessing that was a leak from someone at DW in this instance, so they'd have no prior knowledge of Davis' work.

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