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Spielberg sued over Disturbia

StevenSpielberg.jpgSteven Spielberg is one of a few people being sued over Disturbia, starring Shia LaBeouf. It stems from the films likeness to Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.

According to the law suit, the film makers failed to get the appropriate rights to the book on which both appear to be based.

Disturbia was made by among others, Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks, Viacom Inc, and Universal Pictures. All three are named in the lawsuit, and are accused of copyright infringement and breach of contract.

Rear Window was originally based on the short story Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint, when Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart made Rear Window they obtained the rights to the short story. The lawsuit claims that the makers of Disturbia did not.

What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly, legitimately and legally, (they) have done surreptitiously, by their back-door use of the 'Rear Window' story without paying compensation.

Reuters through Yahoo! News, say the lawsuit claims both films are essentially the same. And that there are similarities between the two films, and the short story. Both in characters involved and the plot.

In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story

I can't believe it's taken this long for this lawsuit to hit. Rear Window is my favourite Hitchcock film, and one look at the trailer for Disturbia shows the similarities. Maybe it's an oversight on their part not to get the rights to the original short story, but why kick up a fuss now? Anyone out there seen both films in their entirety? Is Disturbia merely a modern take on Rear Window?





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Comments

I've seen both films, I did think at the time of watching Disturbia that it was a lot like Rear Window and wondered if it was a teen version remake. Not half as good as the original, but it did have some tension, although the ending was a bit obvious (I think I lost interest near the end!). I didn't realise the original film originated from a short story; it will be interesting to see where this goes in comparison to other copyright lawsuits.

A teen remake of Rear Window is what I though when I saw the trailer. Not sure how this one will turn out, looks like fairly murky waters!

“Poltergeist” (1982) produced by Steven Spielberg was actually taken from a Richard Matheson story written for The Twilight Zone television series and broadcast 3/16/62 on CBS; the episode titled “Little Girl Lost” about a child who falls through a portal in her bedroom wall and into another dimension. Her father with a rope tied around his waist enters the closing portal and successfully pulls her back out in the nick of time. The show starred Tracy Stratford, Sarah Marshall and Robert Sampson.

Spielberg claimed sole authorship of the story and co-writing credit for the screenplay.

Ah, I wasn't aware that was the inspiration behind Poltergeist. I suppose there are many a director/producer out there recycling other people's ideas. I don't know why I thought Spielberg was any different!

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