'Servant' plagiarism trial against Apple will proceed with a full jury

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
A federal judge has ruled against Apple TV+ lawyers request to limit discovery and pursue summary judgement over the plagiarism accusations against its "Servant" drama.




Francesca Gregorini originally filed suit in early 2020, claiming that "Servant" not only stole the plot of her film, "The Truth about Emanuel," but also aped her production and cinematography choices. That case was dismissed in May 2020, but Gregorini won her appeal in 2022.

Since then, according to an email sent to AppleInsider on behalf of Gregorini, Apple has asked the courts to "tremendously limit discovery to just that needed to allow Apple to pursue summary judgement."

It's this request to limit discovery that has now been denied against a group including Apple, plus "Servant" co-creators M. Night Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop.

"The ruling is truly stunning in suggesting that a full jury trial -- a rarity in Hollywood copyright infringement litigation -- is required," David Erikson, attorney for Gregorini, said in the email. "Perhaps because Los Angeles is a company town, for decades judges have used their role as gatekeepers to decide these cases themselves."

"This ruling says that Francesca's case is strong enough to make it through the gate, to be decided by a jury of one's peers," he continued.

I'm very much looking forward to my day in court," Gregorini said. "In Hollywood, injustices similar to mine occur too often-- if pursuing this matter can secure a precedent and protect the rights of future independent creators, then I am honored to seize the opportunity."

"Servant" was one of the earliest Apple TV+ shows and began streaming in November 2019. Three seasons have since aired, and Apple has announced a fourth and final run.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,086member
    I wonder if Hallmark will be sued for all the Cinderella-type movies they show. I've see about ten movies using the same plot in the last year. Movies are regularly knock-offs of other movies so what's the big deal? Same with books. Actually, same with apps!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    JP234JP234 Posts: 747member
    I watched about half of the first season. Then the sheer lunacy of the story really started to piss me off. There is no way to suspend disbelief that a woman could roast her baby in a car, forget all about it, then have everyone she knows go along with it to protect her "fragile" mind. Then she is given a lifelike doll, which she totally believes is her son. Then they hire some mysterious stranger, who shows up to be the doll's nanny. Then a different real baby mysteriously shows up, and everyone pretends it's the original crispy kid. And for some reason, no police, fire or medical personnel ever were called, no neighbors ever noticed a dead, decaying body in the car. Then the car is back in use, with no mention of how they cleaned the stench of a rotting corpse out of it (which is impossible, as proven on an episode of Mythbusters!).

    It was a dark and stormy night when this turkey showed up on Apple's usually excellent programming. The verdict: GUILTY! of wanton hackery!
    Oferregurgitatedcoprolitebeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    The author of this article might be correct as I have no information about the case proceedings to date.

    But, this report explicitly says this court has ruled not to limit discovery as requested by Apple, et al. So, it seems this case is in the discovery phase and the claim that a full jury trial is going to happen is premature. There is a lot yet to do before they get to the point of deciding on going before a jury. 

    The appeals court merely agreed with the plaintiffs that the trial court’s summary judgment with prejudice as a matter of law was incorrect. 

    The plaintiff need for discovery is required to find evidence of plagiarism rather than some overlap of common themes. 

    Some forty years ago I came across a book in the state’s law library which made the claim that there were only 22 (?) different themes in all of literature. An interesting claim. It means if someone thinks they have an original idea — they probably don’t. 

    That’s also the reason why copyright doesn’t require originality of the idea, merely originality of the expression. 
    edited September 2022 muthuk_vanalingamCluntBaby92watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    rob53 said:
    I wonder if Hallmark will be sued for all the Cinderella-type movies they show. I've see about ten movies using the same plot in the last year. Movies are regularly knock-offs of other movies so what's the big deal? Same with books. Actually, same with apps!
    It’s Apple (full of$$)…..some might stick to the walls
  • Reply 5 of 10
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,037member
    rob53 said:
    I wonder if Hallmark will be sued for all the Cinderella-type movies they show. I've see about ten movies using the same plot in the last year.
    You aren’t aware of the designation “public domain”?
    JP234watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    JP234 said:
    I watched about half of the first season. Then the sheer lunacy of the story really started to piss me off. There is no way to suspend disbelief that a woman could roast her baby in a car, forget all about it, then have everyone she knows go along with it to protect her "fragile" mind. Then she is given a lifelike doll, which she totally believes is her son. Then they hire some mysterious stranger, who shows up to be the doll's nanny. Then a different real baby mysteriously shows up, and everyone pretends it's the original crispy kid. And for some reason, no police, fire or medical personnel ever were called, no neighbors ever noticed a dead, decaying body in the car. Then the car is back in use, with no mention of how they cleaned the stench of a rotting corpse out of it (which is impossible, as proven on an episode of Mythbusters!).

    It was a dark and stormy night when this turkey showed up on Apple's usually excellent programming. The verdict: GUILTY! of wanton hackery!
    Couldn’t have said it better! This is one of the dumbest shows ever.
    JP234watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    JP234 said:
    I watched about half of the first season.
    It was a dark and stormy night when this turkey showed up on Apple's usually excellent programming. The verdict: GUILTY! of wanton hackery!
    I barely got halfway through the first episode before turning it off.  Bloody ridiculous.

    JP234gilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    JP234 said:
    I watched about half of the first season. Then the sheer lunacy of the story really started to piss me off. There is no way to suspend disbelief that a woman could roast her baby in a car, forget all about it, then have everyone she knows go along with it to protect her "fragile" mind. Then she is given a lifelike doll, which she totally believes is her son. Then they hire some mysterious stranger, who shows up to be the doll's nanny. Then a different real baby mysteriously shows up, and everyone pretends it's the original crispy kid. And for some reason, no police, fire or medical personnel ever were called, no neighbors ever noticed a dead, decaying body in the car. Then the car is back in use, with no mention of how they cleaned the stench of a rotting corpse out of it (which is impossible, as proven on an episode of Mythbusters!).

    It was a dark and stormy night when this turkey showed up on Apple's usually excellent programming. The verdict: GUILTY! of wanton hackery!
    I was so excited when they released the first season as I love his films, but every season got even more disappointing. This last season I stopped half way through and haven’t finished it. Seems like there’s never any answers to anything.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    As to the comment about the lunacy of the story...

    IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE REAL. IT'S A MADE UP STORY, A FICTION MADE UP FOR ENTERTAINMENT. 
    Idiot.

    That is all...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    bambam59 said:
    As to the comment about the lunacy of the story...

    IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE REAL. IT'S A MADE UP STORY, A FICTION MADE UP FOR ENTERTAINMENT. 
    Idiot.

    That is all...

    Fiction that implausible, with no explanation for that implausibility, makes for bad fiction.  If the author can't suspend my disbelief, I'm not gonna watch.
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