In today’s animated bunny news, there’s a Zootopia lawsuit, and Disney is fighting back.
Established screenwriter Gary Goldman (Total Recall), claims that Disney unfairly stole his idea for Zootopia, a film he allegedly pitched to the company twice since 2000. His idea was rejected both times, he says.
Goldman reports that ideas for visuals, as well as movie themes and even the title, were taken from him.
The lawsuit alleges,
“Although The Walt Disney Company rigorously enforces its copyrights, it has developed a culture that not only accepts the unauthorized copying of others’ original material but encourages it. Instead of lawfully acquiring Goldman’s work, Defendants said they were not interested in producing it and sent him on his way. Thereafter, consistent with their culture of unauthorized copying, Defendants copied Goldman’s work.”
The copies of Goldman’s illustration ideas for the film are pretty convincing.
However, Disney is fighting back, saying:
“Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court.”
We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, so we’re not taking sides on this one. In a profit-driven industry, it’s hard to know who has a legitimate point, and who is just a money grabber. Both sides seem believable at this time. We will have to wait to see how this pans out.