The Last Original Idea

The Last Original Idea by KNecht & Alan
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Goldman and his lawyers declined to comment. The plaintiff is claiming copyright infringement and breach of confidence, among other allegations. Hollywood is rife with lawsuits brought by writers claiming that their ideas were stolen. The courts have sided against the writers in many of these suits.

But in the case of Buchwald vs. Nine years later, the writer pitched his idea to Disney production executive Brigham Taylor. Again, the pitch was turned down, according to the suit.

Did a Disney animated film really say that? It may be more than doubted, for instance, whether the etchings of Goya or the paintings of Monet would have been sure of protection when seen for the first time. At the other end, copyright would be denied to pictures which appealed to a public less educated than the judge.

This observation was an embodiment of the principle of artistic or aesthetic neutrality which seeks to eliminate the inherent subjectivity involved in the judges deciding whether the work is artistic, and hence, the question as to whether it warrants protection. The principle finds four broad justifications- i lack of expertise in the judges ii fear of elitism iii fear of paternalism also called parentalism iv lack of consensus on what constitutes art.

However, scholars note that the principle of aesthetic neutrality is often violated as the adjudicators end up favouring creators of what they believe is deserving of copyright grant. In the United States, the work is not required to be non-commercial in nature for copyright protection and unlike the US trademark law, the work need to be necessarily lawful.

Therefore, works created for commercial purposes, such as advertisements can also be granted a copyright. Section 13 1 a of the Indian Copyright Act, mentions 'originality' as a requirement for copyright protection to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. Courts have interpreted this requirement of 'originality' in different ways. This judgment gave rise to two doctrines i.

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This remains the accepted and current position of law in India as of now. However, prior to this, the Indian Courts used to follow the Sweat of the Brow approach. This theory bases the grant of copyright protection on the effort and labour that an author puts into her work as opposed to the creativity involved. Locke's theory of labour as property has often been extended to give jurisprudential basis to this theory of copyright law.

Get the Juices Flowing

In the case of V. Govindan v E. Gopalakrishna Kone, [23] it was held that compilations of information would meet the threshold of 'originality' under the Indian Copyright Act since it involves some level of 'skill, labour and brain'. However, like in other jurisdictions, this theory was discarded by the Indian Courts also and the focus was shifted to the creativity involved in any work. It concerned the copyrightability of Supreme Court judgments that were copy-edited and published by Eastern Book Company.

These judgments were published along with 'headnotes' that were written by the Company itself.

The Last Original Idea by A. K’necht & G. Rockstein

While explicitly discarding the Sweat of the Brow theory, the Court held that simply copy editing would not meet the threshold of originality under copyright law since it would only demonstrate an " amount of skill, labour and capital put in the inputs of the copy-edited judgments and the original or innovative thoughts for the creativity would be completely excluded. Thus, it introduced the requirement of 'creativity' under originality.

‘Zootopia’ lawsuit claims Disney stole original idea from ‘Total Recall’ screenwriter

With respect to the level of creativity involved, the court adopted the 'minimal degree of creativity' approach. Following this standard, the headnotes that did not copy from the judgment verbatim were held to be copyrightable. Finally, the Court also gave way to the 'Skill and Judgment Test' which is more or less a compromise between the sweat of the brow theory and the modicum of creativity test.

While relying on the CCH Canadian Case , [27] the Court essentially held that a work would meet the originality standard as long as there is labour or effort involved but not only labour.

What To Do When You Realize Your Idea Isn’t Original

However, this approach mirrors the Sweat of the Brow theory more closely and is therefore a difficult theory to defend. Further, the Court held the division of a judgment into paragraphs and numbering them was enough to meet this standard of 'Skill and Judgment'. Whether this is the correct interpretation of the test as given in the CCH Canadian Case [28] remains debatable. Scientific literature considered as primary must contain original research , and even review articles contain original analysis or interpretation.

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However, there is a trend which you will notice if you look at the recent spate of films which Disney is releasing. While Pixar a division of Disney has continued to excel at consistently producing modern classics based on original stories, Disney in recent years has been releasing live-action remakes of some of their original animated films.

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Not only that, the following films are already confirmed to have live-action remakes in development:. The first reason is that there is a nostalgia factor, where people who originally saw these films as children have now grown up, and want to share the stories with their own children. By doing a quick check on industry-analysis site Box Office Mojo , we can see that the recent Disney Remakes listed above have been hugely profitable for the company.

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Disney Remakes have been extremely profitable — Calculation: Idea to Value As becomes clear from the revenue numbers above, Disney has correctly analysed that the cost of remaking already-beloved movies is likely to make them very profitable. Remakes by themselves are not a problem. You need to look at the overall portfolio of what the company is releasing to assess the creativity of their recent work.

However, even the House of Mouse is not immune to underperforming films in their portfolio. Based on those criteria, it is the most logical conclusion for Disney to invest more and more of their production budget into remakes than original IP, which appears to be accelerating over the past few years.

It was a calculated decision based on all of the cognitive biases which work against risky new ideas. However, if you look at that overall portfolio within the Disney company, including Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and Disney Animation Studios, then there is still a huge amount of original and creative content being produced.