Feb 23, 2015

Let it go...Copyright claim over Disney's Frozen thrown out

A US District Court has thrown out the claim of a woman who alleged that Disney's Frozen infringed the copyright in her memoirs. Isabella Tanikumi's claim was that the film had misused, without her permission, her memoirs, entitled 'Yearnings of the Heart', which revolved around her and her family's lives in the mountainous areas of Peru.

In view of the films substantial box office success, her claim for damages amounted to an impressive $250 million, this being approximately one fifth of the films present takings which currently stand at $1.3 billion.

Unfortunately for Ms Tanikumi, U.S. District Judge William Martini dismissed her case following an application by Disney for strike out, on the basis he could find no substantial similarities between her memoir and the film. Indeed, he has stated "the two stories are entirely different". It is also of note that once the media storm around the case started, Ms Tanikumi admitted to the press that "general plot ideas and themes lie in the public domain and are not protected by copyright law". The 18 alleged similarities in the claim were described by the judge as 'tenuous at best'.

Perhaps Ms Tanikumi will consider whether any further claim is warranted on the release of the forthcoming second Frozen movie, due out in the next couple of months.

Posted by: in: Case Law, Copyright, News

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