Possible Copyright Problems in Hollywood

A Canadian author claims that the film Knocked Up was pilfered from her book, Knocked Up — Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-be. In a lawsuit filed in January in Los Angeles, the novel’s author Roberta Eckler claims that writer-director Judd Apalow’s screenplay has ideas and plot elements that are very similar to her book.

Eckler wrote an article in the June issue of Maclean’s detailing her legal plight. She said she had movie offers from Canadian companies after her book was released in March 2005, but she rejected them, hoping to get a larger offer from an American company.

Eckler said that the cover of Apatow’s screenplay had an image on it that was almost identical to the cover of her novel. Plotwise, both the film and novel tell the story of a successful journalist who becomes pregnant at a party. In her article, Eckler said that the copyright infringement has been very hard to prove.

Apatow told the Associated Press that book and film are very different. The movie earned over $30 million since its release.


One thought on “Possible Copyright Problems in Hollywood

  1. This isn’t the first time this kind of argument has been made. Syriana was similarly criticized as bing a plagiarism of an earlier work. That case went nowhere though and I expect much the same from this one.

    It seems, to me at least, that the bar for these things are set pretty high and that the author is very unlikely to succeed. Even if the movie WERE based on the book, proving it would be almost impossible.

    I just hope that this is more than an attempt to cash in on a successful movie…

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