Writer claims agents stole TV show ideas

« Hollywood Docket: Will the FCC appeal?; UFC vs. pirates; RIAA's legal bill | Main | Q&A: 'Crude' director Joe Berlinger on his epic battle with Chevron »

Writer claims agents stole TV show ideas

Wed Jul 14, 2010 @ 10:15AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Wme-new-logo-final Hollywood studios get sued all the time for idea theft. But a talent agency?

A TV writer named Brian Everett is suing Endeavor (now WME) alleging that the short-lived 2008 CBS show "Welcome to the Captain" infringed the copyright on his previously authored concept entitled "El Royale." 

Oddly, he's not suing CBS or the producers of the show. Instead, he's going after the talent agents who rebuffed him.

In the complaint, Everett alleges his script was passed around the office at Endeavor, where it landed with agent Tom Wellington in the television department. Everett says he was then informed that he couldn't be assisted because his concept was too similar to another show that Endeavor clients were independently developing. 

Everett alleges that Endeavor then passed along his script to the executive producers of the CBS show, who incorporated several of his ideas for visuals, story and characters. He's looking for damages on the grounds of direct, contributory and/or vicarious copyright infringement.

WME declined to comment on the suit. 

Even if there is substantial similarity between the scripts, it seems a stretch to argue that a talent agency "authored" the allegedly infringing material. So the idea is likely that Endeavor contributed to the infringement by others when it passed along the script. Regardless, given their deep pockets, it wouldn't be surprising to see more writers try to push legal claims against agencies.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Writer claims agents stole TV show ideas :

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter
Contact: Patrice Atiee at 323.525.2014 or [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. Martin Grove and the other THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.