08/09/2003. Contributed by Jessica Martin
RPG firm White Wolf sue the movie Underworld for copyright infringement.
White Wolf, Inc. and Author Nancy A. Collins gird their loins for a legal case against Sony Pictures, Screen Gems And Lakeshore Entertainment For "Underworld" Copyright Infringement
On the 4th September 2003, Roleplaying firm White Wolf, Inc. and Nancy A. Collins rolled the dice - a D6? - and filed suit in US District court in Atlanta, Georgia against defendants Sony Pictures, Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment, alleging 17 counts of copyright infringement for the fantasy horror film Underworld, set for release on September 19th '03.
White Wolf alleges that Underworld characters, theme and setting are based on White Wolf's award winning games Vampire: The Masquerade(r) and Werewolf: The Apocalypse(tm), both set in White Wolf's fictional World of Darkness(r). Further, Collins alleges that Underworld's script is based on her 1994 story Love of Monsters, published by White Wolf and also set in the World of Darkness.
Plaintiffs claim over 60 points of unique similarity between Underworld and their work.
"Ours is a huge fictional world, supported by over 200 volumes of fictional material," asserts Mike Tinney, White Wolf's President. "It's infuriating to see Underworld's script riddled with our property."
The plaintiffs also claim that Underworld's entire plot is based on Collins' short story Love of Monsters. "Apparently they are marketing this as a remake of Romeo and Juliet," comments Collins. "What I think they really mean is that it's an on-screen adaptation of my story."
White Wolf and Collins are seeking immediate injunctive relief and damages. "The volume of confusion in our marketplace is amazing," observes Tinney, "our fans think they're going to be seeing our film. Of course, if the movie gets released, in a way they will be."
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