Court rejects 'Day After Tomorrow' plagiarism charge

7th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

7 July 2004 , COLOGNE - A German court Wednesday rejected a charge that German-born director Roland Emmerich plagiarised key elements of his big-budget movie "The Day After Tomorrow". Cologne State Court said the complaint filed by Harvard University professor Ubaldo DiBenedetto was unfounded. DiBenedetto alleged key plot elements of Emmerich's film were "substantially identical" to the plot of a book he wrote in 1993 entitled "Polar Day 9" under the pseudonym Kyle Donner. He sued both Emmerich and the mov

7 July 2004

COLOGNE - A German court Wednesday rejected a charge that German-born director Roland Emmerich plagiarised key elements of his big-budget movie "The Day After Tomorrow".

Cologne State Court said the complaint filed by Harvard University professor Ubaldo DiBenedetto was unfounded.

DiBenedetto alleged key plot elements of Emmerich's film were "substantially identical" to the plot of a book he wrote in 1993 entitled "Polar Day 9" under the pseudonym Kyle Donner.

He sued both Emmerich and the movie's distributors, Twentieth Century Fox Deutschland, for an as yet undetermined amount of damages.

However, court judges indicated at the opening of the hearing three weeks ago that they had doubts about whether the evidence presented before them would satisfy strict German legal requirements for plagiarism.

They pointed out in verbal comments from the bench that German law required proof of malicious intent in copying a work, not simply a possibly coincidental use of names, places and plot devices.

DiBenedetto alleged that, like the movie, the book describes how US officials ignore warnings by scientists that global warming could bring on a new Ice Age.

Both the film and the book also both start at an Arctic research station and end with scenes of icy devastation in a major American city, his suit further alleged.

The author claimed Emmerich requested a copy of his book in 1998 but that no agreement was signed for using it as the basis for a screenplay.

DPA

Subject: German news

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