German director faces plagiarism charges
17 June 2004, COLOGNE - German-born director Roland Emmerich on Wednesday faced charges before a court in Germany that he plagiarised key elements of his big-budget movie The Day After Tomorrow.
17 June 2004
COLOGNE - German-born director Roland Emmerich on Wednesday faced charges before a court in Germany that he plagiarised key elements of his big-budget movie The Day After Tomorrow.
Cologne State Court heard a complaint filed by Harvard University professor Ubaldo DiBenedetto alleging key plot elements of Emmerich's film are "substantially identical" to the plot of Polar Day 9, a book he wrote in 1993 under the pseudonym Kyle Donner.
He is suing both Emmerich and the movie's distributors, Twentieth Century Fox Deutschland, for an as yet undetermined amount of damages.
However, court judges indicated 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 requires proof of malicious intent in copying a work, not simply a possibly coincidental use of names, places and plot devices.
DiBenedetto alleges 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 alleges.
The author claims Emmerich requested a copy of his book in 1998 but that no agreement was signed for using it as the basis for a screenplay.
Subject: German news