Disney ripped me off, says French author

27th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) - A Paris court will Wednesday hear a case brought by a French author who claims Disney ripped off the fish characters from his illustrated children's book for its hugely successful animated film "Finding Nemo".

PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) - A Paris court will Wednesday hear a case brought by a French author who claims Disney ripped off the fish characters from his illustrated children's book for its hugely successful animated film "Finding Nemo".

Franck Le Calvez alleges that the hero of the US movie, a clown fish named Nemo, looks very much like the main character in his book "Pierrot le poisson-clown" (Pierrot the Clown Fish), which came out at the end of 2002, well before the Disney blockbuster.

He also says there are "troubling" similarities between supporting characters in both works, notably the use of a surgeon fish and a cleaner shrimp.

According to Le Calvez's lawyer, Pascal Kamina, an outline of the children's book was lodged with a French authors' copyright association in 1995.

Le Calvez, who financed the publication of 2,000 prints of his book himself, started the lawsuit after bookstores refused to stock "Pierrot le poisson-clown" because of fears they would be sued by Disney.

He has requested that the court stop Disney from selling any Nemo merchandise which looks like his trademarked image of Pierrot.

"Finding Nemo", made for Disney by the computer animation studio Pixar, was one of last year's biggest box-office hits. According to the US trade magazine Variety, it has raked in more than USD 670 million (EUR 540 million) worldwide.

© AFP

                                            Subject: France news

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