Finding Nemo 'rip-off' trial postponed

29th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 28 (AFP) - A Paris judge Wednesday put off a case he was to have heard in which a French author accused Disney of copying characters from his children's book for its film "Finding Nemo" until February 23.

PARIS, Jan 28 (AFP) - A Paris judge Wednesday put off a case he was to have heard in which a French author accused Disney of copying characters from his children's book for its film "Finding Nemo" until February 23.

The lawyers of the author, Franck Le Calvez, requested the delay to give them time to consider last-minute arguments from Disney that they received on Tuesday, just one day before the court was to examine the matter.

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 notes "troubling" similarities between supporting characters in both works, notably the use of a surgeon fish and a cleaner shrimp, and has pointed out that his own work was copyrighted in 1995.

Several bookstores have refused to sell Le Calvez's illustrated book because of fears they might be sued by Disney, which has denied plagarism.

The court was to have ruled on Le Calvez's demand that Disney abstain from selling any Nemo merchandise which looks like his trademarked image of Pierrot pending a later case which would determine whether his ideas were stolen.

"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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