Disney Accused of Ripping Off ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ By Screenwriters

The Walt Disney Company has been sued on November 14 for copyright infringement by screenwriters due to pirate the Caribbean franchise without permission.Screenwriters Lee Alfred II and Ezequiel Martinez Jr and producer Tova Laiter, filed the lawsuit at the US District Court for the District of Colorado claiming that Disney committed "willful infringement of plaintiff's original copyrighted expression of themes, settings, dialogue, characters, plot, mood (and) sequence of events contained in an original spec screenplay."The two writers, along with their producer Tova Laiter, stated that they had submitted the script while working with Disney's Brigham Taylor, Josh Harmon and Michael Haynes on the never-made "Red Hood" film project. However, the relationship with the studio soured, with the pair being paid for their work on "Red Hood" after a copy of the screenplay and original artwork was allegedly noticed on a coffee table in an office.

"The opportunity to have a major film studio, such as defendants, take a screenwriter's original spec screenplay and turn the work into a major motion picture is the ultimate dream. A Lee Alfred II and Ezequiel Martinez Jr almost realised that dream."

"This dream quickly turned into a nightmare, when their original work, The Screenplay was intentionally copied and commercially exploited by defendant's, creating a billion-dollar franchise, with no credit or compensation to Alfred or Martinez," states the lawsuit, according to Deadline.

In response to the lawsuit over the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced five-film series, which were on the basis of the theme park ride that first appeared at Disneyland in 1967, Disney stated, "This complaint is entirely without merit, and we look forward to vigorously arguing it in court."

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs, having just registered the original works of authorship on October 3rd with the U.S. Copyright Office, do not provide any explanation as to the reason it took nearly two decades to confirm a copyright infringement.