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Mark Burnett Sued -- You're No Rock Star

3/7/2007 9:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Mark Burnett, the man behind the popular reality show "Rock Star," is being sued INXS of $2 million, by a woman who claims he was part of an alleged conspiracy to steal her idea for the CBS reality show.
Mark Burnett Sued
In the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, a writer/producer named Sharlene Sullivan claims that in 2002, she registered a show synopsis called "Rock Star" with the Writers Guild of America, in which "lead vocalists for rock bands would compete and would be judged by well known musicians/rock stars."

In the lawsuit, Sullivan claims she shared the idea with several industry people connected with both Mark Burnett and the rock band INXS. After receiving initial interest from those parties, Sullivan claims she was told to "abandon the project" and "write an unrelated treatment regarding transvestites."

Soon after, the suit claims, Mark Burnett claimed he created a reality show called "RockStar: INXS." Sullivan says Burnett knew that it had already been created. Now she wants Burnett, along with CBS, to fork over more than $2 million in damages.

Calls to Burnett's reps were not immediately returned.


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Jamie Lynn    

Paris has herpes?

2787 days ago


among other things..

2787 days ago


Oh come on Farrah you know that nasty racist bitch has herpes!

2787 days ago


what do all these previous comments have to do with MARK??? Good luck dude! Looks like you better go ahead and write out that check!

2787 days ago


Anyone know where to find the Rockstar exhibits?

2787 days ago

Robin Givens, Toronto, Canada    

Those Bastards! Theiving Industry Backstabbers ... they're all the same, just crap on the little guy!

2787 days ago

J A    

The woman Sharlene Sullivan,sounds pretty convincingOnly time will tell.I'm sure this will be played out in the courts.Burnett's image will be damaged temporarily if he is found guilty of these charges.People will forget about this Not like this hasn't happened before,or will happen again,but thats how the World is

2787 days ago


Uhhhhh........That's why the founding fathers incorporated the copyright clause into the United States Constitution. Ya got an idea....get a copyright. Ya snooze, ya lose. In this case (and all other similar fact patterns) the copyright would be illusive since she would have had no actual show in the can, but drafting a detailed synopsis/treatment specifically outlining the framework the proposed show would follow (in this case she had a very specific concept - using the well known rock band INXS) would be available as prima facie evidence that the idea originated with her and would have potentially barred CBS from copyrighting their broadcasts and hence the ability to go ahead with the show without the risk of being forced to disgorge all profits garnered from those broadcasts in the future. Whenever you are about to make the initial pitch of an idea (or discuss it with anyone for that matter), secure a copyright from the Feds first. It can be done online now at Who would have ever guessed that would be the web site???

As far as screwing the little man? Copyrights are available for about $75 I believe. If you are truly convinced that the idea is gold, secure the services of an intellectual property attorney who will throughly work the (c) for you, and it really isn't that expensive at base level. Witness the profit she has lost here for failing to secure the right if she fails to get a settlement. These cases are hard to win since you have little evidence that the idea was yours and no legitimate concrete right to the idea (i.e. a copyright). Put it to paper and get that copyright folks. If you don't you deserve to get what you have put into it....nothing!

2787 days ago

For Rosie    

WOW. you guys have nothing better to cover than this. I know I am a bored housewife but PLEASE! give me something to dangle from. - I need another glass of vodka...

2787 days ago


Oh I left out the main point to my last post....I'm sure that the high priced legal department at CBS secured their copyright for the idea within a few hours once CBS executive producers green lighted the legally at this point, the idea belongs to them since, there were no proceeding copyrights belonging to others for the idea.

2787 days ago


#10 says she needs a glass of you're thinking like a lawyer!

2787 days ago

For Rosie    

PLEASE. I beg of you. use me as an offering for chistsakes. IS THIS THE BEST YOU COULD COME UP WITH TODAY????? I guess it's a good thing - I AM SO BORED of your site that i'd rather take a warm bath and slit my wrists than log on to TMZ for more cancorous drivel lke this - WHO CARES?!??!?!.


2787 days ago


Ok #13 who let you out of the mental ward. FREAK! BTW I beg of YOU please take your own advice and shut the heck up. Turd sucker.

2787 days ago


To SJ - You sound like you have a law degree . . . NOT. Anything you produce is automatically your property, ie copyrighted. The key is the proof. By registering her idea and synopsis with the Writers Guild, she automatically has copyrights with proof. The question for the courts is whether the produced Rockstar is close enough to her idea to be infringement and what damages would be.

2787 days ago

Trophy wife Slim and Trim!!!!    

Is this thing about Tara and Stedman true? I don't believe it

2787 days ago
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