We're not big fans of people who sue studios while screaming, "You stole my idea!" For one thing, the way Hollywood works, suing a studio is creative suicide, because even if you're in the right, no one will want to take a chance on you ever again as a writer.
Studios think (often rightly): 'Who knows with this guy? He could go berserk on the next script, too, alleging he was the first person to ever consider how funny it might be if a cop dressed in drag to go undercover, or some such. Life's too short."
A corollary to this thinking is that those people who do sue studios know this, and presumably have so little faith in their ability to ever sell another project, they don't care and sue anyway.
These sorts of people are precisely the kind who probably could never have come up with an original idea anyway.
Which is why when we read this morning in Variety that a federal judge in New York ordered a plagiarism case against DreamWorks and Warner Bros. over "The Island" to trial, we winced: The creators of the "stolen work" were the gents who brought you 1979's masterpiece, "Parts: The Clonus Horror."
What, you don't remember "Clonus"? That's kind of my point.
But then we winced again, because the studio's counter-argument seems so utterly slimy, so morally bereft, it made us wince even harder, and actually want to believe the losers who made the abortion that was "Clonus."
"When the lawsuit was filed, DreamWorks issued a statement saying 'The Island' was independently created and did not infringe on anyone's copyrights. Those issues aside, DreamWorks also has argued plaintiffs were not entitled to any damages because 'The Island' wasn't profitable."
This is tantamount to me arguing that 'Even if I did shoplift that rump roast, I shouldn't have to pay for it, because I wound up burning dinner anyway.'