Teddy Wayne is a freelance writer who posted a fictional story online about a rich kids’ party in NYC back in 2007. To his surprise, a “CSI:NY” episode in 2008 lifted almost the entire story with only minor changes. Attempts to get CBS to acknowledge this and recompense him failed:
A few weeks later I received a six-page, single-spaced letter from CBSâ€™s Vice President, Assistant General Counsel. She dismissed my claims of infringement because copyright does not protect ideas, only the “expressive elements of those ideas.” Therefore, the concept of â€œprivileged New York City youth attending clandestine parties where they engage in illegal drug use and revert to pursuits and conduct typical of kindergartenersâ€ is not protectable; only the expressive elements, â€œsuch as dialogue and plot,â€ are. And what seemed to me disturbing coincidences were, according to herâ€”hereâ€™s the phrase I learnedâ€”â€œrandom similarities.â€
And you thought corporations weren’t running the country?
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