Copyright Claim Against ‘Light Between Oceans’
Art Law

Copyright Claim Against ‘Light Between Oceans’

MANHATTAN (CN) – “The Light Between Oceans” barely flickered at the box office, but an American writer says the film and the book on which it was based ripped off his original screenplay. Adapted for the silver screen last year, from a 2012 book with the same title, “The Light Between Oceans” is a romantic period drama about a childless couple who reach a moral crossroads when a rowboat containing a newborn baby and a dead man washes ashore. Michael Fassbender stars in the film, which made roughly $24 million on a $20 million budget. Joseph Nobile, of New Jersey, hit the filmmakers and author Margot Louise Watts with a copyright complaint on Jan. 26, telling a federal judge in Manhattan that the story is the same as a screenplay he’s been working on for at least a decade. Ironically, the writer Nobile accuses of stealing his screenplay is a former intellectual-property lawyer. The complaint notes that Watts, who published her book under the penname M.L. Stedman, worked in-house for Diageo, one of the world’s biggest alcohol manufacturers, to pursue writing. While studying creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, according to the complaint, one of Watts’ instructors […]

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