Copyright Suit Against Eddie Murphy Dismissed

     (CN) – A copyright infringement lawsuit against actor Eddie Murphy’s production company came to an end after six years of litigation when the 7th Circuit dismissed the complaint.

     The case was brought in 2004 by Daryl Murphy, who is not related to the actor, who alleged that Eddie Murphy Productions used copyrighted material from his video to create the Emmy Award-winning television show “The PJs.”
     Eddie Murphy was the voice of Thurgood Stubbs, the protagonist of the show.
     During the trial, defendants submitted video of the show, and copies of Daryl Murphy’s videotape. Murphy also submitted a comparison video which juxtaposed clips from show against portions of his video.
     The district court ruled that infringement had not occurred, explaining that the works were not similar and defendants did not have access to the videotape. The court also found that “The PJs” was created before the videotape.
     Daryl Murphy requested leave to file an amended complaint, twice failing to meet the deadline. He said he needed the time to investigate whether defendants had committed fraud by submitting what he believed to be blank DVDs rather than ones showing his video.
     The district court denied his second request for an extension.
     The 7th Circuit upheld the decision, explaining that Murphy’s claim of fraud is both meritless and futile.
     Even if true, the circuit found that fraud would not affect the judgment because the court based its decision on Murphy’s comparison videotape, not the tapes in question.

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