‘Overlap Series’ Author Loses Copyright Claims

     (CN) – An author who accused Twentieth Century Fox, NBC, Disney and others of spying on her and swiping ideas from her books, “The Overlap Series,” to make hit shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “All My Children,” was too vague in her comparisons to prove copyright infringement, a federal judge in Boston ruled.

     U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock ruled that the production giants were off the hook from claims of copyright infringement brought by Debra Feldman, accusing the companies of stealing ideas from her book series.
     Feldman allegedly has two published and two unpublished works in her compilation, called “The Overlap Series.” Her books center on a family of time travelers, or “Reweavers.”
     Feldman also accused the companies and five individuals of listening in on her phone conversations, hacking into her computer and collaborating with her ex-boyfriend to get ideas for the shows based on her personal life and confidential work.
     “She alleges that scenes, storylines, and characters from her published and unpublished works and her personal life appear in Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Eli Stone, All My Children and Cupid,” the ruling states.
     Specifically, the character Deborah from “Cupid,” is “allegedly identical to [Feldman] in that she ‘does bad karaoke,’ ‘works with her hands,’ calls her hands ‘magic hands,’ and ‘can slip in and out of her native linguistic dialect,'” according to the ruling.
     Woodlock said Feldman can’t pursue infringement claims for her unpublished works, because they are not yet registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. As for the published works, Feldman’s allegations “are simply too vague to be the basis for an infringement claim,” Woodlock ruled.

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