LOS ANGELES (CN) – John Travolta’s younger brother Joey copied a film program for young autistic filmmakers and used it to get sponsors for a competing film class, a Westlake woman claims in court.
In a federal copyright complaint, Actors for Autism CEO Alisa Wolf claims Joseph “Joey” Travolta and his company Inclusion Films copied passages from her 2006 textbook, “Practical Film Vocational Program.”
Based in Tarzana, Actors for Autism offers classes in acting, filmmaking, animation and other performing arts for ages 6 and up.
Inclusion Films’ Burbank studio offers filmmaking programs for adults with developmental disabilities.
Wolf claims Travolta used her work to attract sponsors to his program. She says in the lawsuit that she expects the actor and filmmaker to generate more than $5 million in sponsorship.
Worse, Wolf claims, the perception is that Actors for Autism plagiarized the text from Travolta’s film program.
“Actors for Autism has lost revenues it otherwise would have earned, not merely because of the contracts obtained by defendant, but also because defendant, on information and belief, has represented to the public that he is the creator of the program that plaintiff wrote, such that organizations serving the autism community have come to believe that Actors for Autism copied its program from defendant,” the 5-page lawsuit states.
Wolf seeks statutory damages of $150,000 and costs.
She is represented by Dennis Martin with Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor & Zafman.
Joey Travolta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
John Travolta is not a party to the complaint.
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