Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal


K. J. Greene


Two facts regarding idea theft in the creative context are undeniable—first, that idea misappropriation claims against Hollywood studios and television producers are rampant, and second, that the hodge-podge legal regime surrounding idea submission claims is in disarray. Institutional entertainment industry players, such as major Hollywood studios, dismiss idea theft claims as fake and frivolous, a kind of “copyrightlite” claim brought by unsuccessful wannabe writers and producers. In contrast, non-established creators seeking entry to the elite and lucrative world of Hollywood tell another tale—that of an industry that relies on the creative ides of outsiders, and fleeces idea submitters as a routine business practice. Some of these practices no doubt feed into the narrative that represents Hollywood “as a dangerous place for filmmakers with vision and integrity and many filmmakers believe that it is important to stay out of the Hollywood studios entirely in order to maintain their artistic independence.”