Writers Bernard Hiller and Gabriel Bologna claim Mexican filmmaker Luis Mandoki has misappropriated central elements of their screenplay set in a concentration camp to develop a competing story of his own. Hiller and Bologna claim that the Mexican filmmaker was hired to direct their screenplay “Brundibar” after co-defendant Informant Media optioned the work in February 2012 for a year long period. During the option period, Mandoki allegedly read the screenplay several times, and used the writers’ work to develop his own project.
The writers say that although their story relates to historical events and characters, it includes original material that is copyright. According to the lawsuit, Informant Media did not extend the option agreement after it elapsed, then pitched Mandoki’s screenplay around town. Alleging copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement, the plaintiffs seek $1 million in general, special, actual and statutory damages. They also want Informant and Mandoki enjoined from making the film. For more information, see here.
I suppose fictional parts of a film based on the Holocaust are subject to copyright. I still find this type of development makes me feel uncomfortable.