Tyler Perry is the latest movie maker to come out on top of a copyright infringement lawsuit. In the last 12 months, Perry has been sued twice by writers claiming he lifted material from their works.
The first lawsuit involved author Terri Donald, who filed back in November, claiming he sent Perry a copy of his 2007 novel “Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit,” and the filmmaker used it as the premise for his 2012 drama “Good Deeds.”
On Wednesday, Tyler Perry Studios and Lionsgate Entertainment convinced a New York federal judge to rule in their favor and dismiss the claim.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, lawyers for Perry and Lionsgate, Tom Ferber and Pryor Cashman, said the judge ruled that copyright law only protects expression and not ideas, and that the only similarity between the two works was that they both concerned a romance between a wealthy black man and a woman who was experiencing hardship.
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Good Deeds followed a wealthy businessman, played by Perry, who meets a struggling single mother.
Donald was seeking $225,000 in damages, plus an injunction requiring the Perry’s company to add a credit for the book in both the opening and closing credits of the film, which grossed $35 million at the box office.
The other lawsuit Perry faces was filed earlier this year by screenwriter William James, who claims Perry stole the premise of his 2013 directorial effort, “Temptation,” from James’ 2009 screenplay, “Lovers Kill.”
James is also seeking unspecified damages but the case has yet to be resolved.