Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Paramount Faces Copyright Lawsuit Over 'Ollie’s Pack' Animated Series

Paramount Global has been hit with a copyright lawsuit alleging that the Ollie’s Pack animated children’s show that aired on its Nickelodeon channel unlawfully copied the characters in another cartoon called The Journey.

Plaintiff Tevin Murry pitched The Journey to Sell Your TV Concept Now Inc., which initially showed interest in developing the project but put it on hold in early 2020, according to the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Thursday (April 6).

That company’s co-founders, Jean and Mark Simon, are also listed as defendants in the case.

Produced by Nelvana, the 26-episode, 2D-animated series combines the struggles of tween life with the responsibility of controlling an entire dimension of monsters.

Ollie’s Pack follows Ollie and his backpack, which doubles as a powerful portal allowing an array of monsters to travel from the Monsterverse into Ollie’s world on Earth. Throughout the series, Ollie and his two best friends must protect the earth from the horrifying monsters that have escaped, while often utilizing the helpful monsters who assist with their everyday tween problems, like sneaking into a movie or winning their school’s Battle of the Bands contest. No matter the circumstances, Ollie’s thirst for adventure undoubtedly gets him into trouble that only he and his friends can resolve. The series is created by Pedro Eboli (Cupcake & Dino) and Graham Peterson (Rick & Morty), and is based on Monster Pack, an original short made for Nickelodeon’s 2013 Animated Shorts Program.

Ollie’s Pack made its world premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. in April 2020, before rolling out on Nickelodeon channels and branded blocks internationally, reaching over 170 countries and territories. The series finale aired on Nicktoons in May 2021.

For more information about the case, visit Bloomberg Law (paid subscription required).

More about the case, via Lexology:

Writer of Teen TV Show Sues Consultants, Nickelodeon for Copyright Heist

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

USA | April 17 2023

Tevin Murry v. Jeanne Simon et al., Civil Action No. 1:23-cv-01493-MLB (N.D. Ga., Apr. 6, 2023)

Plaintiff Tevin Murry, writer/creator of a proposed teen-focused television show exploring themes relating to bullying, is suing the consultants who helped him commercialize the project, and who he alleges stole his idea and sold it to Nickelodeon.

In his Complaint, Murry claims copyright over the characters in his original, creative work entitled “The Journey” with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2017 (Copyright Registration No. VAu001312124). Complaint, at 1. Murry also claimed copyright over the story under the name “The Journey” the following year (Copyright Registration No. TXu002075184). Id.

In April 2020, Paramount’s Nickelodeon channel aired the first episode of a cartoon show, produced by Defendant Nelvana, entitled “Ollie’s Pack.” Id. at 2. Murry alleges Defendant Nelvana’s work is “strikingly similar . . . too much so to be an independent creation.” Id. Murry’s Complaint outlines a thorough list of similarities between the works, ranging from similarities between the main characters to similarities revolving around other story elements and illustrations. See id. at 8-9. The final episodes of Ollie’s Pack aired on Nicktoons from May 3 to 6, 2021. Id. at 8.

The Complaint seeks judgment for copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement under federal copyright law, an accounting of all the Defendants’ profits gained from their alleged unlawful use of Plaintiff’s work, and damages related to Defendants’ past infringement and all future broadcasts, digital releases and licenses, among others.

The case has been assigned to Judge Michael L. Brown.

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Originally published: April 08, 2023.

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