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Judge’s Ruling Favors Angelina Jolie in ‘Blood and Honey’ Suit

Federal decision finds no 'substantial similarity' between pic and book by James J. Braddock

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Angelina Jolie and producers of “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in a suit in which an author claimed that the project lifted from his novel about war-torn Bosnia.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, in a ruling issued on Friday, wrote that she failed to find “substantial similarity” between the 2011 pic directed by Jolie (pictured above with Brad Pitt) and James J. Braddock’s book, “Slamanje Duse.” That is one of the factors to proving infringement.

Although both projects had common features, Gee wrote that the elements that can be protected by copyright “would not lead a trier of fact to conclude that the works are substantially similar.”

Among other things, she found that although both works feature similar events, like crimes against women and dramatic scenes of escape, she wrote that they were “overlapping concepts” that are commonplace in books and films depicting war. Although instances of dialogue are similar, the context is “starkly different,” she wrote.

Braddock, an author and journalist who lives in Croatia, claimed that “Blood and Honey” was a wrongful creation of a derivative work based on his book. He also claimed that Jolie’s movie was a violation of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Jolie, GK Films and FilmDistrict were defendants in the suit, and they were represented by Harrison Dossick of ReedSmith. Dariush Adli of Adli Law Group represented Braddock.

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