×

Tyler Perry, Lionsgate Win Dismissal of ‘Good Deeds’ Copyright Case

Judge finds insufficient similarity between book and movie

A federal judge has sided with Tyler Perry Studios and Lionsgate, dismissing a claim by author Terri Donald that the feature film “Good Deeds” infringed the copyright on her book.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III granted the motion for dismissal Wednesday in New York, noting that the similarity between the works — both feature a romance between a wealthy man and a woman who has experienced hardship —  was not sufficient to sustain a copyright infringement claim.

Donald had brought the suit last November in federal court in New York. She alleged that the movie, starring Perry and Thandie Newton, infringed her 2007 book “Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit,” which concerns a romantic relationship between an African-American woman who has risen above a tortured past and a wealthy African-American businessman.

In the film, Perry portrayed Wesley Deeds as the unhappy CEO of his late father’s computer software company. His life is transformed when he befriends a down-on-her-luck young mother (played by Newton) and her daughter.

Donald claimed “Good Deeds” copied the characters, plot, theme and numerous scenes of her book. She sought $225,000 in initial damages and an injunction requiring the company to add a credit for her book in the opening and closing credits.

The drama grossed $35 million at the box office after its February 2012 release.

Perry and Lionsgate are represented by Tom Ferber and Stephanie Kline of Pryor Cashman.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content