Court Finds ‘Carnival of Souls’ Not Similar to ‘Heroes’

Dismissal of $60 million suit against NBCU and show's creators is upheld

A federal appellate court found no “substantial similarity” to comic creator Jazan Wild’s “Carnival of Souls” and the fourth season of “Heroes,” upholding a lower court’s dismissal of Wild’s $60 million copyright infringement suit against NBCUniversal and the show’s creators.

In an opinion released Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that it had independently reviewed the two works and agreed with a district court judge that the suit should be thrown out.

Wild “also contends that the two works are visually similar, juxtaposing a number of screen shots from ‘Heroes’ with individual frames from ‘Souls,’ including depictions of a character approaching a carnival, characters in the hour of mirrors, and a view through a gun sight,” a three-judge appellate panel wrote. “These images, however, are simply unprotectable ‘stock scenes’ or ‘scenes a faire’ (situations that naturally flow from a basic premise).”

Wild filed the suit in 2010, and the next year U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess determined that the works “differ markedly in mood and setting.”

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