Hollywood director Guillermo Del ToroÂs 2018 fantasy film ÂThe Shape of WaterÂ has been deemed by a US judge to not have copied the 1969 play ÂLet Me Hear You WhisperÂ in sufficient enough a way as to have committed copyright infringement.
The lawsuit by the playwrightÂs son claimed the stories were identical in what was counted as 61 ways.
Overall, the 2018 film depicts a love story between a mute janitor who falls in love with a sentient amphibious creature, while the 1969 play depicts a cleaning lady who is drawn to and attempts to rescue a particular dolphin being used for experiments in a laboratory.
The judge, however, dismissed this in saying that the two stories only shared Âa basic premiseÂ.
He would state that while the plots were similar, the overall concept was Âtoo general to be protectedÂ, and that the two pieces of work certainly explore different themes and character choices.
Indeed, this would mean the judge agrees that the overall expression of the fundamental concept was significantly different enough as to not constitute copyright infringement Â it is a particular expression of a concept that is protected by copyright, not the actual concept itself.
He would go on to rule that the Âaction is dismissed with prejudiceÂ, meaning it cannot be brought back to court, and the defendants were entitled to recover their legal costs.