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Nancy Radin v. Darlene Hunt et al.

Obtained summary judgment for television network and writer in connection with claim that popular series infringed plaintiff's screenplay. (Radin v. Hunt)
Loeb & Loeb LLP achieved a significant appellate victory on behalf of clients Showtime Networks Inc. and Darlene Hunt, creator and head writer of the Showtime original television series The Big C, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a woman who alleged that the series infringed her own original screenplay. In Nancy Radin v. Darlene Hunt et al, Nancy Radin sued Loeb’s clients claiming that the Defendants had accessed her screenplay, Quality of Life, which was centered around her personal experience with breast cancer, and that the Defendants used her screenplay in connection with their creation of The Big C, a television series about a woman living with cancer. In January 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that Radin had not proven that the defendants had read Quality of Life or accessed the copyrighted work before the pilot for The Big C was written. The California judge also granted the Defendants their bid for attorneys’ fees. In a ruling passed down November 26, 2012, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lack of substantial similarity between the two works and concluded that the district court was correct in determining that Radin had failed to show that Loeb’s clients had access to her original work before the pilot for The Big C was written. “The district court correctly granted summary judgment to defendants as to plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim,” the Ninth Circuit said. “Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff … no reasonable jury could conclude either that defendants had access to plaintiff’s work or that the two works are substantially similar—much less strikingly similar.”