Writer sues Disney for billions over Pirates of the Caribbean skeletons

Contributed by
May 31, 2013

A fantasy author who already sued Disney back in 2005 has filed suit again — this time seeking billions of dollars for an alleged infringement in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Author Royce Mathew, a Florida-based fantasy writer, is claiming Disney stole the concept of pirates turning into living skeletons under the moonlight from his work and used it without permission in the Pirates film series.

After the first film was released in 2003, Mathew sought legal action against Disney claiming that Pirates — loosely based on the theme park ride of the same name — stole elements from his own writings. Disney challenged the claims, producing unpublished content from the ride’s development, to show they had created the concept independently.

Mathew eventually backed off from his claims and signed a release form.

But now he’s claiming the Mouse House "used false and fraudulent evidence to procure a settlement," citing some drawings later published in a behind-the-scenes book under a different artist’s name. Mathew alleges those discrepancies show Disney tampered with evidence, which clears the way for a new suit.

Only time, and likely a jury, will show if Mathew’s allegations hold up under the moonlight. But it could be a long time until we can add this one to the list of settled/won/lost sci-fi cases.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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