A federal judge threw out a copyright lawsuit against M. Night Shyamalan and Apple on Thursday. It claimed that Apple TV+ series Servant lifted from 2013 indie film The Truth About Emanuel (via Variety).
M. Night Shyamalan Apple TV+ Series Not in Breach of Copyright Law
The M. Night Shyamalan produced Apple TV+ series and the film both tell the story of a grieving mother that replaces a lost child with a doll and a relationship with a female babysitter. However, In his ruling, Jude John F. Walter wrote that this did not constitute a violation of copyright law:
In sum, the alleged similarities between the works pale in comparison to the differences in the plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events, and the Court concludes that the works at issue are not substantially similar as a matter of law.
The director of the original film, Francesca Gregorini described the ruling as “disappointing” and said she would appeal. She claimed that the two works “share similarities that were undoubtedly and knowingly plagiarized.”