Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Copyright dispute hangs over blockbuster

American author James Reston Jr is claiming that the forthcoming Hollywood film Kingdom of Heaven, directed by Ridley Scott, has violated American and international copyright law by using "events, characters, scenes, descriptions and character tensions" in the film that were "strikingly similar" to his narrative history Warriors of God: Richard The Lionheart And Saladin In The Third Crusade.

The studio releasing the film, 20th Century Fox, have rejected the claim but, according to the New York Times, the dispute looks set to run and run.
Mr. Reston insists that his history of the Third Crusade, when Richard the Lionheart tried to wrest control of Jerusalem from the Muslim conqueror Saladin, fleshed out many obscure details from the period and brought to life minor historical characters who turn up in Kingdom of Heaven. The book, published a few months before 9/11, has sold about 100,000 copies worldwide.

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