SCHADENFREUDE TIME!There's just something so satisfying about seeing liars and fraudsters who set out to milk big corporations out of millions of dollars through baseless lawsuits get their just desserts.
Frenchman loses Nemo copy claim
"A French children's book author who claimed Disney's Finding Nemo copied a fish of his creation has been convicted of fraud and ordered to pay damages.
Franck Le Calvez claimed that the film's title character was based on his orange and white clown fish, Pierrot.
But a French court ruled on Wednesday that Nemo had existed before Pierrot and that Le Calvez even knew of the Disney character when he created his.
He was ordered to pay 61,000 euros ($80,000, £42,000) damages and costs.
Le Calvez had already lost one case last March. A court ruled then that the two fish were similar - both have big smiles and sport three stripes down the side - but found that their similarities were not enough to confuse people."
Ooh, Nemo is a clownfish with three stripes? That unique detail could obviously only have come from the fertile imagination of the infinitely creative genius Franck Le Calvez and not from other sources like, you know, nature?
This wasn't the first time the author and golddigger lost a legal case against Disney, and, somehow, I get the idea it may not be the last. Should Le Calvez decide to try again, I offer a few more shocking similarities between the film Finding Nemo and his book, Pierrot le Poisson Clown:
- Both Nemo and Pierrot have fins!
- Both Nemo and Pierrot have eyes!
- Both Nemo and Pierrot have scales!
- Both stories take place under the water!
- Both stories follow a traditional narrative arc: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action!
Though, to be fair, the clownfish with three stripes wasn't the only similarity:
"Like Nemo, Pierrot lives in a pink sea anemone and starts life half-orphaned because one parent was swallowed up by Liona, the scorpion fish. “The beginning of the story is the same, even if the scenarios then become different,” Le Calvez said.
Kamina, who admitted that the film was finished by the time Le Calvez’s first book came out (a second has been written since), said he is worried that his client’s success will be swallowed up by the American fish. He said the “Nemo” idea probably found its way to the United States through one of the French studios that Le Calvez approached in 1995.
“That would be the only explanation,” he said. “It’s not just the resemblance of the clown fish, smiling with a raised fin. We have also found the same supporting characters in the film -- such as a surgeon fish and cleaner shrimp -- and gentle fish folk who help the little troubled hero. The similarities are sufficiently troubling for us to ask for an explanation from Disney.”"
However, given the environment in which clownfish live, the similarities between some of the supporting characters are perfectly understandable, and a good number of the pages with clownfish pictures I linked to earlier show the clownfish living in pink sea anemones. And it's a basic Disney-type story archetype to kill off at least one of the parents early on. The guy has no case.
And the conspiracy theory about some animation studio sending Disney (meaning Pixar) Le Calvez's idea? As though every little company that might be associated with Disney (which isn't even certain) is some kind of Borg collective? Reminds me of this conspiracy theory nutter I encountered at Anime Nation.
"Most of his conspiracy theories tend to follow this pattern: manga creator A sends his sketches to American studio B but B claims not to be interested. A few years later, American movie/series C is released with a few superficial similarities to the sketches from A.
Gosh, you'd think, after this happens dozens of times, the manga creators would catch on and stop sending their sketches to American studios. Also, apparently, American studios are actually some sort of Borg collective, so, the moment some receptionist or mail room clerk somewhere looks at a few unsolicited sketches, everyone ever remotely associated with that studio ever automatically knows everything about the manga creator's plans down to the smallest detail. "
It also reminds me a bit of Sophia Stewart's claims that the Wachowski Brothers stole some of her ideas and used them to make The Matrix (more about that here), though that case is still pending, so I'm not going to give an opinion (she also claims that "Fox" ripped off her idea for the Terminator, even though Fox had nothing to do with the films and, if James Cameron, who said he came up with the idea for the Terminator while sick in bed in Italy during the Pihrana 2 shoot in 1981, ripped off anyone, it was Harlan Ellison). But the difference there is that she might have a case (though I'm very, very skeptical).
So, to Franck Le Calvez, in honour of your failure to extort money from Disney and your penalty forcing you to pay money back to Disney, Nelson Muntz says "Ha-Ha!"
Here's the other story of a small-time fraudster attempting to dupe a big corporation but having her scheme exposed for the sham it is.
From Kim Curtis of the Associated Press.
"Police investigating how a human finger ended up in a woman's bowl of Wendy's chili declared the claim a hoax Friday and arrested her on charges of attempted grand larceny.
The arrest of Anna Ayala at her home outside Las Vegas was the latest twist in a case that has become a late-night punch line, taken a bite out of Wendy's sales and forced the fast-food chain to check its employees for missing fingers.
Ayala, 39, claimed she bit down on the well-manicured, 1 1/2-inch finger in a mouthful of her steamy chili on March 22 in San Jose. She had hired a lawyer and filed a claim against the Wendy's franchise owner, but dropped the lawsuit threat soon after suspicion fell on her.
When asked whether police considered Ayala's claim a hoax, David Keneller, captain of the San Jose police department's investigations bureau, said yes."
According to the article, she made the crucial dumb criminal mistake of telling several people about her plan to put a human finger into the chili. She also has a history of filing lawsuits against major corporations, so we can see that Anna Ayala is a serial golddigger.
There is still the question of where she got the finger from, but I would not be at all surprised if Anna Ayala just dug up a recently buried corpse from a graveyard and chopped it off with a knife.
Not that I need much of an excuse to eat at a fast food place, but I think I'll have dinner at the nearby Wendy's tomorrow just to celebrate their being able to prove that the food that they serve is still 100% finger free.
So, to Anna Ayala for repeatedly losing lawsuits and for being arrested for grand larceny, Nelson Muntz says "Ha-Ha"!
Eh, gotta put a token post-picture sentence or two here so Blogger doesn't get sluggish. Since I can't find the French version anywhere in Ottawa, I bought volume 4 part 1 of Makoto Yukimura's remarkable slice-of-life sci-fi manga Planetes in English from the Comic Book Shoppe on Saturday. I;d generally rather buy the French version from Panini Manga as the printing quality is outstanding, on thick rice paper, and you get a really elegant dust cover, but the print quality of the Tokyopop version wasn't as bad as I had heard (though the cover is just a normal paperback cover). Anyway, I skimmed it, I haven't really given it a proper read yet, but I was surprised to learn that Fee Carmichael, the member of the Toy Box's crew who will go to extraordinary lengths to have a cigarette break on the moon, is actually a black woman from the American south. From her looks, I had her pegged as being of Indian extraction, like Rally Vincent from the Gunsmith Cats manga, who is supposed to have one parent come from India. Well, I guess that makes her one of only a handful of "sistas" as major characters in an anime or manga, though I think what the fact that I was surprised by this says is that, as well as Makoto Yukimura can draw, he can't quite get the look of African-American women right. I wasn't the only one surprised by that not-exactly-a-plot-twist-since-I-think-we-were-supposed-to-know-that-all-along-but-still-a-revelation-for-some-of-us.