Angelina Jolie’s copyright lawsuit is about to be dismissed from federal court

Back in 2011, Angelina Jolie was hit with a lawsuit claiming that she had plagiarized her script for In the Land of Blood and Honey, which she was promoting at the time. She was sued by a journalist named James Braddock who claimed that Angelina based her script on an article (and subsequent book) he wrote about a woman who was repeatedly raped in a POW camp during her Bosnian war. Braddock did himself a great disservice by putting a really long rant online in which he compared Jolie to a Serbian aggressor and pretty much admitted that she “changed” his original story into a “banal love story” which, I mean, he can’t have it both ways? He can’t claim that she plagiarized his story AND that she changed his story into something completely different. Which is pretty much what a federal judge just said:

In a big win for Angelina Jolie, a federal judge has found that her movie In the Land of Blood and Honey is not substantially similar to a Croatian journalist’s novel.

James Braddock had slapped The Lara Croft: Tomb Raider beauty with a lawsuit in 2011 that alleged Jolie’s film about a love affair during the Bosnian civil war violated his copyright on the book, The Soul Shattering.

Braddock’s suit claimed one of the film’s producers, Edin Sarkic, had previously read his book and had discussed making a movie out of it. Three weeks before In the Land of Blood and Honey came out, Braddock sued Jolie, GK Films and distributor Film District.

But on Friday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said there weren’t enough similarities between The Soul Shattering and the movie to prove copyright violation and she ordered Braddock to show cause why the action shouldn’t be dismissed without prejudice by April 12.

[From Radar]

So it hasn’t been completely dismissed and Braddock still has a week and a half to put up a fight. But… ugh. Seriously? I know so many people are eager to hate on Angelina for anything and everything, but I just don’t see how she’s in the wrong here. She wrote a script and people weren’t really crazy about it, but because she’s Angelina, the film was produced and she got to raise awareness and employ some local actors, etc. It always seemed like this Braddock guy was just trying to “pull a Chelsea Handler” on Angelina. By that I mean he wanted to get some attention off of her name.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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51 Responses to “Angelina Jolie’s copyright lawsuit is about to be dismissed from federal court”

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  1. watchingyoubitch says:

    Good i hope his ass pays her lawyers.
    If i remember he didnt even watch the movie before he sued her,he did after only reading the synopse WTF?!?

    • ohlala says:

      Sorry Haters, the ruling is now FINAL, so this braddock has no chance, he has to find someone else to try and get money from, and from all reports he has enough lawsuits against him to keep him busy for a very long time.

  2. Daahling says:

    It’s called artistic integrity. In college, you are taught to cite your references. The same applies here. I find the relation between Jolie and Braddock to have a common factor. One single factor, but for this movie was made. I heart Angelina, but plagiarizing is plagiarizing.

    • andrea says:

      I didn’t read what he wrote and I didn’t watch her movie, but the premise alone doesn’t seem so unique to me. I actually know someone from university who wrote a novella about the same thing. And he also wrote a cross-border love story which turned out to be very similar to a movie we saw back then. Weird.

      Unfortunately, violence against women in war time is still a common scourge and apparently, there’s much to be written about this particular facet of that conflict. If the judge doesn’t see enough similarities, that’s good enough for me.

    • Toot says:

      Who did she plagiarize? The concept of rape in war isn’t new.

    • Bridget says:

      When have you ever had to cite references for creative writing? A script is a work of fiction.

    • JBG says:

      @Daahling actually, in the way you reference it here, it would be academic integrity, not artistic integrity. Just because there are thematic similarities between the works doesn’t mean that Jolie plagiarized.

      I haven’t read Braddock’s novel or seen the movie, but if the only similarity is rape in a POW camp, I’d say that’s hardly plagiarism, and Braddock is hardly the first to write about that topic, even from a Bosnian context. The movie would have to display some specific plot points that and character details that could be traced back to Braddock’s novel for the judge to call it plagiarism.

      • Daahling says:

        I would like to declare here that I am a full on Angelina-loony, I just love her! But you have to credit where you get ideas from, and thank you @ JGB, ACADEMIC integrity is what I meant :)

        1) I would agree with most of you. The topic is definitely not unique, and has happened to women throughout history.

        2) I would agree with your premise that it is creative writing, which can inspired from anything. “Match Point,” the movie, has a plot that mimics the great book “Crime and Punishment.” Not plagiarizing, simply a plot inspired by Dostoevsky. I can see your point in this case.

        3) Angelina Jolie’s movie was based on a small portion of a book that was in the process of discussing production/screenwriting, etc. I am not saying she shook down Sarkic and made him copy the idea. He is the common factor between the author and the directora, which is why I find it too coincidental.

        I guess when there are two White House catastrophe movies coming out within mere months of each other, plagiarizing, or “idea recycling” is okay.

        Think about it, though–if that were your book, and someone who you knew and WORKED with on possible film development just started production on a film that shared some of your content that you had discussed with that person, you’d be ticked. (Sorry for the longest sentence ever LOL). Angelina might not have stolen the concept, but Sarkic did–Give me that much, everyone! :)

      • Katherine says:

        Almost everything Braddock claimed has been proven to be a lie. I expect his stories about Sarkic are as much a lie as everything else.

        Braddock even lied about what was in his book and what was in the film. The judge astutely pointed those things out.

        Jolie wrote her first draft before she ever met Sarkic. Probably in the late summer, early fall 2009.

        If Braddock had any proof as he claims to have (he claims photos, documents, etc) they would have been produced by now – if for no other reason than to get a settlement or accommodation with Jolie as he claimed he wanted to do before he filed his lawsuit. Again he’s lying. He’s got bupkis.

        As pointed out above the case against defendants Angelina Jolie, GK Films and Film District is dismissed on the merits as of the Final Ruling that was published afternoon of Friday March 29, 2013.

        The only part of the case still open is that against the 2 defendants Braddock never served – Sarkic and Scout Films. Braddock has to give good cause why he did not get those 2 defs served as required by the Rules. If he doesn’t have a sufficient explanation then the case against those 2 will be dismissed as well. Not serving Sarkic must have been a tactic because I think he’s not far from Braddock.

    • e.non says:

      his was hardly the only story about the mass rapes that happened during the bosnian war… so, does that he mean he’s a plagiarist…

  3. Bird says:

    If anyone believes this crazy druggie wrote a screenplay, I have a bridge to sell you.

    • evyn says:

      90% of all screenplays are written by crazy druggies.
      However, just because some people can’t write a screenplay, it doesn’t mean that someone else cannot.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Bird, who wrote: “If anyone believes this crazy druggie wrote a screenplay, I have a bridge to sell you.”

      (Blinks) How do you know that James Braddock is a crazy druggie? Did I miss an article about him?

      @Evyn, who wrote: “90% of all screenplays are written by crazy druggies.
      However, just because some people can’t write a screenplay, it doesn’t mean that someone else cannot.”

      I wonder if @Bird has ever heard of a man named Quintin Tarantino?

    • Kim says:

      Crazy druggies can spot crazy druggies Pot meet kettle

    • andy says:

      Ever heard the name Aaron Sorkin?

      • Katherine says:

        I’m all for giving Sorkin whatever drugs he wants if he can produce another masterpiece like the early seasons of the West Wing.

        Some of the greatest art was produced under the influence. Not that I believe Angelina has had anything to do with drugs in over a decade.

  4. Roo says:

    Why won’t she eat something?

  5. Dinah says:

    Umm, I see that she seems to be sporting a plain gold band on her “hitchin’ finger” ( as Michael K would say!)?

  6. Shay Kay says:

    Do you think she’ll get her law degree the next time she is sick with the flu and sequestered from her family for 2 whole days in the attic at the French chateu? I hate to wish the flu on anybody but we do really need a cure for cancer ….. maybe pneumonia to give her a little extra time since cancer is a toughie! By years end she will be able to defend her cancer cure against lawsuits! Everybody wins!

    • lisa2 says:

      Wow interesting how you have a different take when the conversation is about other.

      She wrote the script over time. But I’m sure if she had lost this case you and others would be all celebrating.

      but bitterness at being wrong I guess that is your plan B

    • Kim says:

      She started the outline when she had flu it took weeks to complete script.Thanks Angie for opening another girls school today in Afghanistan. Using her money to uplift and empower girls not to demean them.This is why I am fan.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      Well, she is an intelligent woman, so anything’s possible I guess. We at least know that she hasn’t lost her brain cells sunbathing by the pool in Cabo drinking margaritas…

      • evyn says:

        haha. This reminds me of Damon/Affleck writing Good Will Hunting. Everyone ass-umed that Damon wrote it and gave Affleck pity credit b/c he seemed like such a dumb lunk & Matt went to Harvard.
        Personally, I think Ben is extremely intelligent and obviously more talented than people ever gave him credit for.
        Just goes to show you…

    • Shay Kay says:

      It really doesnt’t affect me if she wins her case or not. I just think it’s ridiculously pretentious that AJ claims to write screenplays in 2 days while sick with the flu. I absolutely don’t mind if you’re buying that story but I reserve the right to call BS even in the case of AJ.

    • Mona says:

      I feel sorry for you shay kay, I really do. She NEVER said she wrote it in 2 days. But facts aren’t interesting to Jenloons.

      Edit: Btw. I couldn’t get the below two posts to post on the previous thread about Aniston regarding AJ fans being happy Aniston is moving on, so I’ll post it here.
      Oh believe me, JP fans ARE thrilled she is happy. We all thought that would be the end of the triangle. HOW WRONG WE WERE! The spinners prove that we were wrong to have such high hopes because even though their idol is happy, they are not. I honestly think deep down they are unhappy because JA being happy takes away their reason to hate the JPs. They were happier when JA was single because then their hatred of the JPs could be justified. Now they are lost and have no reason to hate AJ. So clearly, its the JA fans that are less than thrilled about her being with JT. Not just for the fact they now have no reason to hate AJ, but because deep down they know the ‘man’ she is marrying. A cheater who will hurt their Jen. They are worried. They sure ought to be.

      Shay kay, it SHOULD end the triangle, but the JA fans are so obsessed with hate that they will NEVER leave Angelina alone. Do you honestly think the Female First mob will stop their stalking of and hatred of AJ? The JA fans will never let it go. As for the Parade interview, you are sadly mistaken. Aniston did fire back in her next interview, saying something like her 30s blew. Many JA fans bragged about her hitting back at Brad. It is, in fact, AJ fans who have been wanting JA to be happy. They desperately wanted her to be happy because they thought that if she is finally married and happy, then they’ll finally leave Angelina, Brad and their family alone. But its become increasingly obvious that Aniston fans are so eaten up with hate for Angelina that they will *NEVER* let the triangle go. Unlike JA fans who never wanted AJ and BP to be happy together, AJ fans wanted JA to be happy, just so AJ and her family could get some peace, finally. Along with AJ fans. Now JA is happy but her fans still can’t be happy because they still refuse to leave AJ alone. I honestly think at this point JA fans will never have the capacity to be happy for AJ and BP or even for JA. Because JA is not with BP. So they’ll never be happy. Unlike AJ fans they don’t have the capacity to be happy because they will never, ever, ever stop hating AJ for what they perceive as her wrong-doing against Angel of Goodness Jennifer Aniston. Its strange you projected and deflected and can’t see what is right in front of you. That while AJ fans are hoping like mad JA being happy will end the triangle, the Jen loons will NEVER stop spreading hate about AJ as they feel its their duty. They will never just be content with JA being happy. They will never let it go.

      • Shay Kay says:

        Just to be clear I don’t hate AJ. I just think she’s pretentious. She does some wonderful things with her celebrity but that doesn’t equate with her being a wonderful person. I can admire her contributions and still find her lacking in other areas.
        Jen said her 30′s blew? Well I’m thinking that her tv show family ended as did her marriage so that was probably tough. Did she happen to mention that Brad’s boring self was part of the problem or her marriage? I’m thinking not or that would have made big headlines.
        If people can find Jen distasteful for sunning in Cabo and doing rom coms than surely it’s okay if I find Jolie’s whole ” I don’t watch tv but I do write screenplays when sick with the flu” pretentious?!

      • Shay Kay says:

        AJ does some wonderful things with her celebrity that does not translate into her being a wonderful person. I can appreciate her worthy contributions and still say that her ” Since I had the flu and never watch tv I wrote a screenplay” PR pretentious.
        BTW I wouldn’t like AJ regardless of whom she hooked up with. She really doesn’t strike me as warm, funny, or trustworthy and I can guarantee you I am not the only woman that thinks so. I’m not rabidly angry if you don’t agree with me though!

      • Mona says:

        Ironically I find Aniston pretentious. She pretends to be this sweet person, butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but behind closed doors she is plotting with Handler and Huvane to bring down the JPs. It surprises me that so many people are still so completely brainwashed by Aniston and can’t see through her act and see what and who she truly is. A pretentious phony master manipulator who engages in cloak and dagger warfare. She is a phony, she is not who she appears to be, and I find her as warm and as trustworthy as Osama Bin Laden. With Jolie, what you see is what you get. She is the exact opposite of Aniston. Ie, the exact opposite of pretentious. She doesn’t pretend to be a sweet snowflake who shits rainbows and plot, connive and scheme while using others as puppets for her malevolent agenda. She is very trustworthy and has proven it. She has also proven she is warm and caring, as any observation of her works will show. I see her as the polar opposite of Aniston. Aniston is a cold-blooded viper who hires people to do her dirty work to keep her precious little ‘sweetheart’ ACT intact but Handler’s outbursts shows the amount of hatred and evil Aniston holds. Aniston is the last woman I’d find trustworthy. She is as warm as an ice cube and as funny as a falling corpse from a coffin at a funeral. She is a vile, malicious manipulator who will stoop to new lows all the time, even endorse racist comments against innocent children, to continue her one-sided vendetta againt Angelina, a woman who never did a single thing to hurt her. Aniston is truly an abhorrent, loathsome sub-human. Jolie is not a God, but she never hides behind others to unleash a hateful vendetta. She never pretends to be something she is not. She is who she is and is a damn site a more decent, warm, caring, giving, trustworthy human being than Aniston who is evil and rotten to the core of her hateful little heart is.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      TO SHAY KAY AND OTHERS,

      Shay Kay’s post was funny! Have a sense of humor, it makes life more fun:) It’s so obviously taking the micky out of Jolie’s self-important image that it is doubly laughable that people don’t get it! I mean, okay, you may not think it’s funny but it’s obviously a joke:)

      BTW, I too find Jolie’s image to be over the top and her demeanor as well. That’s not bitterness, it’s observation mixed with opinion.

      • Shay Kay says:

        Thanks Tulip Garden! I was just laughing at the pretentious Jolie!

        Mona, I completely respect that your opinion differs from mine. Wish you could do the same. The whole “shuts rainbows” thing was pretty funny so kudos on that!

        BTW guys I was not commenting on If AJ wrote the screenplay or not. I was commenting that I find it hard to believe that anyone suffering from the flu decided to write their first ever screenplay (or outline) rather than sleep, vomit, ache, feel bad, and watch tv ( during a more lucid moment). I am laughing at her for trying so hard to be viewed as a special, enlightened human being. So special that tv is beneath her notice but writing while sick is just “A Day in the Extraordinary Life of Angelina.” Whether she has the intelligence to write it or stole it was no the point.

      • Lulu.T.O. says:

        I thought it was funny. :) It never fails that the second you dare voice a tiny midge of wryness in regards to Angie, the hounds are loosed, and beating of the dead triangle commences. Wee!

      • Tulip Garden says:

        Well I am laughing with you an the pretentious Jolie as are plenty of other people. For instance, Dlisted makes fun of Jolie and Aniston. I am an Aniston fan but I appreciate the humor. It’s all about media image and perception and if people don’t realize that Jolie has a “higher being” persona going on then…okay, but most people see it and laugh at it. And Aniston did have a “loser in love” persona and Dlisted made it hilarious!

  7. Mr.Smurf says:

    I actually watched the movie, it was on Netflix. It was a little confusing at one point-probably because it was three in the morning, but it was a really good movie. Good, not great, and it was definitely an interesting first film for a first time director. If anything, it opened my eyes to more about what happened. In school, we only get a paragraph on the whole thing, and it never once mentioned rape, let alone the systematic rape of the women.

    The rape scenes were the hardest to watch. I love the way she shot them though…no music, no slow motion, making it overly dramatic like some films do at a crucial scene. She just shot it as it happened.

    For people who do want to see it, the ending is really sad….I felt a little hollow after I finished it.

  8. Barbara says:

    The end being sad is a given as this is an Angie script. I love the woman to the bones, she’s amazing, but I honestly can’t see her writing a happy ending. Especially when she’s been in the camps and saw with her own eyes happy endings are rare there. I think she wanted to capture the reality of it all, that’s why I didn’t expect it to have a happy ending.

    • evyn says:

      Exactly. This is why I don’t understand why people think she couldn’t have written this. She has been to these war torn countries and spoken to the victims. She has also attended the war crimes trials.

  9. KellyinSeattle says:

    I have to jump on the band wagon that it could’ve been any story of POWs and rape, since it’s soooo prevalent. I still can’t find any terrible faults of Angelina…she’s just very classy and wise beyond her years…she’s pretty young now; she’s just getting started.

  10. Mona says:

    I hope he has to pay all her court costs and she should sue him for defamation for trying to get rich off of a famous person. Thats why I’d hate to be famous. Someone always trying to exploit your fame and make a buck off you. There should be very severe penalties for this. Like jail time.

  11. Miss Jupitero says:

    People sue over the craziest stuff, often hoping that the defendant will just cave in and pay a settlement, which they often do. The discovery phase of such lawsuits can be very long and tedious, and many people just don’t want to bother. I swear, there are people out there who make their living filing lawsuits like this.

    When I worked in publishing, someone sued the author of a book about Halloween because it included skeletons, and *gasp* he too had written a book about Halloween that featured skeletons!

    To prove copyright infringement, there really has to be substantial similarities that can’t be explained by any reasonable alternatives, e.g., there are many, many narratives about sexual assault during the Bosnian war. It really isn’t a simple thing to do. These cases get thrown out all the time.

  12. riri says:

    If she based her script on a book and didn’t give such credit than it doesn’t matter that the film also raised awareness.
    It was his book and he deserves the credit.

    The fact that she incorporated an additional angle or plot line as very common in film adaptation doesn’t change the fact that she should have given him credit.

    This is his creation. It’s much much easier to take someone else’s work and base things on that and add a plot line rather than invent everything from scratch.

    • lisa2 says:

      She didn’t give him credit because she said she didn’t use his book as a source. Besides his book was not written in English

      Angie’s legal team had the book translated into English. Something Mr. Braddock didn’t do to submit to the court to prove his point. She however did and it was shown that it was not the same.

      You don’t have to give credit to something you didn’t use.. which was her answer to the accusations made by the man.

  13. TOPgirl says:

    Regardless of the case, I still think AJ is a very creative person who works hard, diligent, and full of grace. She has a love for the human being. I admire that about her.

  14. Janet says:

    Oh FFS, if two people write a book about a similar situation such as wartime rape, does it follow that one of them was plagiarized from the other?

    This was the dumbest-ass lawsuit I ever heard of. Glad it’s been thrown out.

  15. pinkpanther says:

    I don’t particularly like OR dislike AJ or JA or BP… I don’t know these people. But what I sense of AJ is that she is someone who desperately wants to be seen as an intellectual. That, I’m afraid, she is not. (At least she does not come across as a deep thinker to me). And as to why she needs this type of affirmation, I don’t know. She has looks, fame, money. I suspect the reason is that she is deeply insecure –she strikes me as someone who is not content at all. (As to JA and BP.. they seem content with their vacuousness. ;-)

    And Shay Kay, I appreciated your comments!

    • LoL says:

      What’s wrong with wanting to learn about the world? Angelina has said many times that she enjoys educating herself and growing as a person. The others you mentioned are stunted, pitt a little less so since he is with Angie.

      • WeighingIn says:

        AJ is ambitious, and that’s admirable. But what I’m going to venture to guess pinkpanther meant about AJ wanting to be seen as an intellectual is that she can come across as having an air of affectation. It’s like she functions on a higher plane than most mere mortals.
        She’s certainly grown a lot. I love her dedication to philanthropy and respect that she takes so much interest in meaningful global issues.
        But she’s not a scholar of foreign policy. She’s not an expert on human rights. She’s not the Second Coming. I’m not saying she claims to be any of these things, but there is something about her approach and demeanor that signals a deep need to be taken seriously by everyone who’s watching, and especially to receive validation.
        True game changers never think of themselves as game changers. They go down in history because they dedicate their lives to their causes and maintain no expectations of being given credit. AJ seems very conscious of how she’s viewed. Even though she says otherwise.

      • ana says:

        @WeighingIn

        So you are saying that foreign policy experts/politicians are the ones who should deal with all that? Because they have no need for validation, are not ambitious for themselves and are essentially doing everything just for the betterment of the people? Oh, boy.

        Pray say, what evidence you have that she wants some validation? You think she is doing what she is doing for awards? I don’t get it! Damon, Clooney -they do that staff for shorter time than Jolie, and they got awards for their work left and right. I don’t remember she got any (except that UN thing seven years ago and her promotion). She is not a politician and that is her biggest plus in her work of representing displaced people – that is why all the different sides want to meet with her, that’s why UNHCR promoted her. If you ever read anything about her trips on UNHCR site (not on gossip site, lol) you would find out what she does, how and what benefits are coming from her work.

        You said:
        True game changers never think of themselves as game changers. They go down in history because they dedicate their lives to their causes and maintain no expectations of being given credit.

        Wow, nice words. That’s why politicians are not ambitious at all, that’s why revolutionaries usually go away after revolution is over, that’s why medical researchers, scientists and technological innovators always say: Please, I don’t want any money for what I’m doing. Right.

        For everyone is fine to have validation and pride in their work, except Angelina needs to be invisible, humble to no end, and,my god, not to say anything smart, because that is affectation. She should know her place and she better go to parties, talk about workouts and sell her perfumes.