Fifty Shades of Grey XXX filmmakers get sued

November 30, 2012

Universal Studios and Fifty Shades Ltd. have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Smash Pictures over the XXX adaptation/parody of Fifty Shades of Grey. The crux of the complaint:

By lifting exact dialogue, characters, events, story and style from the Fifty Shades trilogy, Smash Pictures ensured that the First XXX Adaptation was, in fact, as close as possible to the original works. Beginning with the First XXX Adaptation’s opening scene and continuing throughout the next 2½ hours of the film, Smash Pictures copies without reservation from the unique expressive elements of the Fifty Shades trilogy, progressing through the events of Fifty Shades of Grey and into the second book, Fifty Shades Darker. The First XXX Adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple.

Point 34 of the complaint has several pages of side-by-side comparisons of dialogue from the novel and the movie. Pity the poor paralegal who had to compile that chart.

The lawsuit also quotes Smash honchos telling LA Weekly and XBiz that their porn flick will be an “adaptation”, “very true to the book”, “faithful to the core material”, etc. There are strong legal precedents protecting the right to create porn parodies, but the plaintiffs argue that there’s no parody element to Fifty Shades of Grey XXX, just straight-up adaptation.

The plaintiffs have a point.

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