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Luc Besson found guilty for plagiarizing Carpenter's Escape from New York

07.29.2016by: Brennan Klein
Escape From New York Lockout Luc Besson John Carpenter

A very unique court case was decided today. An appeals court ruled that Luc Besson has been found guilty of plagiarizing John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK for his 2012 effort LOCKOUT.

He has been ordered to pay Carpenter and his co-writer Nick Castle more than half a million dollars, as the script was found to have "massively borrowed" an incriminating amount of similarities, including a hero that "got into the prison by flying in a glider/space shuttle, had to confront inmates led by a chief with a strange right arm, found hugely important briefcases and meet a former sidekick who then dies” and “at the end (of both films the heroes) keep secret documents recovered during their mission.”

That's hard to argue with, but what does this mean for the film community at large? Hollywood is essentially composed of movies that cannibalize each other. PARANORMAL ENTITY rips off PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, which copies the central conceit of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, which came just one year after THE LAST BROADCAST, which imitates the faux-realism of FACES OF DEATH, which comes after the found footage elements of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Nothing is original, so why this movie? And why now?

It's unsettling, so while I approve of Carpenter still getting money from his movies no matter the avenue, I'm not sure I'm cheering for this verdict.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think LOCKOUT copied ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK?
Source: IndieWire

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10:13PM on 07/30/2016
I'm sorry, but thIs is BULL S**IT!!! So now any film maker who wants to make a film has to worry about getting sued, because their film may have a few similarities to another film? Seriously? I've seen Escape From New York many times, and I've seen Lockout a few times as well. I didn't even see the similarities until the lawsuit was brought about. Lockout takes place in space, and not in a city that has been turned into a prison! The main character has no eye patch, and in my opinion is nothing
I'm sorry, but thIs is BULL S**IT!!! So now any film maker who wants to make a film has to worry about getting sued, because their film may have a few similarities to another film? Seriously? I've seen Escape From New York many times, and I've seen Lockout a few times as well. I didn't even see the similarities until the lawsuit was brought about. Lockout takes place in space, and not in a city that has been turned into a prison! The main character has no eye patch, and in my opinion is nothing like Snake Plisken. Yes they use a prisoner to help them rescue someone who has been taken hostage by prisoners, but there have been other films that have used this concept over the years (The Rock is just one example of this). I'm sorry, but this just sounds like greed to me!
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5:56PM on 07/29/2016

When a movie is a CLONE like Lockout was, the verdict is guilty

Brennan, you are citing things that are similar by qualities. Those are all covered by fair use. The problem with Lockout was it cloned way too many elements from a different movie. You listed a bunch of ways Lockout stole from Escape NY and you really don't see how that's different from a found footage movie copying a genre, rather than an entire plot?
Brennan, you are citing things that are similar by qualities. Those are all covered by fair use. The problem with Lockout was it cloned way too many elements from a different movie. You listed a bunch of ways Lockout stole from Escape NY and you really don't see how that's different from a found footage movie copying a genre, rather than an entire plot?
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