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ShinyObject
09-06-2003, 12:32 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

White Wolf, Inc.
1554 Litton Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
404-292-1819 (voice); 678-382-3883 (fax)
http://www.white-wolf.com/

WHITE WOLF, INC. and author NANCY A. COLLINS sue SONY PICTURES, SCREEN GEMS and LAKESHORE ENTERTAINMENT for "Underworld" copyright infringement

Atlanta, GA, 5 September 2003—White Wolf, Inc. and Nancy A. Collins yesterday filed suit in US District court in Atlanta, Georgia against defendants Sony Pictures, Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment, alleging 17 counts of copyright infringement for the film Underworld, set for release on September 19. White Wolf alleges that Underworld characters, theme and setting are based on White Wolf’s award winning games Vampire: The Masquerade® and Werewolf: The Apocalypse™, both set in White Wolf’s fictional World of Darkness®. Further, Collins alleges that Underworld’s script is based on her 1994 story Love of Monsters, published by White Wolf and also set in the World of Darkness.

Plaintiffs claim over 60 points of unique similarity between Underworld and their work. "Ours is a huge fictional world, supported by over 200 volumes of fictional material," asserts Mike Tinney, White Wolf’s President. "It’s infuriating to see Underworld’s script riddled with our property." Plaintiffs also claim that Underworld’s entire plot is based on Collins’ short story Love of Monsters. "Apparently they are marketing this as a remake of Romeo and Juliet," comments Collins. "What I think they really mean is that it’s an on-screen adaptation of my story."

White Wolf and Collins are seeking immediate injunctive relief and damages. "The volume of confusion in our marketplace is amazing," observes Tinney, "our fans think they’re going to be seeing our film. Of course, if the movie gets released, in a way they will be."

Please direct press inquiries to:
for White Wolf: R. Schaeffer, 404-292-1819 x200
for Collins: Pamela Koslyn, 310-271-1833; or Nancy A. Collins, 678-637-2407

# # #

Since its entry into the roleplaying game market in 1991, White Wolf Publishing, Inc. has grown, maintaining an average market share of 26%. With collective book sales in excess of 5.5 million copies during this time, White Wolf is one of two undisputed worldwide publishing leaders for pen and paper roleplaying games. White Wolf properties have been licensed to television series, comic books, action figures, professional wrestlers, a myriad of merchandising, replica props and weapons, interactive media events, coin operated arcade games and, of course, video games. More information on White Wolf can be found at www.white-wolf.com .

Nancy A. Collins is the author of several novels and numerous short stories, and is perhaps best known for her popular character Sonja Blue, a vampire/vampire-hunter who most recently appeared in the novel Darkest Heart and the collection Dead Roses for a Blue Lady. A recipient of the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award, The British Fantasy Society's Icarus Award, and the Deathrealm Award, as well as a nominee for the Eisner, World Fantasy, and International Horror Guild Awards, Collins’ works include Knuckles and Tales, Sunglasses After Dark and Avenue X.

eirenicon
09-06-2003, 12:55 AM
This appears to be, quite frankly, bullshit. White Wolf did not invent vampires and werewolves, and they also did not write Romeo and Juliet. And as far as I can tell, Underworld is Romeo and Juliet with vampires and werewolves.

This is like Wizards of the Coast suing New Line for using orcs and hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

TheGreenGiant
09-06-2003, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by timothyD
This is like Wizards of the Coast suing New Line for using orcs and hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

Did they do this? LOL if they did. But I think this suit does have more merit than the Mr RAY vs PIXAR one.

Welcome to America!

EpShot
09-06-2003, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by timothyD
This appears to be, quite frankly, bullshit. White Wolf did not invent vampires and werewolves, and they also did not write Romeo and Juliet. And as far as I can tell, Underworld is Romeo and Juliet with vampires and werewolves.

This is like Wizards of the Coast suing New Line for using orcs and hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

no.. but they did define in great detail the style and specific details of their universe. Not completely but they do have a lot that makes their universe very unique(and if you haven't read any of it, please don't comment) it will fall to the specifics

you haven't seen the movie so your not in a position to judge the plot, and i'm pretty sure(just a guess u'know) you haven't read the book they mentioned, so that two counts of items you can not compare

for cryign out loud yuor makign your judgement on a frieking movie trailer.

i'm not saying they are right, but the concept does look 'significantly' similiar, but i have to see the movie first.

zack

(and no, i'm not saying its similiar cause its got vampires and werewolves)

eirenicon
09-06-2003, 01:18 AM
Have White Wolf and Nancy Collins seen the movie? No, they haven't. They've read the script - yes, it's available, and you can find it if you want to read it. In my estimation, it is not a rip off of White Wolf property. Shakespeare might have a few qualms if he was still alive, though (kidding).

KolbyJukes
09-06-2003, 01:38 AM
Maybe next we'll see Games Workshop sueing BLIZZARD for copyright infringement in their Starcraft series...

I can't comment on this since I've neither read the book, nor seen the film. However, I hope this lawsuit does not delay the release of the film, I've been eagerly await it for a couple months now, I can't help it, I love Matrix, Blade and everything inbetween.

-Kol.

d4rk
09-06-2003, 01:40 AM
I once had a English Professor that was suing the company that made Mimic (Mirimax?). He claimed to have had written it first.

EpShot
09-06-2003, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by timothyD
Have White Wolf and Nancy Collins seen the movie? No, they haven't. They've read the script - yes, it's available, and you can find it if you want to read it. In my estimation, it is not a rip off of White Wolf property. Shakespeare might have a few qualms if he was still alive, though (kidding).

my guess is they got a hold of a test screening.

your "estimation" is based on...........?


they claim over 60 points of unique similarity and 17 counts of copyright infringement. if true that ain't nothin.

and shakespear ahs been dead for some time.. copyright doens't hold.

we've had copyright discussions on this board before. its comes down to how close it is, and i'll make that judgement after i've seen the movie

Lunatique
09-06-2003, 03:19 AM
I just want to see the damn movie. Anyone who knows what White Wolf is about knew that the movie was heavily inspired by it--but at no point did I think it was a "White Wolf produced movie."

Heh, I was surprised to see that Nancy wrote Avenue X. My very first comic book job was to illustrate the first issue of Avenue X comic--and it was written by Brenda Black, who also created the radio drama series prior.

garethjax
09-06-2003, 08:22 AM
I just hope they can find an agreement!
I have been an user of white wolf games since 1996, and i always loved their products! :applause:

And of course i would like to see this movie!:drool:

AJE
09-06-2003, 08:42 AM
I don't care about the lawsuits, as long as I get to see this film. Beckinsale in black, and wicked FX... nice.



BTW, can any of you fine folks tell me what the music is in the trailer for Underworld.

gnarlycranium
09-06-2003, 10:08 AM
So not surprised.

I and most of my local friends have been players of those RPGs since high school-- and the instant we saw the Underworld preview we all tilted our heads and said thoughtfully "Hm. Sounds like White-Wolf."

Granted, I haven't read the script or seen the movie, but as much similarity as I saw in just that preview ain't a good sign. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

AB09
09-06-2003, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by AJE
BTW, can any of you fine folks tell me what the music is in the trailer for Underworld.

Red Tape by Agent Provocateur

ShinyObject
09-06-2003, 09:36 PM
I did a little search to find the book that they supposedly ripped the plot from (Love of Monsters by Nancy Collins) but I couldn't find it anywhere.
Out of print maybe?

I just want to read it and then see the movie to see just how close it is.

AJE
09-06-2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by AB09
Red Tape by Agent Provocateur

Killer... thanks mate...

What else have they done?... Have they been around for a while?

AB09
09-06-2003, 10:42 PM
I don't know much about them besides that they are a UK goup. I just remember that track from the Jackal soundtrack.

Here's their discography. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Agent_Provocateur

greyfalco
09-06-2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by KWAK
Maybe next we'll see Games Workshop sueing BLIZZARD for copyright infringement in their Starcraft series...


If Games Workshop sues Blizzard, then the owners of the Aliens / Terminator licences better sue GW [necrons / tyranids].

AJE
09-07-2003, 01:21 AM
Originally posted by AB09
I don't know much about them besides that they are a UK goup. I just remember that track from the Jackal soundtrack.

Here's their discography. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Agent_Provocateur

:beer:

Thanks
AJE

BiTMAP
09-07-2003, 02:21 AM
Someone said : This is like Wizards of the Coast suing New Line for using orcs and hobbits in Lord of the Rings. :

WotC doesn't own the hobbits and orc's idea ;) Tolkien made up those characters, and developed them, and i believe WotC was aloud permission to use them way back.

gnarlycranium
09-12-2003, 01:56 AM
Penny Arcade's take on it (http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2003-09-08&res=h) :cool:

WillJohn
09-12-2003, 02:08 AM
Well.. if people can take credit for that.. id like to be the first to say that i infact invented the idea of 'adventure movies' .... i need to get my list of people to sue.

KolbyJukes
09-12-2003, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by greyfalco
If Games Workshop sues Blizzard, then the owners of the Aliens / Terminator licences better sue GW [necrons / tyranids].

LOL ... too true!

:thumbsup:

-Kol.

Meshosh
09-12-2003, 04:12 PM
Well....
I didnt seen the movie, just the trailer, but I read Vampire, the mascarade, Werewolf, and others. I used to play RPG a few years ago, and I can tell you, White Wolf´s vampires and werewolfs are VERY unique. They are nothing like Dracula or anything there was before.

Sure that the vampire CONCEPT is there for ages, but the vampire world that white wolf created is completely new.
When I first saw the underworld trailer I thought it was actually based on white wolf´s vampires.

A few years ago I´ve been on a workshop with the Vampire writer, and he said that there was a movie being made about his vampires. I thought that Underworld was this movie.
And if there is a novel with similar story, then its even worse!

If someone makes a movie about dinosaurs that were recreated on a theme park called "cretacic theme park". I would be a rip-of, not because michael chricton has right over the dinosaurs, but because he wrote the same story before.

ShinyObject
09-14-2003, 09:53 PM
Court Awards Expedited Injunction Hearing to
WHITE WOLF and NANCY A. COLLINS in "Underworld" Suit

Atlanta, GA, 10 September 2003–White Wolf, Inc. and Nancy A. Collins yesterday appeared in court yesterday with their attorneys in an effort to get legal relief from Sony Pictures', Screen Gems' and Lakeshore Entertainment's alleged copyright infringements in their upcoming film Underworld.

Judge J. Owen Forrester did not grant the requested temporary restraining order, citing a handful of mitigating circumstances, most notably the plaintiff's inability to post a bond in excess of ten million dollars. Judge Forrester, however, did call for an expedited discovery period (lasting 30 days) and enabled the plaintiffs to have a preliminary injunction hearing thereafter. Judge Forrester also outlined his policy on fairness in his courtroom and cautioned Sony Pictures against using "big business" delay tactics.

If the injunction is granted, defendants risk their ability to proliferate the Underworld brand in video, licenses and merchandising. "I believe our attorney presented a strong case yesterday," said Mike Tinney, President of White Wolf. "The Judge had done his homework, asked a lot of smart questions, and commented that plaintiffs appeared to have made a valid argument for copyright infringement. For a small company like White Wolf and an individual plaintiff like Ms. Collins, this acknowledgement is very heartening."

PhilWesson
09-15-2003, 12:36 AM
the amount of lawsuits in this country is sickening...

Joviex
09-15-2003, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by david225
the amount of lawsuits in this country is sickening...

While I do agree that there are suits which are so damn shady it is ludicrious (like the slip and slide attempt at an injunction for dikey roberts movie)

in this case I don't agree. There is a direct abuse of the white wolf system and storylines in the movie without having their consent. I am sure no one here would like to produce a lot of fantasy work for a storyline only to have it done by someone who saw your idea and thought they could pervert it enough (or in this case not at all) to make it different and get away with intellectual theft and sheer laziness in creation.

PhilWesson
09-15-2003, 05:52 AM
while i dont condone theft of any kind, it seems that every day there's something new... the whole RIAA thing is a witchhunt, and this, while very possibly justified (i dont know much about the situation as i havent read the books or seen the movie), it just seems like everyone is ready to jump on the chance to sue...

EpShot
09-15-2003, 06:26 AM
while the amount of lawsuits might be "sickening" in this "country" its one thign that makes thsi country nice(wait before you say anything) because its how the smaller guy can stand up to the bigger guy.

i mean seriously outside the US.. if a company the size of white wolf went up against SONY?!

also, remember that you cna file a lawsuit over literaly anything, but that doesn't mean its not goign to be immediately tossed out.
and it even looks like the information in the above statement show that at the very least.. White wolfs claims are based on somethign tangeble.. wether or not that will be enough, remans to be seen. thoguh i'm annoyed with everyone jumping on them after the first press release, not even waiting for any court statements, or the 'movie' for the matter.

for some reason everyone thinks white wolf is claiming rights to werewolves and vampires.

meh

my 2 cents

Synthetic Rayne
09-15-2003, 06:42 AM
There is a large amount of similarites between the script of Underworld and the actual White Wolf created worlds... WW uses terms that very few other vampire/werewolf fantasy oriented books, games, and series use. They also created a world within their stories that is quite similiar to Underworld.

Making comparisons off hand from any lawsuit you've *heard* about and haven't read the detailed clauses that stipulate the lawsuit would be an error in judgement... So saying "well then they can sue them" is just frivilious. Every lawsuit is unique, believe it or not and does deserve its due tome in court whether it's a waste of money or not... and even if indiividuals believe it's worth it or not... gotta give it its own chance. It's better than the alternative and nothing ever happening or changing or progressing.

It's kinda interesting though... as an artist.. more specifically a fine artist... if you draw a painting... another artist can also draw that painting in the most similar style as possible.. and have full rights to the painting that they drew.. even though it was obviously a copy of yours and even if you have yours copywritten. Ironic, no?

onscreen
09-17-2003, 06:44 AM
Those who create the vampires and werewolf were like has been dated back 1920's where they encounter a blood sucking human. Thats all! White Wolf tail has not been stepped on the creation of werewolf and stuff. They maybe kind of having some entertainment politics crisis going around them.

I am ready to watch the movie and standing on Sony's side proofing that Sony is innocent in the "Underwold"

JHarford
09-17-2003, 08:24 AM
ok , firstly this song by the darkness is amazing,
secondly , all these comment and quirky remarks rewriting 'your' view on 'one sues one' for so and such reason, are tottaly unjustified, looking at the sotry orgianally posted again its plain to see this lawsuit is justified.
The story 'love of monsters' is remarkably similar to underworld. and the vampires/werewolves are remarkably similar to the unique ones created by white wolf.
I hope they win the court case and get somethign out of the which they deserve. Sony are a big company and in creating this im sure they along with the companies that produced it , knew of the book and characters and could have made changes to stop this happening.
Any possibility to find out who originally wrote the script?.

Synthetic Rayne
09-17-2003, 01:21 PM
It's not the IDEA of werewolves and vampires.. It's the classes, the societies, and the terms that they use.. also the battle/world that the movie takes place.

I'm for the movie. It looks great. Can't wait to see it. But if I were whitewolf, I can understand where they are coming from and why they are suing Sony. For those persons who have not read or played WW games.. you really can't say anything about this. You can, but you just don't understand WW's standing.

daraand
09-17-2003, 01:35 PM
What about Bram stoker he should sue as well:\ or his surviving relatives


http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2003-09-08&res=l

Synthetic Rayne
09-17-2003, 10:41 PM
Copy right laws state that there is a certain period of time that after the death of the original artist, that the rights remain under his or her family for an X amount of years. I believe it's around 45 years or so after the death.

Which is why Shakespeare is so widely used and so often. No copy right laws on his ideas because he died a verrrrrrrrrra long time ago.

There's a huge thing about Disney and the use of Mickey Mouse since Walt's death and whether or not the courts are going to allow the copy right law to to extend with Disney since his company is still ongoing.

So Bram's family is a little too late.

Synthetic Rayne
09-17-2003, 11:05 PM
http://www.penny-arcade.com/dl/whitewolfcomplaint.pdf

That's the original complaint filed by WW against Sony.

Clauses 40-90 are the points that WW makes against Sony for copyright infringement. Some seem like total BS... but a lot of the others do have standing, especialy the clauses that are about "The Love of Monsters" by Nancy Collins. The plot lines are really much alike.

Personally, I don't like the lawsuit. It would mean the retraction of the movie and the game by Sony. That would suck, cuz I like good movies about vampires. (: They're just such a fun subject. I can't wait to see the movie... Nonetheless.. WW does have a case... And it is going to court.

lafnjack
09-17-2003, 11:35 PM
The soundtrack is okay, but don't buy the Underworld soundtrack expecting the song from the trailer. Not in there. Agent Provocateur's Red Tape is on the trailer but not anywhere on the soundtrack. Blasted waste of 20 bucks (didn't think much of the songs that were on there despite some great names).

lafnjack

PS: As for "classes" within the vampire community...yeah whitewolf's done that. It was in the blade movies too. I'm sure whitewolf was an influence though...

Signal2Noise
09-17-2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by BiTMAP
Someone said : This is like Wizards of the Coast suing New Line for using orcs and hobbits in Lord of the Rings. :

WotC doesn't own the hobbits and orc's idea ;) Tolkien made up those characters, and developed them, and i believe WotC was aloud permission to use them way back.

Before Wizards of the Coast came into the D&D scene there was a little company called TRS. :thumbsup:

ShinyObject
09-23-2003, 11:28 PM
Having finally seen the movie, I can say that a LOT of it was indeed ripped off of white-wolf games. In fact, the only things they bothered to change were names.

The werewolves are also endangered species at war with the vampire "clans" and elders in the white wolf "world of darkness".
The only thing they bothered to change besides the name "Lupine" to "Lycan" was the overall appearance of the werewolf in battle form. It still looks quite similar though...only the movie werewolf is less hairy and smaller than the white-wolf werewolf.

The "Abomination" - The story also so boldly included the Vampire/Werewolf mix and even called it by the white wolf name "Abomination" in the movie. There is a white wolf book published and copywritten that describes such a thing. The abominations in the World of Darkness are also hunted down and killed at every chance given by both sides (werewolf and vampire).

But what matters about that is the clanwars, abominations, and outright laziness of Sony in coming up with their own ideas. Sure, Vampires have been used...but it's not hard to come up with different contexts to use them in. Look at all the different styles of mythology on the subject.

With all the similarities and still more that I didn't mention for lack of time and reference, there is no way anyone can say that this is an original story written by Sony. It is White Wolf material and I will be laughing out loud the day when they lose the lawsuit.

Do I sound bitter? Sorry...I just don't like it when large companies steal smaller property.

:shame:

ZeroNeuro
12-29-2003, 10:31 AM
Heheh it was a pretty nice movie, but they really did rip a lot of stuff off. I mean really... the use of that term cinched it for me. Nobody else has ever called a half vampire, half werewolf an "abomination" except White Wolf.

gnarlycranium
12-29-2003, 10:42 AM
It was actually much less similar than I was expecting.

Yeah, the Abomination thing was just plain blatant.

The origin of werewolves was quite different though.. and actually, I don't see HOW the movie could even call those 'werewolves', there wasn't a darn thing wolflike about them. Yeah, so they were big and clawed and mean-- but apart from that, they bore no resemblance to any form I've ever seen pictures of in the WW books. Except maybe a mostly shaved BSD or.... angry mutant gorilla.

Underworld copied the idea of decrepit and inhuman 'Elder' vampires running the roost, that depiction of one being revived from torpor was kinda neat. Blade did better with the different classes though-- heh, in their meetings I had fun thinking 'lessee, that guy's Ventrue-- ooh and he looks like an Assamite, and that one's probly Gangrel....'

But then... I've never heard of a WW vampire that would PASS OUT from BLOOD LOSS from a scratch on the shoulder (when desperately hungry, they just frenzy and bite the nearest living thing at hand), much less be worried about ALMOST DROWNING afterwards... since when do vampires need freakin CPR?!! :rolleyes:

JDex
12-29-2003, 11:12 AM
Well actually the use of the term abomination for a "half-breed" has been used for hundreds of years... so really that is not a rip. Children of slaves and their masters were deemed to be abominations quite frequently... damn history sucks.

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