White-Wolf Sues Sony for "Underworld"

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Old 09 September 2003   #1
White-Wolf Sues Sony for "Underworld"

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.
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Old 09 September 2003   #2
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.
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Old 09 September 2003   #3
Quote:
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.

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Old 09 September 2003   #4
Quote:
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)
 
Old 09 September 2003   #5
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).
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Old 09 September 2003   #6
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.
 
Old 09 September 2003   #7
I once had a English Professor that was suing the company that made Mimic (Mirimax?). He claimed to have had written it first.
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Old 09 September 2003   #8
Quote:
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

Last edited by EpShot : 09 September 2003 at 02:54 AM.
 
Old 09 September 2003   #9
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.
 
Old 09 September 2003   #10
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!

And of course i would like to see this movie!
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Old 09 September 2003   #11
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.
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Old 09 September 2003   #12
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.
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Old 09 September 2003   #13
Quote:
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
 
Old 09 September 2003   #14
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.
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Old 09 September 2003   #15
Quote:
Originally posted by AB09
Red Tape by Agent Provocateur


Killer... thanks mate...

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