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Court Decides Infringement Rights on Popular Movie


The plaintiff and appellant of the case is Alveda King Beal. The defendants and appellees of the case are Paramount Pictures Corporation, et al.


A New York Criminal Lawyer said the plaintiff is appealing the grant of a summary judgment in a copy right infringement case that was made by the district court in favor of the defendants. The original ruling of the court rejected Alveda King Beal’s claim that stated “Coming to America,” a movie starring Eddie Murphy, was in violation of the copyright laws that protected her adventure novel titled “The Arab Heart.”

Review of Material

In this case of a copyright dispute, the court must fully compare both the works that are in question. This court has reviewed both the novel and the movie.

In the novel, The Arab Heart, the protagonist is a prince named Sharaf Ammar Hakim Riad. He is the sole heir to a sheikdom. In the beginning of the book the prince agrees to go to the United States for technical training for improvement of the oil fields of their country. The prince agrees to go to college at Georgia Tech as long as he is able to attend the school as a normal college student. The plaintiff contends that her story has two plot lines. The first is about the political unrest in the home country of the prince and the other is his adventures while in America. It is the second plot line that the plaintiff states has been infringed upon by the movie.

The movie, “Coming to America” was released by the defendant as a romantic comedy and starts out on the prince’s 21st birthday. There is little detail regarding the country that the prince is from. As is custom of the country a wife has been chosen for the prince. He discovers that she is totally complacent and decides that this is not what he wants from a wife. He asks to be sent to America to find a wife that is independent and offers her own opinions. His father, the King, allows him to go. he prince is given 40 days to find a wife or he must return to his country and marry the woman that is chosen for him.

Case Discussion and Verdict

A Bronx Personal Injury Lawyer said that in cases of copyright violation it must be noted that the basic rights given by the law protects expression. However, ideas are not technically the proper subject under this law. Copyright infringement only exists if the protected expression is not appropriated correctly. In this case, the original ruling for summary judgment was based on the fact that the similarities of the book and the movie only concerned areas that were not covered by copyright law and that there was no way a jury would find that the book and the movie were substantially similar.

A summary judgment is proper in a case when there is no issue of material facts that the moving party is entitled to a judgment through the law. In this case, we rule in favor of the defendant. There is not a legitimate cause proven by the plaintiff in the matter. The previous ruling by the district court for a summary judgment in favor of the defendant will stand and the appeal for this case is dismissed.

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