Judge sides with ‘Outer Banks’ creator and Netflix, dismisses lawsuit

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 4:09 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A federal judge has granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against media company Netflix, along with brothers, Josh and Jonas Pate — the creators of the show “Outer Banks” — which was filed by a North Carolina author who says the show infringed on the copyrights of his own book.

Kevin Wooten is the author of the book “Pennywise: The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure!, which was published in 2016. Copies of the book were sold in Wilmington and, according to the lawsuit, that is where Wooten suspects the show’s creators got the idea for the show.

However, attorneys representing Netflix said that the novel and the show ‘differ significantly’ while admitting that both storylines share commonalities.

“To be sure, both works involve shipwrecks and treasure hunts. But to analyze their plots at such a high level of abstraction would render every work involving a hunt for buried treasure susceptible to copyright infringement,” according to the lawsuit.

Ultimately, the judge issued an order to dismiss the case with prejudice.

“Having found that the two works here are not substantially similar as a matter of law, Defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted with prejudice. The Clerk is directed to close this case,” the judge’s order reads.

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