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White Wolf sue Sony for Underworld
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.”
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.