Moving Pictures
Sep 09, 2008, 09:12AM

The Entrepreneurial Estate

Steven Spielberg's "Disturbia"—with perpetually coiffed Shi LaBeouf—is facing a copyright lawsuit from the estate of Sheldon Abend, the man who bought the rights to Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film "Rear Window." Sheldon's estate (the man himself is no longer with us) seeks unspecified damages for what looks like a lifting of "Rear Window" 's basic plot. And we thought JK Rowling's lawsuit was the more ridiculous news we heard today.

The copyright infringement lawsuit, filed Monday in Manhattan, says "Disturbia" copied a short story Cornell Woolrich wrote in 1942 and the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie that starred James Stewart and Grace Kelly and was based on the story.

Woolrich died in 1968. The rights to "Rear Window" were sold to Sheldon Abend, who died in 2003. His estate brought the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.


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