World Intellectual Property Review reports that famed composer Hans Zimmer, along with a number of associated co-defendants, was sued last week, in federal court in the Central District of California, for copyright infringement over his Golden Globe-nominated score of the film 12 Years a Slave. The plaintiff, fellow composer Richard Friedman, alleges that aspects of Zimmer’s score were unlawfully copied from a Friedman composition entitled To Our Fallen, which was featured on an episode of Desperate Housewives in 2008. Friedman further alleges that the music for that episode “was recorded at Remote Control Productions, a recording facility owned in whole or in part by Defendant Hans Zimmer, as was all or most of the musical score for [12 Years a Slave].” Interestingly, Friedman’s complaint includes claims for copyright infringement and violation of moral rights under the copyright laws of Germany and France, in addition to the claims under U.S. law. Friedman is seeking monetary damages under U.S., German, and French copyright law, and further requests “that all videograms and phonorecords embodying the copyrighted portions of the Works be delivered up and destroyed,” under the court’s direction. Zimmer and the other co-defendants have not yet filed a response to Friedman’s complaint, but it seems extremely unlikely that the suit will result in the forced destruction of every copy of the film and score distributed worldwide. Read the full article here, and Friedman’s complaint here.
Reposted from World Intellectual Property Review.