As FishbowlLA reported earlier today, the gist of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by Penske Media Corporation (PMC) against Prometheus Global Media involves the alleged web programming similarities between respective parent company properties TVLine.com and HollywoodReporter.com.
However, for many Hollywood watchers who take the time to read the full legal complaint, it is section 34 that will fascinate most. In this particular passage, attorneys for PMC detail 30 different instances of what they deem to be THR‘s illicit reproduction of Deadline.com original news reporting.
Some of the plagiarism accusations are highly questionable. For example, how can a September 1 Deadline.com news story by Nellie Andreeva about a Claudia Lonow ABC pilot have been absorbed, re-purposed and posted at HollywoodReporter.com within three minutes flat? Doesn’t this very short time lapse instead confirm the idea that both outlets were simultaneously but independently working on the same story?
On the other hand, the next-to-last item in section 34, also involving former THR staffer Andreeva, is potentially much more troublesome. PMC attorneys claim that after she randomly combined two unrelated script sale tidbits into a single item, the same unified reporting POV popped up on THR.
Update – 09/14/11: The Hollywood Reporter has posted a response to the PMC lawsuit on its website.