The creators of the musical Jersey Boys have been found guilty of copyright infringement. A US court ruled that part of the show’s book had been copied.
The musical, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, has been running in the West End since 2008 and on Broadway since 2005.
But only now it is alleged that director Des McAnuff and writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice took portions of the story without permission from an unpublished autobiography of Four Seasons member Tommy DeVito.
A US federal court in Nevada ruled that 10% of the show’s success can be attributed to the copied material.
The lawsuit was instigated by the widow of Rex Woodward, author of the autobiography. According to court documents, 11 similarities were found between the book and the musical, including dialogue surrounding songs, characterisation and the description of some scenes.
Next on the agenda: the damages. Since Jersey Boys has been a highly popular musical for years, damages could be quite high.
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