Beyonce Triumphs in ‘Lemonade’ Copyright Lawsuit

Filmmaker Matthew Fulks claimed HBO special infringed on his work, but a judge saw things differently

Last Updated: September 1, 2016 @ 12:11 PM

The Beyhive is no doubt buzzing with the sound of victory today.

Beyonce has emerged triumphant in a copyright lawsuit brought against her over her sensation “Lemonade,” with a federal district judge in New York granting the singer’s motion to dismiss.

In June, North Carolina filmmaker Matthew Fulks filed suit against Beyonce, along with Sony, HBO and others, claiming that the trailer for Beyonce’s HBO film and the subsequent film itself infringed on his 2014 project “Palinoia.”

Fulks claimed that the two works bore substantial similarities, “including, but not limited to, the ‘Palinoia’ work’s visual and auditory elements, visual and auditory sequence, themes, format, mood, setting plot and pace, all of which create a protectable total concept and feel.”

Beyonce’s legal team fired back in July, stating that the suit should be tossed.

“[A] straightforward comparison of the parties’ works provides a textbook example of what does not constitute [a] legally cognizable claim of infringement,” a motion to dismiss the suit read.

“‘Palinoia’ is about a ‘tumultuous relationship’ that is now over. The protagonist is a white male and his former lover is a white blonde woman,” the motion reads. “The demise of their relationship is oblique, and is not tied to infidelity.”

“Lemonade,” meanwhile, “portrays the stages through which its African-American female protagonist goes in connection with an existing relationship, ending in reconciliation.”

On Wednesday, a judge sided with Beyonce and her fellow defendants, stating, “Upon full consideration of the parties’ briefs and oral arguments, the Court grants defendant’ motion.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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