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The LOST Lawsuit – My Opinion

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost
  Comments: 45

Okay, hold your emails.  Yes I know about the delusional ass Anthony Spinner is suing ABC claiming he created LOST.  Before I give you my opinion I’m going to warn you, I’m going to be brutally frank about this.  It is the only way I can be about something this ludicrous, particularly after the vultures in the media have had the gall to spin it as being remotely possible.  You’ve been warned:

It is complete, utter, f******g b*** s*** – and worse yet, an offense to writers everywhere.

First off, Spinner relies on a list of character similarities to prove his script was stolen.  This is un-freaking-believable, since LOST’s writers have openly admitted to using some fairly basic archetypes for their characters, the same characters can be found en masse in any number of television shows.  The point is, the basic contours of the characters do not establish who they are, that is a matter of story.

Where is the story Mr. Spinner?  Is this really about people crashing on a desert island?  Is that the key similarity?  Because if so, you have a minor problem: that story is so old, and so overdone that it has its own genre – the Robinsonade, which goes back to the 1700’s.

A lot of the similarities can be explained by simple logic. Let’s say you are given the opportunity to create a show like LOST, based around castaways on an island yadda. yadda.  One of your tasks as a writer is to create a scenario that is going to last.  To do that, you need to immediately disarm a few issues that could kill the credibility of the show.  What if people get sick/infections?  Easy, cast a Doctor.  What about food?  Have an experienced hunter.

I guess what really irks me the most, though, is the fact that this douchebag thinks that LOST is all about these meaningless character traits.  Guess what, none of the characters on LOST are incredibly imaginative in their basic construction.  There are plenty of stories that feature doctors, conmen, hunters, and so on.  What makes LOST great is the individual stories that have been layered onto these archetypes since the first season, and the mind-rending mythology that has served as a backdrop to it all.

And this dude thinks he deserves some credit here because he thought of “killing off lead characters”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a blind zealot here – there are definitely enough similarities to make you say hmmm, but at the end of the day here is how I see the facts:

  • The similarity in genre – ie castaway tale – not even remotely noteworthy because the genre has been used extensively anyways.  Does Blue Lagoon owe him money too? Castaway? Maybe if he wins he’ll split his pot with the creators of Gilligan’s Island, since he obviously stole his concept from them just replaced the minnow with an airplane.
  • The similarities in character type are not noteworthy, UNLESS the actions and general plot-lines were substantially similar.  As for the romantic tension, if he thinks he invented the love-triangle, he’s worse off than I thought.
  • The other factors of mysterious “others” and bizarre animals… please.  How is a Sabre Tooth Tiger, an extinct animal, comparable to a polar bear?  Because it is out of place?  Well, how about this: Mysterious Island, Jules Verne… giant fricken crabs, sinister and elusive natives, an orangutan named Joop. So old, it is public domain.

I guess the worst part of this whole scenario is the fact that respectable media outlets like TMZ [snicker] present this whole fiasco as if there is a snowball’s chance in hell that there is a shred of truth to it.  LOST will not be the last piece of fiction to feature castaways on an island running into bizarre things,  it will merely be the best of a vast genre with a long-long history.


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From TVFrenzy:

  • Didn’t Jeff Lieber already beat Spinner to this? Spinner even stole the idea of claiming LOST is his from someone else!

  • Chaz

    What makes this even more ridiculous is the fact this guy waited until 5 seasons of the show had aired to make mention this. You’d think he would’ve brought this up sooner.

    • docarzt

      He’s obviously a hack and can’t get any work.

    • ShoNuff

      He did (bring it up earlier), but the case was dismissed for procedural reasons, apparently.

  • Warhorse

    Spinner also sued in 2005 and it was dismissed over procedural missteps.

  • The list of stuff on TMZ is funny. According to Spinner there were probably only about 5 people on his “show.”

  • Ament

    I read that this guy apparently came up with the idea 3 decades ago I mean there has to be statute of limitations regarding publication of ideas that didn’t make it. We know his idea didn’t exactly pan out if it was 30 years ago so now we’ll blame an idea that made the grade. I think someone needs to “let it go”.

    • Ed Holden

      This happens occasionally in Hollywood. The Matrix and Terminator franchises have been sued by a screenwriter who wrote an apocalyptic machines-take-over-the-world screenplay years ago and claims the Wachowskis and James Cameron ripped it off. This dragged out for years and I have no idea how it ended.

      The only way it could have any merit is if Spinner worked with JJ on the idea, or told JJ the idea, but was dismissed or something before the show was made. But still, even then, an idea is not as remarkable a thing as we like to think. Ideas are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. It’s really the execution that’s valuable – the specific screenplays/teleplays, the production quality, distribution, acting, etc. Spinner contributed none of that.

  • He tried to write the show 30 years ago, so it would have been infant JJ Abrams.

    Also, as far as I can tell, he wrote this for ABC. Wouldn’t ABC own it from then on? So that would make the point moot, even though we know how ridiculous it is anyway.

    • Taller_Ghost_Charlie

      What if JJ flashed into the past and worked with spinner under an assumed identity. When he saw what a gold mine he had, he tried to get everyone against spinner’s “idea” so he would take it for himself 30 years later. Or spinner could just be a bloody Jacka**.

  • Zeke

    Doc-I love your work, but I have to disagree with you on this one. I read the list of similarities in the court papers. That lengthy list, coupled with the fact that Spinner pitched the show to ABC three times, gives him a good case. I am a lawyer, and I would take that case any day in the week.

    Contrary to what you and the previous comments claim, the similarities and numerous and quite specific. The thing that makes the case for me is the claim that Spinner thought up the idea of off-island flashbacks to develop the characters’ story lines. There is an excellent book called “Desperate Networks” that details, among other things, ABC’s development of LOST as a series. In the book, the author says that for ABC, the single, totally original idea that ulitmately sold the show was J.J. Abrams’ unique idea of using off-island flashbacks to develop the characters’ story lines. If it turns out that the idea wasn’t original, I think Spinner wins, and wins big.

    But, that aside, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Spinner DID invent LOST. Has anyone thought about contacting him and finding out how the story ends and what was really going on (in his version)? Might give some insight into how the real LOST comes out, or at least generate a new theory.

    PS: I just got back from Australia. Before boarding the flight back to California from Sydney, I bought a lottery ticket for the $90,000,000.00 Australia lottery. My lucky numbers-1-4-8-15-16-23-42. The flight back got very turbulent. I was just certain that I had bought a ticket to the Island!

    • jon

      Let me know how many of the executives for ABC were there 30 years ago.

    • docarzt

      I understand where you are coming from, however I still say this: you have to compare story to story. You can isolate tiny bits of stories, characters, etc, and find them in just about anything. Most of the similarities are basic story telling. Some of it is just asinine. Most transpacific flights coming to the US stop in LA, for instance. Not compelling. Characters with mysterious backgrounds? Come on. Gilligan’s island compares well if you widdle away the obvious comparisons:

      A man of science uses his skills to help keep the castaways alive. (Did you know the “professor” is a doctor? Not an MD, but we could stick that in there.)

      A shallow beauty refuses to give up her glamor in the wake of the tragedy. (Ginger).

      A seemingly wholesome brunette conceals an intelligent and manipulative side. (Mary ann, hey she used her feminine wiles on Gilligan more than once!)

    • Ryan

      I seem to remember watching the Making of LOST documentary and JJ Abrams saying that he would only do Lost if he could make the Island a character. You bring up Abrams’ idea of using flash backs to tell the story as the single thing that sold the idea to ABC, well the Island being a character was the single thing that sold it to Abrams. That wasn’t Spinner’s idea.

      As Doc said the points where Spinner’s Lost and ABC’s Lost intersect are along pretty general primetime TV drama archetype lines. Lets not pretend Lost “invented” characters with a shadowy past and flash backs. The fact that Lost takes place on a pacific island and that MOST of the main characters got there via plane crash is not what makes Lost the show that it is. Things like the Dharma Initiative, the Egyptian mythology that permeates the shadowy history of an island which is always moving through time and space and the SPECIFIC qualities of characters like Jacob, Richard, Ben, Locke, Sawyer, Jack etc. are all the things that makes it compelling television. These components of the show are unique to the Lost that’s been on TV since 2004, not the Lost that was rejected by ABC three different times in 30 years. It’s not the framework of people being stranded on an Island after a plane crash that makes us love Lost, it’s all the stuff that Spinner DID NOT “come up with” that makes us love it.

      • docarzt

        Right, Spinner’s biggest problem is he relies on the basis of the story to prove his point – but he’s chosen a genre with thousands of examples that predate his story. He’d have to have the character story outlined and a substantial amount of the mythological inventory in pretty precise and meaningful moves. There are plagiarism cases that look a lot better than this one being lost every day. I’ll give him this, his put it together in a way that would certainly move a hearing forward, but no court is going to find for him on the basis of an outline bursting with recycled archetypes. He needs to establish that he had a core element that was creative and original that was taken, the island bit with animals that don’t belong, love triangles, and even drug addicts aren’t going to cut it because these are all commonly used character archetypes. Which, by the way, most were culled from The Stand and Dark Tower, but Lindelof and JJ’s own admissions.

        http://www.tvscifi.com/content/view/35/37/

  • Back in 2003 I thought up a story in which a group of people are marooned on a desert island and get killed off one by one. Does this mean I can sue too?

    Also, when I was younger I daydreamed about being a kid by day and a pop star by night.

    If I could sue Disney (and win) claiming I created LOST and Hannah Montana, I would be rich!!!

  • jacksbeard

    ABC owes me money too, then. When i was a kid, i drew a picture of a black smoke near a Statue. Where’s my paycheck? They ripped-off my charater, Mr. Smoky Pants and my giant Giraffe Statue! I want my money! LoL

  • Lazioinb

    YOU ALL EVERYBODY!!! IT IS NOT TRUE, IT’S A JJ PROMO FOR S6!!
    That’s Hurley in 1977 that writes down S6 like he tried with Star Wars’ Empire episode (Hoth)!
    I’m tracking down the pdf to check similarities with S1: I believe there are differences with S1, so to give us clues for the upcoming season.
    JJ IS A MF GENIUS!

  • Zeke

    I’m telling you, guys, infringement cases have been won with a lot less evidence than Spinner has. All of you may have had your little ideas, as you say, but you didn’t call them LOST, you didn’t write a treatment for TV and you didn’t pitch it three times to the network that ultimately put the show on the air.

    But what do I know? I’m just a lawyer, and I always thought “Deep Space 9” was a rip off of “Babylon 5!” Lawyers are so paranoid. Just because the creators of Babylon 5 pitched the show to Paramount and Paramount came out with “DS-9” a couple years later. I should have seen that the two shows were REALLY DIFFERENT. One used a “5.” The other used a “9.” And just because the two shows are set in outer space-everybody’s done that. That doesn’t prove ANYTHING. Everybody’s done that. Paramount couldn’t possibly have borrowed Strazynski’s plot, right?

    However-I do like the idea that Spinner is a real life Hurley who was sent back to the ’70’s to write LOST, pitch it to ABC and ultimately inspire JJ without getting any credit. Maybe the storyline could be that Spinner was on the Island, like fellow author Gary Troupe. His brilliant idea was ruthlessly suppressed to prevent a time paradox (has anybody checked the corporate ties between ABC and the Hanso Foundation? We know that Hanso has been a big sponsor of commercials on ABC before. Sponsors wield a lot of power in TV.) Maybe they will have Spinner show up at the LOST panel at Comic-Con and do a “LOST is real” from the audience a la Rachel Blake of the first ARG.

    • Ryan

      I think there’s two issues here though – and, with respect, you’re ignoring the one that is outraging most of the people on this thread. I think there is a good chance that Spinner will end up with some money out of all this but, should that happen, it will be a complete insult to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Whether or not he wins an infringement case is a complete different thing from whether or not he created Lost in the 1970s. He very obviously DID NOT create the show of which I have the first four seasons on DVD. That this hack is trying to profit off of other people’s hard work strikes me as being very wrong. Remember, this show originated from Jeffrey Lieber’s “Survivor the series” idea. If you’re now going to say that it originated from Spinner’s pilot then we need to take back some money from Mr. Lieber – the other person who “invented” Lost but didn’t really.

      Are networks above nefarious activity such as stealing ideas from rejected pilots? Of course not! But I don’t think that’s what happened here. Lost started with a very general “stranded in the middle of nowhere with no help of ever escaping” storyline. That’s part of the brilliance. Their show (they being Damon and Carlton NOT Spinner or Lieber for that matter) is essentially a model on how to write a damn good essay. Start with generalities to bring the audience in, hint at points that you will explore later and then gradually get more specific. The upside down triangle approach. It doesn’t appear to me as though an ABC exec said “Uhh, hey JJ we have this script that we’ve rejected a few times but there are some ideas we really like so, uhh can you just, i don’t know…weird it up a bit so it doesn’t really SEEM like it’s the same show? Thanks.”

      If this guy wins his case then I will lead the charge for Kurosawa, the Pope and Alex Raymond to sue George Lucas for infringing on the Seven Samurai, the Bible and Flash Gordon for Star Wars. I mean, all he did was put all that shit in space…

      • Zeke

        Ryan-You make a very good argument, but I stilll disgree with you. First, whether a judgment against ABC would be a “insult to Lindelof and Cruse” begs the question.

        If, on the one hand, all the basic ideas that L&C used are in Spinner’s treatment, then L&C are taking credit for ideas that they didn’t create. If someone really did steal your ideas, pointing out that fact is not insulting them, it exposing them!

        On the other hand, if L&C did add significant ideas to the show as it developed (which I believe is the case), the judgment would not take any credit away from them for the ideas that they actually created.

        Second, your argument, like that made by DocArtz himself and many of the commentators, is basically a straw man argument. You point out that both “LOST’s” have similarities to many other stories and then jump to the conclusion that there therefore cannot have been infringement.

        To illustrate: Some of the commentators say “Well, both stories happen on an Island.” Big deal, lots of stories happen on a island. That doesn’t mean that everybody who writes an island story can sue LOST.”

        It a question of the number and specificity of the similarities. There are, for example, lots of of TV shows about doctors (too damn many, in fact). If I come out with new doctor show, I can’t necessarily be sued by every producer of every doctor show. But, if I call my show “Grey’s Anatomy” and set it a hospital in Seattle, and center the show around a group of interns including a young blonde named “Grey” and a handsome “Dr. McSteamy” and replicate all the other main characters of the existing ABC show, I think you would have to agree that I would be in a lot of trouble.

        The problem is that we have not read Spinner’s treatment. I,for one,would love to do that. If it was a thorough as JJ’s original treatment, it would outline the whole plot all the way up to the end! If the two LOST’s reach the identical conclusion, we would know who’s telling the truth. In any event, it would make interesting reading-no?

      • tabula rasa

        Dude, don’t try and reason with a lawyer, I am married to one(though she would say this cas is BS). Is he a lawyer? He’s only said so five or six times. Anyway, they never give in, they are trained to argue and hopelessly arrogant. They know more than. He won’t admit that this Spinner dude is strictly out for cash because he is broke due to the bad economy. But, you can’t blame Spinner, after all there are many lawyers out there who are cash hungry too and have no problem chasing down frivolous cases.

  • Ryan

    As for your last question it would certainly be an interesting read!

    You make a very good counter argument (are you a lawyer or something?) and yeah there is a lot of straw man going on here. Speaking from a strictly legal point of view it is certainly going to be hard for ABC’s lawyers to prove that ” a script called “Lost” about plane crash survivors on a tropical island that the network had in its possession didn’t influence a show called “Lost” about plane crash survivors on a tropical island” (warmingglow.com…I just liked the way it was worded).

    BUT (pauses for dramatic effect after making his concession to give the following argument more credibility)

    I’m honestly asking here, don’t you think that some of his claims are a little too general to be considered intellectual property? I understand your claim of “it’s how many similarities and how specific” but in reading his list of grievances I felt that the vast majority of them were essentially general archetypes that have appeared on television, in movies and in books countless times. Doesn’t it hurt his case a little that the “specific” similarities between his Lost and ABC’s Lost are really general examples? Things like a character experiencing racism from another character but then finding themselves involved in a tryst with a sexy vixen aren’t exactly original ideas. (If you tacked on “…who had an incestuous one off drunk love in with her step brother” after ‘sexy vixen’ then Spinner’s got something)

    I dislike your Grey’s Anatomy example because you’re talking about a show that is actually on television and watched by millions of people. It would be logical to think that if you called your show Grey’s Anatomy and set it in Seattle that you would have stolen many ideas from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. However, given that ABC’s Lost is a show written, conceived and produced by people who don’t approve or disapprove of scripts I don’t think it’s entirely logical to believe that JJ, Damon and Carlton had their fingers in Mr. Spinner’s pie.

    Ew. That last bit sounded gross. Unintentional I promise.

    Oh also, what exactly constitutes “procedural reasons”? What would have caused Spinner’s initial case to get thrown out in your estimation?

    • Zeke

      Nicely put. “Procedural Reasons” would be things that had nothing to do with merits of Spinner’s case i.e. things like jurisdiction-if he filed his papers in the wrong court for example.

      Whether the similarities are sufficiently numerous and specific is a classical jury question. Personally, If I were representing Spinner, I would be up for some creative negotiation. As I suggested, have Spinner show up at Comic Con as a LOST character in an ARG, and pay him some money.

      Or how about this? Actually produce the pilot for LOST and weave it into the real LOST as a TV show in the LOST universe, like the Star Trek creators did with their original pilot for the first Star Trek series (the on starring Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Pike. They could pitch it as a series inspired by the crash of Flight 815 and story of the Oceanic 6. Have Hurley watch an episode in a flash forward or something. Could be cool, but probably not enough time left to stick it in S6. Oh Well.

      • Ryan

        That sounds so much more fun that what this is no doubt going to turn into. Offer pro bono legal counsel! Get on his legal team! Make this happen!

  • steve

    I have seen the original treatment. It’s pretty close to what we now know as LOST.

    He was paid by ABC to create a story, which he did, and ABC passed on it. The story still belongs to ABC.

    That’s show biz.

    • Zeke

      Steve-No kidding? You have seen the original treatment? How far does it go? Does it reveal (Spinner’s version of) how the story will end? Does it reveal what’s really going on with Island? Is there an equivalent of the Dharma Initiative or the Others? As mentioned, it would be fascinating to know Spinner’s version of the story, even if it turns out not to be one that goes on the air

      How did you get hold of the treatment? Can you put it online?

    • Zeke

      Steve-If, as you say, Spinner wrote the script while employed by ABC, or ABC bought the rights, then Spinner is, indeed SOL. But that still would not mean that the ideas were original with the “creators” of what we know as LOST.

      I am curious: You seem to have inside info on this. If Spinner has no rights the script, what is the basis of the suit. Is there some contractual basis for residuals if ABC produces a series based on the Spinner script or what?

  • JacobIsLight

    Personally I think with comic-con coming, this is all a big ruse. He wrote it in 1977, huh? What year are our Losties trapped in? 1977. He first lawsuit came in ’05 after the first season when we thought that there would only be one or two more seasons left. It was dismissed shortl afet the annoucement that their would be atleast 4 seasons of LOST. I have 3 letters for everyone: ARG.

  • JacobIsLight

    here is a link to the man’s filed paperwork:

    http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/0713_lost.pdf

    • JacobIsLight

      ya know just in case Im wrong about the whole ARG thing…

  • Scott

    If I had $1 for each time that Zeke said “I’m a lawyer” to bolster his argument that Spinner has a good claim, I’d be rich.

    As for Spinner’s evidence — no one has seen any. A pleading isn’t evidence, it’s an allegation.

    And, if Spinner’s case were simply dismissed for jurisdictional issues five years ago, it seems somewhat implausible that it took five years to perfect the jurisdictional flaw with his case.

    Finally, and it isn’t dispositive of anything, but if Anthony Spinner had a legitimate claim, there would be significant damages available, and he would have hired a more reputable attorney to handle his case.

    • Zeke

      Gee, Scott-I looked over my messages, and the only time I can see that I mentioned being a lawyer was when I said “I’m just a lawyer, what do I know?” If I were trying to bolster an argument, I sure would do a better job than that. You are never going to get rich that way.

      You’re right, a pleading isn’t evidence, it’ only an allegation. I think that it is clear that this entire discussion is couched in terms of “if Spinner can prove what he claims.”

      I don’t know about the “more reputible attorney” part. Who did he hire? (I haven’t seen the court papers yet) The fact is that not everyone can hire a five star lawyer. As Micheal’s lawyer said on the show, you get “the best you can afford.” Usually, you wind up picking a lawyer that was referred by a friend. Trust me on this, I know, I’m a lawyer.

      • Iwantmykidneyback

        “If I had $1 for each time that Zeke said ‘I’m a lawyer’ to bolster his argument that Spinner has a good claim, I’d be rich.”

        “Trust me on this, I know, I’m a lawyer”. hahahahahahahahaha now that’s great irony!

        • Ryan

          Yeah I’m pretty sure he was playing up the “I’m a lawyer” thing with this post. Some call it “kidding around”.

          And don’t even get me started on how that’s not ironic 😉

      • If I had a dollar for every time Zeke included the word ‘lawyer’ in his posts on this page, I’d have $9. W00t!

        And 6 of those 9 bucks would have come from this post after it was pointed out by Steve that Zeke says that he’s a lawyer too often.

  • Zeke

    There is a fundamental contradiction in the arguments made by those commentators who claim that Spinner has no case.

    On the one hand, you have said for 5 years that LOST is an innovative, genre bending, breakthrough drama. (I am assuming that you are all fans, and that you didn’t wander onto this website by accident!)

    On the other hand,now that the lawsuit has emerged, you argue that LOST is nothing more that a collection cliches and warmed-over plot devices that basically anyone could have thought up. Even Doc,himself, is now arguing that LOST is just a slightly upgraded version of “Gilligan’s Island.”

    Really, guys, you can’t have it both ways.

    • Ha, a good observation but I am, as is custom, going to have to disagree.

      We are all saying that Lost STARTED as a collection of archetypes and has ABSTRACTED from that to become the show we all love. I’d like to reiterate here my example of Lost as a model for a good essay; you start with generalities to draw in the audience and then you gradually ramp up the specificity of the supporting evidence for your thesis. In Lost’s case just replace “specificity of supporting evidence” to “complexity of the plot/characters”.

      • Zeke

        Ryan-An excellent effort at synthesizing apparently contradictory positions. I certainly get that you can start with an archetypal idea and put your own stamp on it to make a great original epic. (For example: George Lucas is quite explicit about taking the framework of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” and putting the paradigmatic hero story in outer space. Gene Roddenberry’s pitch memo for “Star Trek” read “Wagon Train in Outer Space.”)

        But here’s my problem: many of the specifics that are so unique and innovative in LOST are also contained in the show that Spinner claims to have developed (at least according to the one document that has been put online.) Steve says that he has seen Spinner’s actual treatment and that it is pretty close to the LOST that we know.

        The specifics are so numerous, and so particular to LOST, that it makes me suspicious. I would not be surprised on Saturday to find out that this has all be a set-up for some twisted new ARG. I wouldn’t be unhappy to find that out either.

        • Zeke-Or for another example, I remember reading in a “How to Write Spec Script” book that Alien was originally pitched simply as “Jaws in space”.

          I understand what you’re saying completely though. While I do remain firmly entrenched in the “the specifics are a little too general” camp I can certainly see the merit in your argument.

          Here’s something that hasn’t been touched on though: How would you feel about the show if Spinner wins his case? Would you feel disappointed? Betrayed? No feeling at all? I for one would only be upset if it was conclusively proven that JJ, Damon, Carlton et al had access to Spinner’s script and culled ideas from it. Apart from that I don’t think I would really care. I know a woman sued and won an infringement case for “The Matrix” and “Terminator” and that hasn’t tarnished either of those two cinematic jewels for me. (For those who are unfamiliar: http://tinyurl.com/q7smsa)

          Although if this does turn out to be an ARG…greatest publicity stunt ever.

          • Zeke

            Ryan-If Spinner did turn out to be the mastermind behind LOST, it would not make any difference in terms of my feelings about LOST itself. The show is one of the most creative to come along in decades. There is no question that it has broken new ground, transcending the boundaries between “sci-fi” and “mainstream” TV drama.

            If “Hamlet” turned out to have been written by Francis Bacon instead of William Shakespeare, it would still be a work of genius.

            But a Spinner victory would change my perception of JJ, Damon and Carlton. They have long been on my list of coolest people on earth. If that turns out to have been based on false pretense, I would be very disappointed.

            Personally, I am hoping for the ARG scenario. It would be a kick to see LOST as re-visioned by another talented writer.

            I think it would be totally cool for the LOST crew to show up at Comic Con with a pilot for an alternate universe LOST with credits reading “created by Anthony Spinner, Copyright 1977.” Then they could start a storyline about finding the “Bible” for a show called LOST floating in a sea chest in the South Pacific and slowly leak the plot over the summer, leading up to “and, in the final episode we learn that…” which would be leaked the day before S6 premieres. Episode 6.1 could be laced with cross references to the story in the ARG and the two stories could diverge from there.

            At the same time, they could build up a story around Spinner about being on a flight from Sydney, or a sailing vacation near Fiji or whatever. Suddenly he encounters a furious storm and wakes up on a mysterious island…. He makes it back to civilization, tries to produce a story based upon his experience. He gets as far as producing a low-budget pilot, but is ruthlessly suppressed by a mysterious organization, which buys up all his scripts and all copies of the pilot because it unwittingly reveals secrets for which the world is not ready (like, maybe, the existenc of and solution to the Valenzetti Equation and the date of the end of the world!)

            Oh. well: I guess we’ll see how this plays out on Saturday.

            By the way: Is anyone planning to ask the Saturday panel about the lawsuit?

            You probably would want someone who knows how to cross examine, so they won’t be able to squirm out of answering.

            I could do it. Did I mention that I’m a lawyer?

  • steve

    Guys….if ABC paid Spinner for his treatment, then it was more than likely registered with the Writer’s Guild, West.

    You can call them and I’m pretty sure they can provide you with a copy of his work for a fee. This IS one of the functions of the Writer’s Guild – to establish ownership through a registry. I’m sure they have had requests already….

  • Beena

    While this idiot’s lawsuit may pan out to some victory in a court of law, it is just ridiculous for him to claim his very generalized character ideas were stolen by anyone, since they were character types that have been around forever. Likewise that the concept of being stranded on an island is somehow his original and unique copyrighted idea. There are certain generalized things that aren’t protected by copyright laws. For instance, I can paint a picture of a dolphin, and the picture itself is protected. But in no way does that mean if someone else goes out and paints their own rendition of a dolphin, that they have infringed on my copyright. I don’t own the copyright on the dolphin itself, just my own rendering of it. This guy has to be a complete egomaniac to think that he is the only person who ever had an idea about a story of people stranded on an island. Give me a f@*&^%% break.

    Even Captain Jack Sparrow was once stranded on an island with some angry natives…(LOL)

  • The interior of the car should be carefully looked over as well. Look for any cigarette burn holes, markings, stains on the carpet and check out the front compartments as well. Take a look at the cup holders as these may be in disrepair and are not an item that most people tend to focus on.

  • I am unable to belive how a lot of an asshole this person can be.