My Name Is Earl wasn't stolen

Writer loses court battle

A writer who claimed the sitcom My Name Is Earl was stolen from his idea has lost a lawsuit against America’s NBC network.

Mark Gable launched his legal action three years ago, alleging that the sitcom ripped off his script Karma, which he touted around to TV bosses in 1995.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, he claimed that like My Name Is Earl, his idea revolved around a lottery-winner who uses the money to make amends for past bad behaviour in order to get good karma.

But a Los Angeles district court judge dismissed the case after ruling that the two shows were not substantially similar.

The decision was made in February, but now an appeal court has upheld the ruling, saying: ‘The superficial points of comparison between Karma and Earl gleaned haphazardly from three seasons of the television series donot rise to the level of substantial similarity.’

Published: 19 Jun 2011

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