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Netflix is widely recognized as the new age online subscription-based service providing the viewers a platform to stream movies and television programs, including those which have been created by Netflix itself. Netflix was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in the year 1997. Presently, Netflix is one of the most successful content streaming website having approximately 60 million subscribers from all over the world.
In addition to movies and television series produced by other production houses, Netflix also offers the viewers a number of Netflix original programs, including original series, stand-up comedies, miniseries, documentaries and films. One such Netflix original series that grabbed global recognition and international acclamation is ‘Narcos’. This series revolves around the life of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar who gained eminent reputation and became a billionaire through production and distribution of cocaine.
A copyright infringement lawsuit was instituted by the Columbian journalist and former lover of Pablo Escobar, Virginia Vallejo in January 2018, accusing the producer and distributers of the show with respect to infringement of two scenes from her memoir ‘Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar’. Virginia claimed that the producers copied two intimate scenes from her memoir, namely, “Caress of a Revolver” and “That Palace in Flames”. On the other hand, the defendants contended that Virginia had already assigned motion picture rights to Dean Nichols Productions for the film ‘Loving Pablo’ starring Penelope Cruz in the year 2017. Thus, Virginia’s deal with movie producers had divested her of standing and claiming for a copyright infringement lawsuit.
In May, a federal judge sheared her claims by stating that the alleged infringement in her book can’t be protected, however, the judge still allowed Virginia to proceed more meticulously with the suit. Further, in order to analyze the substantial similarity between Loving Pablo and Narcos, US District Court judge specially examined and created a deconstruction with respect to respective intimate scenes in each of the works.
Finally, after a number of attempts, Netflix and Gaumont Television retained their rights on the show after the judge dismissed the case much ahead of the potential trial. The Judge concluded by saying that “Themes of power and manipulation would be expected in any work about a ruthless criminal who rises to become one of the richest men in the world, as would themes of men who are both good and evil, which can be found throughout literature.”