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Owners of ‘Rear Window’ Source Material Finally Bring Themselves to Watch ‘Disturbia,’ Sue

A lawsuit filed yesterday in a Manhattan federal court alleges that Disturbia, the pre-Transformers Shia LaBeouf–starring binocular thriller that made $80 million at the box office last year, is a ripoff of Hitchcock's Rear Window, something practically everyone pointed out immediately upon the movie's release. DreamWorks, Viacom, and Universal, as well as executive producer Steven Spielberg, are accused of infringing on copyright for shooting Disturbia without first seeking permission from the trust that owns Murder From a Fixed Viewpoint, the Cornell Woolrich short story on which Window is based.

"What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly, legitimately and legally, (they) have done surreptitiously, by their back-door use of the Rear Window story without paying compensation," says the lawsuit. No matter what the eventual outcome, though, lawyers for all parties agree that the damage has already been done and that Shia LaBeouf is now famous and hilariously perceived as bankable.

Spielberg ripped off Hitchcock classic: lawsuit [Reuters]

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount