Safe! Judge Dismisses Art of Fielding Copyright Lawsuit

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The literary lawsuit involving Chad Harbach’s baseball drama The Art of Fielding has been dismissed. Judge Alvin Hellerstein, of the Southern District of New York, found that plagiarism claim brought by the restaurateur and writer Charles Green — who said that Harbach’s book was “substantially similar” to his unpublished college baseball novel, Bucky’s 9th — was without merit. “Having reviewed the two relevant works in their entirety, I find that they are not substantially similar,” the court’s decision read, “and do not therefore support a claim for copyright infringement.”

The court’s dismissal puts an end to Green’s plagiarism accusations, which have plagued Harbach’s book for years. “We are gratified with the court’s dismissal of the ill-founded copyright claim over Chad Harbach’s novel The Art of Fielding,” publisher Little, Brown and Company said in a statement. “The judge ruled that any similarities were trivial details, ‘not copyrightable abstract ideas, or, when understood in context, not actually similar.’ We are happy to see this case come to an end with such decisive support of Chad, whose award-winning novel garnered extraordinary acclaim when it was published in 2011 and continues to captivate readers.”

Update: Charles Green has provided the following statement to Vulture regarding the status of his lawsuit. “I have carefully reviewed Judge Hellerstein’s opinion dismissing the complaint for copyright infringement and I am greatly disappointed with the result. I respectfully disagree with the Judge’s conclusion that the two works are not substantially similar and his earlier decision not to allow me to amend my complaint. Therefore, I intend to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.”

Safe! Judge Dismisses Art of Fielding Copyright Lawsuit