‘Assassination’ claim rejected

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‘Assassination’ claim rejected

The Seoul Central District Court dismissed an injunction request from novelist Choi Jong-rim to prohibit further screening of the historical action flick “Assassination,” which he claimed was plagiarized from his book.

The court rejected the injunction on Wednesday, ruling that there are no similarities between the historical blockbuster and Choi’s 2003 novel “Korean Memories.”

“An abstract summary of the provisional government dispatching an assassination team in Joseon is in the realm of ideas which cannot be protected by copyright laws,” the court said.

“The female protagonist who appears in the novel and Ahn Ok-yun from ‘Assassination’ are depicted in completely different ways, and unlike in the film, the assassination plan doesn’t take up a major part of the novel,” the ruling went on.

It also added that supporting characters in the film such as Kim Koo and Kim Won-bong are real historical figures who fought for independence, and hence cannot be viewed as a source of similarity between the two works.

Writer Choi filed an injunction against the production company on Aug. 10 seeking to ban the screening of the film, which opened nationwide on July 22 and has been seen by more than 10 million moviegoers so far.

He also filed a 10 billion won ($8.5 million) lawsuit against the production company, as well as its distributor, Showbox, and director Choi Dong-hoon for damages.

“Accusing a screening film of plagiarism or copyright infringement without firm evidence only harms the film’s creative value and defames the screenwriter,” the production company said. “In particular, spreading groundless rumors through the media even before filing an official suit has caused mental harm to the director and screenwriter,”

By Jin Eun-soo
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