Nov 23 Viacom Inc and the creators of
"Love & Hip Hop" have won the dismissal of a federal lawsuit
claiming they stole the idea for the popular VH1 reality TV
In a decision made public on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge
Dean Pregerson in Los Angeles said 8th Wonder Entertainment LLC,
Nickie Lum-Davis and Trisha Lum failed to show substantial
similarity between "Love & Hip Hop" and their "Hip Hop Wives."
The plaintiffs said they pitched their work in 2009 and
thought VH1 had given a green light, only to have the network
back away because it did not want another "urban" show with a
similar audience to its "Basketball Wives."
But they said the original "Love & Hip Hop," which premiered
in March 2011, ended up being "virtually identical" to "Hip Hop
Wives," and even featured one of its proposed cast members,
Chrissy Lampkin. The plaintiffs sought a variety of damages.
Pregerson, however, said much of "Hip Hop Wives" was based
on themes such as child-rearing, infidelity and legal troubles
that were already common in the "saturated" reality TV market,
including in the "Real Housewives" franchise.
"The court is able to identify few, if any, protectable
elements that would give rise to a claim for copyright
infringement," despite there being "a few random similarities
scattered throughout the work," Pregerson wrote.
James Bryant, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, was not
immediately available for comment on Wednesday.
Viacom did not immediately respond to requests for comment
on behalf of the New York-based company, its VH1 network and
producers of "Love & Hip Hop."
The case is 8th Wonder Entertainment LLC et al v. Viacom
International Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Central District
of California, No. 14-01748.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan