Sylvester Stallone wins copyright infringement case

Sylvester Stallone

Hollywood action star Sylvester Stallone did not steal the plot for "The Expendables" from another screenwriter, a federal judge has ruled.

Marcus Webb claimed that Stallone's screenplay for "The Expendables" was plagiarised from his own work called "The Cordoba Caper" which was also about a group of American mercenaries on a Latin-American rescue mission, the New York Post reported.

In legal papers, Webb apparently claimed that both stories had 20 "striking similarities". Stallone claimed he never saw Webb's script.

The 66-year-old "Rocky" star said that he based his draft on a script called 'Barrow' by David Callaham who ultimately received co-writer credit for "The Expendables".

One of the similarities was that both screenplays featured a villain named General Garza but the judge noted that "Garza is a common Hispanic surname."

US District Judge Jed Rakoff found Webb's arguments not persuasive at all in his 18-page decision.

"The Court has carefully examined the entire litany of plaintiff's proffered 'striking similarities' and finds none of them remotely striking or legally sufficient. Any reasonable fact-finder would have to conclude that these are two very different screenplays built on a familiar theme: mercenaries taking on a Latin American dictator."

The court dismissed the case on summary judgement, meaning that there was not enough evidence in the initial stages to necessitate bringing the dispute before a jury.

"The Expendables" has proved to be a profitable movie franchise for Stallone. After the success of the first film, which premiered in August 2010, a sequel followed in August of this year. Production on "The Expendables 3" is scheduled to begin next year.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.