elements—such as the biblical characters and biblical story—theworks are not substantially similar. While some of the ideas inthe two works are similar, it is black letter law that ideas arenot copyrightable and, for the reasons explained below, noordinary reader would view the expression of the ideas assubstantially similar. Therefore, the defendants’ motion forsummary judgment must be granted.More specifically, author Michael Porto (also known as “GuyMichaels”) (“the plaintiff”) brings this action allegingcopyright infringement, vicarious and contributory copyrightinfringement, and common law unfair competition againstplaywright Stephen Adly Guirgis, LAByrinth Theater Company,actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman, and publishersDramatists Play Service, Inc. and Faber and Faber, Inc.(collectively, “the defendants”). The plaintiff alleges thatthe defendants’ play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot violatesthe copyrights for his novel Judas on Appeal.
The defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint underFederal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state aclaim upon which relief can be granted or, in the alternative,for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 onthe basis that the defendants’ play is not substantially similar
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot was written by defendant Guirgis, performedin New York City by defendant LAByrinth Theater Company, directed bydefendant Hoffman, and published by defendants Dramatists Play Service andFaber and Faber.