Fulkes v. Knowles-Carter et al., No. 16-4278 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 12, 2016).
Having previously granted the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for copyright infringement by "bottom-line order," the Court explained the reasons for its ruling. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that defendants' distribution of a film trailer and the film itself promoting the release of Beyonce's musical album "Lemonade" infringed plaintiff's copyright in the short film "Palinoia."
On a Rule 12 motion, the Court noted that the works themselves control, not Plaintiff's descriptions in the pleadings, and decided that the works were not substantially similar as a matter of law. In short, "Plaintiff's alleged similarities consist almost entirely of clearly defined ideas not original to plaintiff and of stock elements with which even a casual observer would be familiar. Moreover, to the very limited extent that there are even any superficial similarities, these are overwhelmed by the works' vastly different creative choices and overall aesthetic feel. " The Court then went through each of the 9 allegedly similar scenes.