Federal Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Against Beyoncé’s Lemonade

Judge throws out Kentucky man's lawsuit against the singer
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This Lemonade apparently didn’t stand.

A New York judge tossed out a Kentucky filmmaker Matthew Fulks’s lawsuit against the prolific singer, after alleging that the trailer that went with Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” actually stole ideas from a short film that he had made.

Federal Judge Jed Rakoff threw out the decision after apparently Fulks claimed that the trailer infringed on his copyrighted film. This decision comes rather fast, as the lawsuit was barely filed in June. The actual court document named both Beyoncé, Sony Music Entertainment and Columbia Recording Corp.

The original lawsuit goes on to state that Palinoia was a short film depicting the pain of a tumultuous relationship. This theme is definitely found in Lemonade, but also in just about every romance movie. The e-mail in question was sent to Bryan Younce, Senior Vice-President of Video and Content Production at Columbia Entertainment. Apparently, Fulks found that Bryan Younce had supervised the creation of videos for Beyoncé’s Lemonade. So, then, how does Fulks know Younce stole his short film? Here’s where things get dicey. In a situation that resembles a “friend-of-a-friend-of-another-friend” situation, a man named Chris Thomas spoke with Fulks about making videos for the musical group MS MR. Thomas talked to MS MR manager Brian Beck, who then sent the email to Younce over at Columbia on July 24, 2015.

But, then, how did Younce steal, exactly? Simple. About five months after initial contacts between Younce and Fulks, Bryan Younce then allegedly proceeded to film a trailer and a film titled Lemonade. What was the purpose of said trailer and film? Simple. To promote the release of Beyoncé’s musical album of the same name. Aparently, the trailer for Lemonade shares Palinoia’s visual and auditory elements, visual and auditory sequences, themes, mood, format, setting, plot, and pace. Even aesthetic decisions made in the trailer infringe on Palinoia. Therefore, Fulks’s accusation was that the Lemonade trailer is “substantially similar” to Palinoia, and thus should sue.

You can read the exact accusations below.

Beyonce image by Caroline Delaney, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)