According to an article in Forbes, Marshall Brickman (who has collaborated with Woody Allen) and Rick Elice, the two co-authors of hit Broadway musical “Jersey Boys,” and show director Des McAnuff were all found guilty this week of copyright infringement by a Nevada federal jury. The jury decided that 10% of the show’s success could be attributed to the unlawful usage of Four Seasons founding member Tommy Devito’s unpublished autobiography, “Tommy DeVito — Then and Now,” which was ghostwritten by the now deceased Rex Woodward.
Woodward’s widow, Donna Corbello, was able to bring the suit after securing Woodward’s place as a co-author of DeVito’s autobiography (previously, only DeVito owned the copyright to the book). While the jury did not disclose which parts of the book had been unlawfully copied, Judge Robert C. Jones determined that there were eleven parallels between the “Jersey Boys” script and autobiography.
Now that the guilty verdict has been reached, the court will begin determining what damages the three defendants will have to pay.