'Shape Of Water' Ruling Will Chill Speech, 9th Circ. Told

Law360 (July 7, 2020, 9:13 PM EDT) -- The creators of "The Shape of Water" are urging the full Ninth Circuit to undo a ruling last month that revived a copyright lawsuit over the Oscar-winning film, warning that it will chill free speech by promoting "protracted, meritless lawsuits."

In a Monday filing, the movie's director Guillermo del Toro and Walt Disney Co.'s Searchlight Pictures asked the full en banc court to overturn the June ruling by a three-judge panel, saying it would make it too hard for trial courts to weed out bad copyright lawsuits.

"The panel decision permits plaintiffs to stifle free expression by using abstract plot similarities,...

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