Creator Of Fox Hit 'Empire' Dodges Pa. Copyright Suit

Law360, Philadelphia (April 28, 2017, 8:52 PM EDT) -- A Pennsylvania federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit accusing the creator of the Fox television series "Empire" of stealing the idea for the hit drama from actor-turned-writer Clayton Prince Tanksley.

U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky said that the overall plot lines of "Empire" and Tanksley's own copyrighted work, "Cream," both of which deal with fights for succession at successful record labels helmed by characters with checkered pasts, were too general for Tanksley to pursue a viable claim of copyright infringement.

"General plot ideas are not protected by copyright law," the opinion said. "A succession story is a far too general...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!


Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!