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Judge Dismisses ‘Fake Famous’ Idea Theft Lawsuit

Judge Dismisses ‘Fake Famous’ Idea Theft Lawsuit

A New York judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Discovery from a producer, who claimed that he originated an idea for the premise behind HBO‘s Fake Famous documentary and Max reality series FBOY Island.

The producer, Jack Piuggi, said he shopped a reality TV show titled Instafamous, which was pitched as “a documentary-style TV show incorporating an underlying faux-dating show competition” to “expose the superficiality” of Instagram dating culture.

His lawsuit, filed last year in New York district court, alleged that defendants, which include Good For You Productions LLC, Grand Street Media Inc., HBO, and Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., conspired against him to create “similarly themed” TV projects, which resulted in Fake Famous and FBOY Island.

Piuggi, whose banner is titled Flipp Productions, brought claims for copyright infringement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

In a July 2 order, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero dismissed the lawsuit, finding that Piuggi’s “vague and conclusory allegations of unspecified copying are insufficient” to “plausibly plead a substantial similarity between Instafamous and HBO’s shows at issue.”

The court granted Piuggi an opportunity to fix the claims within 30 days from July 2.

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The complaint involved allegations that, 19 days after Piuggi pitched the idea for his show to Grand Street, HBO released a trailer for Fake Famous. Separately, he claimed that he suggested that Garrett Morosky, who was eventually cast on FBOY Island, should star in his project.

Piuggi “noticed on multiple occasions, that many of his concepts for Instafamous were appropriated by Fake Famous,” the lawsuit said.

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