A judge has decided to dismiss the suit filed by independent filmmaker Matthew Fulks who accused Beyonce of stealing his short film “Palinoia” for her award-winning Lemonade album.
On Wednesday, August 31, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff granted Beyonce’s motion to dismiss Matthew’s suit, stating, “Upon full consideration of the parties’ briefs and oral arguments, the Court grants defendants’ motion. A memorandum explaining the reasons for this ruling will issue in due course, at which time final judgment will be entered.”
Matthew sued Beyonce in June, claiming Lemonade and its trailer copied nine elements of “Palinoia”, including “graffiti and persons with heads down,” “red persons with eyes obscured,” “parking garage,” “title card screens” and “the grass scene.”
Beyonce’s attorneys fired back in July, stating that the suit should be tossed. “[A] straightforward comparison of the parties’ works provides a textbook example of what does not constitute [a] legally cognizable claim of infringement,” read a motion to dismiss the suit, ” ‘Palinoia’ is about a ‘tumultuous relationship’ that is now over. The protagonist is a white male and his former lover is a white blonde woman. The demise of their relationship is oblique, and is not tied to infidelity.”
”Lemonade’ [meanwhile] portrays the stages through which its African-American female protagonist goes in connection with an existing relationship, ending in reconciliation.”
Beyonce recently won eight awards at the 2016 MTV VMAs, including Video of the Year for her “Formation” visuals, Best Female Video for “Hold Up”, Best Choreography, Best Cinematography and Best Editing for “Formation”, and Breakthrough Long Form Video for “Lemonade” film.