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Sylvester Stallone can breathe a sigh of relief after a judge reaffirmed his decision to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the Expendables star copied a screenplay to write his action flick.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the copyright infringement case Thursday, in which a man named Marcus Webb claimed Stallone's Expendables screenplay had 20 "striking similarities" to his own, The Cordoba Caper, E! News has confirmed.
Although Webb claimed both stories involved a villain dictator named General Garza, the judge said no juror could rule out the possibility that Stallone wrote his screenplay without taking a look at Webb's.
"The Court has carefully examined the entire litany of plaintiff's proffered "striking similarities" and finds none of them remotely striking or legally sufficient," Judge Rakoff wrote in his 18-page memorandum. "Any reasonable fact-finder would have to conclude that these are two very different screenplays built on a familiar theme: mercenaries taking on a Latin American dictator."
"Because [Marcus Webb] has failed to provide evidence of access, and failed to show the Cordoba and Expendables are so strikingly similar as to permit a reasonable juror to infer access, the Court finds the plaintiff's claim fails as a matter of law," the judge continued. "Accordingly, the Court reaffirms its ‘bottom line' Order dated June 22, 2012 granting summary judgment in favor of defendants. The Clerk of the Court is hereby directed to enter judgment in favor of defendants dismissing the complaint with prejudice, and to close the case."
Judge Rakoff originally dismissed Webb's case back in June, but provided reasons for his decision for the first time Thursday.