James Stewart (Rear Window), Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia)

Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks

Put down the binoculars, there's nothing to see here.

At least not now, thanks to the judge who dismissed a lawsuit against the Disturbia team, ruling that the 2007 thriller was not a rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.

Or at least it wasn't a big enough rip-off to be litigated.

The copyright suit was first filed against Spielberg, DreamWorks and Paramount for the Shia LaBeouf-starring flick back in 2008. It was launched by the estate of Shelton Abend, the man who bought the rights to the 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder," upon which Rear Window was based—and upon which, his estate claimed, Disturbia was based.

Problem was, if the short story was in fact the source material, as the suit alleged, Spielberg & Co. forgot to pay for the rights. This week, however, a judge decided that the two stories were admittedly similar, but different enough not to warrant any further litigation.

So yeah, Shia—and specifically his teen heartthrobdom—seem to have saved the day.

"The main plots are similar only at a high, unprotectable level of generality," Judge Laura Taylor wrote in her ruling. "Where Disturbia is rife with subplots, the short story has none. The setting and mood of the short story are static and tense, whereas the setting and mood of Disturbia are more dynamic and peppered with humor and teen romance."

And you thought critics were harsh.


Enough about movies from the past. Check out Movies From the Future!

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