MARSHALL, TEXAS (KLTV) -A copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a former Wiley College professor has been moved from the Eastern District of Texas to the Central District of California, according to federal court records.
The lawsuit, filed by David Louis Whitehead of Bossier City, Louisiana, names Netflix, Marvel Studios, The Walt Disney Company, and numerous other Hollywood companies and actors. Whitehead alleges the 2018 film “Black Panther” has “striking similarities” to a script he wrote entitled “Batman Blackman.”
Whitehead also alleges in the suit that the defendants used Kendrick Lamar’s music soundtrack entitled “Black Panther” which is similar to Michael Jackson’s “Invincible” album listed in Whitehead’s “Batman Blackman” script.
The latest amended suit from June 5 states,"In 2018, Plaintiff believes and assert that the Defendants Netflix Inc, Marvel Entertainment, and Walt Disney and others engaged in improper dissemination, misappropriation of Intellectual Property, breach of contract and copyright infringement of the plaintiff’s script treatment entitled “Batman Blackman” for the publishing, distribution, broadcast film, and soundtrack productions for “Black Panther film, CDS, DVDS, and other accessories linked to the film.”
Whitehead alleges in the suit, that the chief operating officer of Netflix invited him in 2016 to submit a film proposal via an attorney. According to the suit, Netflix responded to Whitehead saying his proposal was rejected. The suit claims an attorney representing Whitehead later submitted the same script to an agent representing an actor for consideration. Whitehead believes the actor was later tapped to star in the “Black Panther” film, according to the suit.
The amended suit alleges several other of Whitehead’s works were allegedly infringed by companies like Sony Home Entertainment and Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
According to the lawsuit, Whitehead demands a jury trial along with $10 billion and $1 million in compensatory damages.
Whitehead is a former political science professor at Wiley College and currently teaches government at Grambling State University in Louisiana.
The “Black Panther” character first appeared in a July 1966 comic book created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.