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"Sophia Stewart, The Real Creator of ‘The Matrix,’ Wins Billion Dollar Copyright Case"

It took her more than a decade, but she won the copyright lawsuit.

http://www.africanglobe.net/headlines/sophia-stewart-real-creator-matrix-wins-billion-dollar-case/
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From what I've seen on the net that stories false.
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Ryu Miyaki says:
Maybe I'm just a main stream media stooge, but I find it hard to believe that, if this story is true, entities like CNN, The New York Times, and The LA Times wouldn't cover it.
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jonwood says:
They are big on exclamation points and short on facts. The whole site has the tone of a scam e-mail.

Is it any wonder production companies will not read unsolicited scripts?
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Dan Shea says:
Snopes debunked this one. False.

I had fallen for it, too, btw. Probably because for some reason, I WANTED it to be true.
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I apologize, I should've verified before I posted. It does seem like the this is a story that keeps popping up in the conspiracy corners of the internet, but it's not true. I checked the IMDb screenwriting credits for the movie and the woman in question is not listed. I figure if she won the lawsuit, then name would have to be listed.

I did find a 2005 article from NPR news in which the attorneys involved and Stewart herself are interviewed. Apparently, the lawsuit was very real indeed.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4664150
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Lisa Scott says:
the lawsuit was real, but it was a case of similar concept (from a book) that was stolen... so no copyright infringement was ever found.

but it's stuff like this that makes newbie writers afraid that someone will steal their stuff.

i do believe The Truman Show had scene examples of a of a stage play that were matched and the writer may have won a lawsuit on that one. whoever wrote it probably thought no one had seen the short-lived, way-off-off-broadway play.
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Johnny Turbo says:
Ha, This fake story will seemingly never die. If ANYONE won a BILLION dollar lawsuit, it would be one of the biggest stories of the year, but apparently all of the major news outlets missed it! lol

Few points a lot of other articles on this subject won't/don't cover:

1. The Terminator was actually ripped off from Harlon Ellion's short stories. Cameron apparently bragged "ripping off those old Outer Limits episodes" on the set of Terminator, and even did an interview with Starlog magazine stating as much. Ellison just asked for credit, and was refused. He sued and won. Ellison's stories were undoubtedly the 100% inspiration of The Terminator movies.

2. The article states that Stewart sent the manuscript to the Wachowskis in the mid eighties. The only problem is that the Wachowskis were in high school at the time and would not break into Hollywood until 1995.

3. Nobody's actually ever seen the "Third Eye" manuscript aside from some new age excerpts about spirituality. It's now for sale on what supposedly is Sophia Stewart's site now. However, one has to ask, when was this supposed draft actually written. As according to the copyright office, the original registration was in 1981, with just a five page manuscript. It must have been one helluva of a five page manuscript for Cameron to rip it off, and rush it into production less than a six months later. Terminator was greenlit in 1982, and production started in 1983. Stewart registered another addendum to the original manuscript in 1983.

4. Besides obvious prior art (and an actual lawsuit win) by Harlan Ellison regarding Terminator, there is prior art to the creation of the Matrix. In 1978, the Doctor Who episode, "The Deadly Assassin," written by the legendary sci-fi author Robert Holmes sees the creation of "The Matrix."

"The Doctor realizes that the Master sent the Doctor the premonition of the assassination through the Matrix, a vast electronic neural network which can turn thought patterns into virtual reality. He decides to enter the Matrix as a means of tracking the Master. Engin warns him that if he dies in the virtual world, he will die in the real world as well."

It was even called, "The Matrix"!

4. I've actually conversed with with someone claiming to be Sophia Stewart on the net nearly a decade back when this story first broke. I informed "Miss Stewart" about this prior art by both Holmes and Ellison, but the person seemed unfazed by these two very indisputable facts. In fact, if one glances at her court cases, her cases seem to be based entirely off of the fact that Harlon Ellison won against Cameron et al, and provides zero proof of her claims. But, amazingly, she doesn't seem to recognize that Ellison's prior art, which he used to win his case for The Terminator, was almost two decades before Stewart registered her copyright!

5. What's most amazing of all is that people have accepted her assertion of being "ripped off," even though she's provided almost no proof. (At least I haven't seen) any "smoking gun" in any of the purported proof she's ever provided.
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Lisa Scott says:
the lawsuit was real. anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason. it's the "american" way.
the result was falsely reported by someone who was over-anxious about the case and it just took off. these things happen all the time in criminal cases... and why the source of media news reporting is relevant.
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I just goes to show, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. I like to think I'm one of those people who's careful about the source of a story, but this time, I completely failed.
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keith spence says:
I had an Uncle by Marriage that made a living doing lawsuits and won most of them. He takes credit for the reason TV's are on the walls in hospitals. He worked at a factory, hurt his back on the job and while in the hospital they laid him off and he tripped over the TV cord and his lawsuit caused hospitals to put their TV's on the wall. Sued both the Factory and the hospital and won both cases, other lawsuits, Burger King, AT-T, Ford, Union for dock workers, and his last lawsuit was against the state of Florida, (was a maintenance guy at rest areas and tripped in a hole and his ankle never seemed to get better)

My point: sometimes people just sue to settle out of court. The end of the Uncle story, he died divorced, his kids not talking to him, wasn't found for days in a small trailer he lived in alone so maybe he didn't win much after all.
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This story made it ALL over the internet and even saw some otherwise credible people refer to it.

Complete bunk.

Was one of those 'wish fulfillment' stories that bounced all over the net.

However...

here's the REAL introduction of 'the matrix' from a genius of the genre:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXeVgEs4sOo
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Yeah. I was going to say, it's impossible to imagine modern (or is it post-modern?) science fiction without Philip K. Dick. THE MATRIX was the kind of idea he'd toss off in a drug-fueled weekend as a short story or novella, usually poorly written, with cardboard characters, but with a narrative impact beyond mere words.

Also, for decades theoretical physicists have wondered if the reason for Fermi's Paradox (where are all the aliens?) is because they've already surrounded us with a holographic byte-matrix universe made to their own specs, so they can go about their business without starting a panic or a new religion here on Earth.

Then, when we get far enough advanced, we'll find the "maker's mark" in the surrounding holographic surface, figure out what's going on, and go out to meet... whoever they are.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

As for the Stewart lawsuit, there's no copyright on ideas, so unless there are strands of the MATRIX identical to her work, (and some footprints connecting her to either the Wachowskis or the producing studios), she can file all the lawsuits she wants, and not get a dime.
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Jamster says:
Keith, your uncle sounds a great character - why not write the sp - and make your own $$$
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Anyone here heard of the 1986 film ROBOT HOLOCAUST? It was featured on MST3K. It's about a drifter named Neo in a post-apocalyptic earth ruled by evil machines. No seriously.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093872/
 
 

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